Does Parmesan Cheese Go Bad? How Long Does Parmesan Cheese Last?

Parmigiano Reggiano, or Parmesan Cheese, is a hearty cheese that typically lasts longer than any other cheese. But how long does cheese last until it goes bad? Does it matter whether the cheese is grated or in wedges?

Quick Answer

Parmesan cheese goes bad after a month or less if stored improperly. Parmesan cheese has a shelf life of 7-9 months when left out and 7 days if the cheese is grated. Refrigerating parmesan will keep its shelf-life at 4-6 weeks. Freezing will help cheese to remain fresh for up to 1 year. Its shelf life depends on how the cheese is cut. Grated or shredded cheese takes much less to spoil, at about 1 week before mold begins to show.


Humidity is the enemy of cheese, and parmesan cheese is no different. If not stored in the fridge or freezer, parmesan cheese can spoil quickly.

Does Parmesan Cheese Go Bad? How Long Does Parmesan Cheese Last?

Say you bought some Parmigiano Reggiano recently but are unsure how to store it. If you’re curious how long Parmesan cheese lasts, read on.

What Is The Shelf Life Of Parmesan Cheese?

Wedges or Blocks – If the cheese is unopened, it will last between 7-9 months. If it’s been opened, the cheese will last 1-2 months. A typical block or wedge of Parmesan cheese will last long if stored properly. 

Shredded / Grated – An unopened container of grated or shredded cheese will last 7 days. Once opened, you’re looking at anywhere between 3 – 7 days. This is due to its surface area. Mold will spread easier among bits of cheese and is less salvageable.  Parmesan cheese will spoil sooner if it’s already been shredded or grated.

How Long Does Parmesan Cheese Last In The Fridge?

Wedges / Blocks – Stored in the fridge, its shelf life lasts between 4-6 weeks. The trick is to minimize the moisture to prevent mold from forming. Refrigeration works wonders for preventing mold in whole pieces of Parmesan cheese.

Shredded / Grated – Grated cheese will typically last 2 weeks in the fridge, since the cheese has already been dehydrated. Unfortunately, shredded cheese won’t last much longer in the fridge. Refrigerator life will only be good for a week before it spoils. For this reason, many people choose to freeze shredded cheese for longer shelf life. It’s important to keep shredded cheese in the container it was sold in.

How Long Does Parmesan Cheese Last In The Freezer?

Wedges / Blocks – Freezing blocks and wedges of cheese will allow cheese to last much longer, often lasting 1 year or more. However, the quality and texture begin to deteriorate after a year. While it is safe to consume, it may not taste ideal. Blocks and wedges of cheese already have a long refrigerator life so freezing is not recommended.

Shredded / Grated – Freezing grated and shredded cheese is perfect for extending its total life. Grated cheese in the freezer will extend the shelf-life life from 1-2 years. Parmesan cheese will continue to be safe after the range, though the taste may not be ideal.

In conclusion, storing cheese in the fridge is optimal for blocks and wedges of cheese. Freezing shredded and grated cheese is preferred for longer life.

Does This Cheese Smell Spoiled To You?

There are several ways to know whether cheese has gone bad and they’re based on four of the five senses: touch, sight, smell, taste.

Presence of Mold: Mold appears when moisture enters the cheese’s container and begins to break down the cheese. In blocks or wedges, the presence of mold is not a deal breaker. If you spot green or blue dots, simply cut the moldy pieces with a knife and discard. Be sure the knife doesn’t touch the mold or it will infect the rest of the cheese. If mold is found in shredded or grated cheese, however, it is most likely that the entire package is spoiled and must be discarded immediately.

Smell: Take a whiff of the cheese. If it smells sour, pungent, or funny in any way that isn’t expectant of cheese, get rid of the cheese.

Texture: If the cheese is wet or spongey to the touch, the cheese has gone bad. Throw it out.

Taste: Carefully take a small piece and taste test it. If it tastes sour or rancid, then the cheese needs to be chucked.

Color: Parmigiano Reggiano is naturally a light color. The colors usually range from white to light beige. When the cheese turns yellow, dark beige or gray, it’s because the cheese has taken a turn for the worst and is unsafe to eat.

How Do You Store Parmesan Cheese?

Blocks / Wedges: The best way to store blocks or wedges is to let the cheese breathe, but only slightly. The best way to do this is by wrapping the cheese in parchment paper or another substitute like wax or butcher paper. Then, wrap it in foil or plastic. This allows the cheese to breathe but won’t let too much moisture into the cheese.

Shredded / Grated: Shredded or grated cheese should be stored in the same container that they are sold and refrigerated after being opened. If frozen, you should only take as much cheese as you’ll need for a meal and store the rest in the freezer.

Should You Freeze Parmesan Cheese?

Yes! Since Parmesan cheese is a fimer cheese, Freezing is an excellent way to preserve it, whether in block or shredded form. So long as the cheese is either in an airtight container or wrapped so no air reaches it, cheese wedges and blocks will preserve well in the freezer. Blocks of cheese may lose its texture and flavor if left for long periods of time but this can be remedied by soaking a cheese cloth and resting the cloth on the cheese after defrosting. For shredded and grated cheese, freezing in an airtight container or freezer bag will make it last much longer. Since the issue with shredded and grated cheese in moisture, freezers will help to delay any bacteria from growing due to the lack of air in its container.

How Do You Thaw Cheese?

There are two methods to thoroughly thaw cheese.

Thaw in Fridge: Take the frozen cheese and place it in the fridge and let it thaw for 2 days. This will give the cheese enough time to thaw and retain some of its moisture, reshaping its original texture and taste.

Thaw on Countertop: Leave the cheese on the counter for 2.5 to 3 hours. This is the speedier option but the cheese be firmer. This method is preferred if you’ll be using the cheese as an ingredient rather than to eat on its own. Remember to check the packaging to make sure no air is present.

Wrap Up

Parmigiano Reggiano is a strong cheese that can last quite a while if stored properly. Always remember to check the texture, smell, and for mold before consuming any cheese product.

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