Last Updated on September 19, 2023 by Shari Mason
Shredded cheese is a convenient and tasty ingredient that can be used in a wide range of dishes. Whether you’re making pizza, tacos, or a cheesy casserole, shredded cheese is a common ingredient that many of us keep on hand.
Knowing how to tell if shredded cheese is bad is crucial in preventing the consumption of spoiled cheese, but how to tell if shredded cheese is bad?
In our recent experiment, we closely examined telltale signs in shredded cheese to provide foolproof ways to determine if your cheese has gone bad or is still suitable for your culinary creations.
How To Tell If Shredded Cheese Has Gone Bad
Look for mold growth on the surface of the shredded cheese, because it is a clear sign that it has gone bad.
Surface mold is a definitive indicator of spoiled shredded cheese, and regardless of whether you remove the affected portions, it is best to discard the spoiled cheese.
Similarly, any unusual discoloration, like yellowish or greenish patches, could signify spoilage of shredded hard cheese.
If the shredded cheese smell funny, it indicates that it’s past its prime. Bad shredded cheese smells like feet, and sour milk should be discarded.
“Age is something that doesn’t matter unless you are a cheese.”– Luis Bunuel, Spanish Filmmaker
In addition, a slimy or grainy texture might also raise a red flag, typically caused by excessive moisture or improper storage conditions.
Keeping the cheese tightly wrapped will keep the cheese taste the same. The same thing applies to blue cheese, cheddar cheese, fresh cheese, semi-soft cheese, aged cheese, and sliced cheese.
Read: Best Cheese For Fajitas
Can You Still Use It Despite Mold Growth?
It is not recommended to use shredded cheese with mold growth, even if you remove the visible moldy parts. Mold can produce mycotoxins , which can harm human health if consumed in large amounts.
You should not eat moldy cheese even if you discard the molded parts. Do not eat spoiled cheese or moldy cheese to prevent food poisoning.
Vacuum-packed cheese is not prone to molds, but you should check the expiration date first. The cheese spoils easily when they are exposed to moisture and air.
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Can You Freeze Shredded Cheese To Extend Its Shelf Life?
Yes, you can freeze shredded cheese to extend its shelf life. Freezing shredded cheese can help prevent mold growth and keep it fresh longer.
To freeze shredded cheese, place it in an airtight container or freezer bag and remove as much air as possible before sealing. Frozen shredded cheese can last for up to 6 months in the freezer.
However, it’s important to note that freezing can affect the texture of the cheese. Once the cheese is thawed, it may become crumbly or lose some flavor.
For this reason, frozen shredded cheese  is best used in cooked dishes, such as casseroles, pizzas, and soups, rather than as a topping or for snacking.
When using frozen shredded cheese, it’s important to thaw it in the refrigerator to avoid any potential food safety issues.
Vacuum-sealed cheeses have longer shelf life than opened pre-shredded cheeses.
If you store shredded cheese in the freezer and the dairy product smells sour (smells like spoiled milk or rotten milk) and has freezer burn, discard it.
How Long Can It Last In The Fridge?
Generally, unopened shredded cheese can last for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator, while opened shredded cheese may last for up to a week.
The shelf life of shredded cheese in the refrigerator depends on various factors, such as the type of cheese, its moisture content, and how it is stored.
However, if the cheese has been stored in an airtight container or vacuum-sealed, it may last up to 3 to 4 weeks.
Harder cheeses, such as cheddar and parmesan, tend to last longer than softer cheeses, such as mozzarella or feta.
“Spoiled pre-shredded cheese stinks – trust your senses, savor the freshness.”
–Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice
To extend the shelf life of shredded cheese in the fridge, it’s essential to store it properly in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag and place it in the coldest part of the fridge, typically the bottom shelf.
Tips On How To Store Shredded Cheese
- Please keep shredded cheddar cheese in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag to prevent moisture and air from getting in.
- Place the container or bag of the shredded cheddar cheese in the coldest part of the fridge, typically the bottom shelf.
- Use the grated cheese within a week of opening the package to ensure freshness.
- If you have leftover shredded cheese, consider freezing it in an airtight container or freezer bag to extend its shelf life.
- Label the container or bag of the grated cheese with the date you opened the package or froze the cheese so you can track how long it has been stored.
- Avoid storing shredded cheese near foods with strong odors, such as onions or garlic, as the cheese can absorb these odors and affect its flavor.
What can you do if cheese smells like feet but no mold?
If the cheese smells like feet but has no mold, it’s likely just a sign of the cheese’s natural aroma. You can still eat the cheese if it smells normal or without mold.
If the shredded cheese smells sour, you should discard it.
Does shredded cheese go bad if unopened?
Shredded cheese can go bad even if it is unopened, especially if it is kept past its expiration date or has been exposed to temperature fluctuations or moisture.
It’s always best to check the expiration date because expired cheese should not be consumed, even if it is an unopened package. Find out how long vegan cheese will last here.
What happens if you eat bad shredded cheese?
By eating bad shredded cheese, you may experience food poisoning symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.
In severe cases, it could lead to more serious health issues such as kidney failure or paralysis. It’s always best to discard any cheese that has gone bad to avoid the risk of foodborne illness.
If you notice any signs of mold, unusual color or texture, or a sour or unpleasant odor, it is best to discard the cheese to avoid the risk of food poisoning because the cheese has gone bad.
Store cheese in an airtight container. Also, eating bad cheese is a bad idea because, like spoiled food, rotten cheese can harm your health.
Following proper storage guidelines and being mindful of the cheese’s expiration date can help extend its shelf life and reduce the risk of spoilage.
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