Last Updated on February 21, 2023 by Shari Mason
Mozzarella cheese is a popular ingredient in many dishes, including pizza, lasagna, and salads.
While shredded mozzarella cheese is convenient to use and store, knowing how long it can last in the fridge is essential to ensure food safety and avoid spoilage.
Proper storage and handling can significantly impact the shelf life of shredded mozzarella cheese, so it is crucial to understand the factors that affect its longevity.
We will discuss how long shredded mozzarella cheese lasts in the fridge and provide tips on maximizing its freshness and flavor.
How Long Is Shredded Mozzarella Cheese Good For In The Fridge?
Generally, an unopened bag of shredded mozzarella cheese can last up to two weeks in the fridge. Once opened, the cheese should be stored in an airtight container or resealable bag and used within five to seven days.
Shredded mozzarella cheese  can last in the fridge for varying lengths, depending on several factors, such as its initial freshness, packaging, and storage conditions.
However, the storage conditions and temperature can also affect the shelf life of shredded mozzarella cheese.
If the cheese develops mold, off-odors, or discoloration, it is best to discard it to avoid the risk of foodborne illness.
Can You Freeze Shredded Mozzarella Cheese?
Yes, you can freeze shredded mozzarella cheese, but it may alter the texture of the cheese. Freezing can cause the cheese to become crumbly or dry, making it less desirable for some dishes.
To freeze shredded mozzarella cheese, it is best to divide it into small portions and place it in airtight containers or freezer bags. Label the containers with the freezing date to track how long it has been stored.
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When ready to use, thaw the cheese in the fridge overnight and use it as soon as possible.
While freezing shredded mozzarella cheese can extend its shelf life, it is best to use fresh cheese whenever possible for optimal flavor and texture.
Signs That It Might Have Gone Bad
The first and most obvious sign is the presence of mold on the cheese. If you notice any mold growth on the cheese, it is best to discard it immediately to avoid the risk of foodborne illness.
Another sign of spoiled shredded mozzarella cheese is a sour or unpleasant odor. If the cheese smells off or has an unusual aroma, it may indicate bacterial growth, and it is best to dispose of it.
Discoloration, such as yellow or green spots, can also indicate spoilage. Additionally, if the cheese has a slimy or sticky texture, it may indicate that it is no longer fresh.
What Happens If You Eat Expired Mozzarella Cheese?
If you eat expired mozzarella cheese, you may be at risk of foodborne illness. Eating expired cheese can cause symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea .
The bacteria grown on expired cheese can produce harmful toxins that can cause serious illness, especially for individuals with weakened immune systems.
While some cheeses, such as hard cheeses like Parmesan or cheddar, can last for extended periods, it is still essential to check for signs of spoilage before consuming them.
If you suspect you have consumed expired mozzarella cheese and experience any symptoms, it is best to seek medical attention immediately.
Tips On How To Store Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- Store in an airtight container or resealable bag: Transfer the shredded cheese to an airtight container or resealable bag to prevent moisture and air from entering, which can cause mold growth and spoilage.
- Keep in the fridge: Store the cheese at a temperature between 34°F and 40°F. It is best to keep it in the coldest part of the fridge, such as the bottom shelf, to maintain its freshness.
- Avoid storing near strong-smelling foods: Mozzarella cheese can absorb strong odors from other foods. It is best to store it separately or in an airtight container to prevent unwanted flavors.
- Use within the recommended time frame: Once opened, shredded mozzarella cheese should be used within five to seven days. It is best to discard any cheese that has passed its recommended use-by date.
Why does shredded cheese last longer?
Shredded cheese lasts longer than a block of cheese because the shredding process increases the surface area, allowing more air to circulate each piece of cheese. This causes the moisture to evaporate more quickly, making it less likely to develop mold or spoilage.
Additionally, shredded cheese is often coated with anti-caking agents, such as cellulose powder or cornstarch, which helps absorb any remaining moisture and prevents clumping, further extending its shelf life.
Does shredded cheese need to be refrigerated?
Yes, shredded cheese should be refrigerated to maintain its freshness and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Cheese, in general, is a perishable food item that needs to be kept in the fridge at a temperature between 34°F and 40°F to ensure its safety and quality.
How does shredded cheese stay shredded?
Shredded cheese is coated with anti-caking agents, such as cellulose powder or cornstarch, that help absorbs any remaining moisture and prevent the cheese shreds from sticking together. This coating also helps the shredded cheese maintain its shape and texture, allowing it to stay shredded.
Unopened shredded mozzarella cheese can last up to two weeks in the fridge if stored properly. It is best to keep the cheese in an airtight container or resealable bag, away from strong-smelling foods, and in the coldest part of the fridge.
Always check for signs of spoilage, such as mold growth, unusual odor, discoloration, or slimy texture, before consuming.
Additionally, it is recommended to use the cheese within five to seven days after opening for optimal freshness and quality.
By following these guidelines, you can help prolong the shelf life of shredded mozzarella cheese and ensure its safety for consumption.
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