We all often end up leaving certain food ingredients in our refrigerators for way longer than they should be there, especially when it comes to foods that you keep revisiting for just a pinch.
Cheeses are one of the worst for this, but have you wondered if that block of parmesan cheese in your refrigerator will eventually go bad? Or does cheese just stay edible forever?
If you are wondering if parmesan cheese ever goes bad, then this is the place for you!
Check out the answers below to find out if parmesan cheese goes bad and if it does, how quickly it does and how you can store your parmesan cheese properly to prevent this.
Does Parmesan Cheese Go Bad?
Like all foods, parmesan cheese has its use by date after which it will start to go bad. So, yes – parmesan cheese does indeed go bad.
How long it takes for parmesan cheese to go bad, however, completely depends on the conditions it is stored in.
The less moisture that the parmesan cheese is exposed to, the longer it will stay fresh for. This is why storing your parmesan cheese is super important.
Most parmesan cheeses sold at a store will have a ‘best by’ date on the packaging.
This date indicates how long it will be before the parmesan cheese starts to go bad – but that doesn’t mean it’s inedible after that date.
Parmesan cheese is a hard cheese which means that it can stay fresher for longer than other soft cheeses like ricotta.
Hard cheeses are left moist, thus less likely to grow mold sooner. However, they still do go bad eventually.
After a while, your parmesan cheese will become rancid in flavor, darker in color, and be no longer edible.
This means that it has finally gone off and you should throw the leftovers away – it’s not safe for human consumption.
How Long Does Parmesan Cheese Last?
Each parmesan cheese is different and the best way to check how long your block has before it goes bad is to check the date on the packaging.
This ‘best by’ date will inform you of the latest date your parmesan cheese will be edible until. After that point, the moisture in your refrigerator will start to affect the cheese – and it will go bad.
As a result, parmesan cheese can stay fresh in your refrigerator for about one to two months.
An unopened block can last even longer (usually around seven to nine months) because the packaging is sealed and keeps out moisture.
If you have a block of unopened parmesan cheese in your refrigerator and it’s just past its expiration date, then simply open it up and check it – it may still be fine to eat!
However, opened parmesan cheese can still be kept for longer if it is properly stored.
Parmesan cheese that has been properly sealed and stored will be exposed to less moisture, and thus be less likely to spoil so soon.
So, expand the life of your parmesan cheese by storing it properly in your refrigerator. In some cases, parmesan cheese can remain edible and relatively fresh for six months after opening.
How To Properly Store Parmesan Cheese
So, the key to making parmesan cheese last longer is to properly store it – but how?
Moisture is the thing that makes your parmesan cheese go bad so you need to stop the moisture in your refrigerator from reaching your parmesan cheese.
To do this, you will need to wrap up your parmesan cheese.
This can be done using parchment paper, plastic wrap, cheese paper – anything!
In fact, you can even double up the layers by using a layer of cheese paper and then a layer of foil or plastic wrap for extra protection.
Some people even choose to store their parmesan cheese in an airtight container. This is a great idea but you also need to wrap the cheese too. After all, there will still be moisture in the air of the container.
Once your parmesan cheese is sealed, you will need to store it in the refrigerator. Place it in a drawer (preferably away from other foods) to help prevent the build up of smells.
If you have leftover grated parmesan cheese, then you can’t simply wrap it up and call it a day.
You will need to store your grated parmesan cheese in an airtight container and store it in your refrigerator until you can use it again.
It’s worth mentioning that shredded parmesan cheese will not last as long as a block of parmesan cheese – so make sure you use up your leftovers before they go bad!
How To Tell If Parmesan Cheese Has Turned Bad
Once your parmesan cheese is stored, you will need to check that it’s still okay to eat the next time you go to use it.
If your parmesan cheese has started growing mold on one of the edges, then no biggie!
Cheese is still fine even if there is mold growing on certain parts of the cheese – just chop them off and make sure you use the non-moldy parts! This is also the case with parmesan cheese.
However, if your parmesan cheese has started to darken in color from white to a dark beige, then this is a sign your parmesan cheese is going bad.
It will also smell pretty bad and unusual. Also, any parmesan cheese that feels spongy or wet in texture also needs to be thrown out.
So, parmesan cheese can go bad but how soon it goes bad all depends on you.
Making sure you store your parmesan cheese appropriately and keep it from moisture will help extend its life way past the packaging’ expiration date – so follow the steps above to keep your parmesan cheese fresh!