How To Tell If Shredded Cheese Is Bad

How To Tell If Shredded Cheese Is Bad? Answered (2023)

Last Updated on February 18, 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. 

However, like any perishable food item, shredded cheese can only go well if stored and handled correctly.

Knowing how to tell if shredded cheese is bad is crucial in preventing the consumption of spoiled cheese and the potential health risks that come with it. 

We will discuss some signs to look out for to determine whether your shredded cheese has gone bad.

5 Signs That Shredded Cheese Might Be Spoiled

Grated Cheese
  1. Mold growth: If you see mold growth on the cheese, it’s a sure sign that it’s gone bad. Even if you remove the moldy parts, the cheese may still be contaminated and should be discarded.
  2. Discoloration: If the cheese has an unusual color, such as yellowish or greenish spots, it may be spoiled.
  3. Unpleasant smell: If the cheese smells sour or has a rancid odor, it’s likely gone bad.
  4. Slimy or grainy texture: If the cheese feels slimy or grainy, it may have spoiled due to excess moisture or improper storage.
  5. Clumping or caking: If the cheese has clumped or caked together, it may have gone bad or been exposed to too much moisture.

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 [1], which can harm human health if consumed in large amounts. 

Additionally, even if the mold is not harmful, it can still indicate that the cheese is spoiled and should not be consumed.

It’s best to err on caution and discard any cheese with mold growth to avoid potential health risks. 

To prevent mold growth on shredded cheese, it’s essential to store it properly in the refrigerator or freezer and use it before the expiration date.

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 for 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 [2] 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.

How Long Can It Last In The Fridge?

Shredded Cheese on a White Plate

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. 

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.

“Age is something that doesn’t matter unless you are a cheese.”

– Luis Bunuel, Spanish Filmmaker 

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. 

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

  1. Please keep it in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag to prevent moisture and air from getting in.
  2. Place the container or bag in the coldest part of the fridge, typically the bottom shelf.
  3. Use the cheese within a week of opening the package to ensure freshness.
  4. If you have leftover shredded cheese, consider freezing it in an airtight container or freezer bag to extend its shelf life.
  5. Label the container or bag with the date you opened the package or froze the cheese, so you can track how long it has been stored.
  6. 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 has gone good or developed any mold. 

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 and follow proper storage guidelines to ensure the cheese stays fresh for as long as possible.

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.

Final Thoughts

Pay attention to the signs of spoilage in shredded cheese to ensure it is safe to consume. 

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. 

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.


Shari Mason

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