Is string cheese bad for you? How long does string cheese last? (2023)

String cheese is a convenient snack. It's full of calcium, fun to peel, and small enough to go almost anywhere. But how long can it last?

Is string cheese bad for you? How long does string cheese last? (1)

Quick answer

A piece of grated cheese lasts about four to five hours outside the refrigerator or insulated packaging. It will survive for two to three weeks past the expiration date if unopened, and once opened it lasts for about a week. String cheese can still be good for up to eight months if stored in the freezer.


  • 1 quick answer
  • 2 Does cottage cheese spoil? How long does grated cheese last?
    • 2.1 How long does curd last in the open air?
    • 2.2 How long does curd last in the fridge?
    • 2.3 How long does cottage cheese last in the freezer?
  • 3 How to know if the cottage cheese has gone bad?
  • 4 How to store curd cheese?
  • 5 Can you freeze grated cheese?
  • 6 How to defrost cottage cheese?
  • 7 frequently asked questions about the shelf life of string cheese
  • 8 Closing

Although shredded cheese doesn't last very long outside the freezer, there are ways to make it last longer.

String cheese spoils? How long does grated cheese last?

Whether you want to eat your cheese on the go or save it for later, there are ways to keep it fresh as long as possible.

(Video) What Makes String Cheese Stringy?

How long does cottage cheese last outside?

String cheese should not be left out of the refrigerator without some type of cooling source for more than two hours. On the other hand, if you have an easy way to keep it cold for a long time, like an ice pack, you can keep it cool for as long as you need it.

Cheese should be kept in its sealed package until you are ready to eat it. This means you won't have to worry about contaminants or bacteria getting in.

When you store a cheese stick or packet of cheese inside a plastic bag, keep it away from any wet or smelly food. Cheese can absorb odors, though not as much as some dairy products, and will affect the taste. Cheese also absorbs moisture from other foods and this can make it mushy and disgusting.

How long does cottage cheese last in the fridge?

The most popular way to store string cheese is in the refrigerator. If you don't open the package, it can last up to three weeks past the expiration date, although two weeks is more common.

Once opened, the cheese will keep for at least seven days. It can be used longer, but a week is the recommended time to ensure quality. Any longer and you risk spoiling it.

While string cheese can last a long time in the fridge, that doesn't mean you should wait to finish it. It's a good idea to use or eat the cheese before the expiration date. If you really want it to last, freeze it.

How long does cottage cheese last in the freezer?

Under the right circumstances, shredded cheese can last up to eight months if you freeze it. This estimate depends on the type of cheese made; String cheese is usually made from mozzarella cheese, which freezes very well.

(Video) The Best String Cheese May Surprise You

You'll sometimes see cheddar used in cheese strands, and this can freeze just as well as mozzarella. This is because they have the same firmness. Firm cheeses freeze better than softer ones.

Keep in mind that freezing grated cheese will affect its texture. It can get tougher and fall apart, especially if made with cheddar cheese, losing some of its consistency.

The estimated times grated cheese can last are, well, estimates. Something could go wrong, such as the original packaging breaking or the packaging being left out of the refrigerator for too long. It's common sense to check your cheese for signs of spoilage before eating it.

How do you know if grated cheese has gone bad?

Not only can string cheese go bad, it can make you sick if you eat it. Here are some of the signs that it's time to throw it away.

Moho:If you see small blue, gray or green spots on the cheese, then this is mold. It means that there may be a tear or hole in the packaging and you should throw it away.

It smells strange:Before eating it, take the time to smell it. Does it smell a little weird? This means that the milk inside the cheese has started to curdle.

This tastes weird:Likewise, if it doesn't taste very good, eating it is not a good idea and it's time to throw it away.

(Video) How Does Eating String Cheese Help In Weight Loss?

Color or texture is off:Does the cheese appear darker than usual? Does it feel soft or slimy? This is what happens when the proteins in cheese start to break down.

It looks hot:If you've saved your cheese for a trip or snack and it looks like it's at room temperature or lukewarm, that means it's not fresh anymore. Eating it probably won't hurt if it's only a few hours, but the quality won't be the best anymore.

How to store string cheese?

Keeping shredded cheese cold is key to making it last, so what are the best techniques for keeping it the right temperature?

Outside of:If you're taking the cottage cheese with you to school or on a trip, it's best to keep it cool by placing it in a thermos. Alternatively, placing a cold pack or drink next to the cheese in your lunch box or bag will keep it cold enough.

Fridge:Keep grated cheese in the back of the fridge, away from light, hot air, or anything smelly until you're ready to eat it. After opening the package, you can protect it from contaminants by placing it inside a resealable container, such as a plastic bag.

Freezer:Use a freezer bag to protect the cheese from freezer burn. It's easier if you freeze the cheese in smaller pieces, so you don't have to worry about cutting it up or using too much.

Can you freeze string cheese?

Opinions tend to vary on whether or not the cheese should be frozen. Some people say it's not worth changing the texture or the time it takes to defrost. Others say that the cheese is worth keeping good for months.

(Video) You Must String String Cheese.

  • Generally, frozen shredded cheese lasts about two months before the cheese starts to change. This is because mozzarella has less water inside than other cheeses.
  • String cheese freezes best when wrapped in a layer or two of plastic wrap with the air squeezed out to prevent the cheese from drying out or burning in the freezer.
  • Individual packages can be placed directly in the freezer. You don't need to wrap them as they are already wrapped, but a layer of plastic wrap or a freezer bag won't hurt.
  • Don't forget to write down the day you froze the cheese. Some freezer bags come with built-in labels for this.

How to defrost grated cheese?

Here are some tips for defrosting grated cheese:

  • Once you defrost the grated cheese, you can no longer put it back in the freezer.
  • The easiest way to thaw grated cheese is to place it in the refrigerator overnight. Or you can put it in a lunchbox with a cold compress and let it thaw. Letting it thaw at room temperature is tempting fate.

Frequently asked questions about grated cheese shelf life

What is the shelf life of dairy-free string cheese?

The answer to this question depends on what the "cheese" is made of. I've seen freshness estimates of seven to ten days on some products, three to four months on others. You can look at the expiration date on the packaging to get a good estimate.

My cheese is moldy. Can I take out the moldy part and eat the rest?

In theory you can, but sometimes the mold is not on the surface. Personally, I'd rule it out, but if you want to try it, I recommend pulling the part that isn't moldy open. Check and see if there is any mold inside before eating it.

To involve

One more good thing about string cheese: it never loses its vitamins or minerals during storage, even in the freezer. So feel free to keep a pack handy for any emergency food cravings!

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  3. Is Gin bad? How long does the gin last?
  4. Do shallots spoil? How long do shallots last?
(Video) How to Make String Cheese | Food Network


How long does string cheese last past expiration date? ›

Shelf Life Tips

Properly stored, an unopened package of string cheese will last for about 1 week after the Sell By or Best By date on the package.

How bad is string cheese for you? ›

Kids and adults alike enjoy the on-the-go pleasure of portable string cheese. But, more than that, from a health standpoint, it's a great, protein-packed snack. When made with 100% mozzarella, string cheese is an unprocessed, natural snack choice with seven grams of protein per ounce.

Can I eat expired string cheese? ›

In general, if your string cheese no longer smells creamy, it is time to discard it. Bad string cheese will usually have a moldy appearance, in which case, the product along with its packaging should be immediately thrown out.

Can you give 1 year old string cheese? ›

No. String cheese is not safe for babies because of its rubbery consistency and round shape that can block the airway. While string cheese can be pulled apart into thin strands to reduce the choking risk, it is still best to hold off until after baby's first birthday due to the cheese's high sodium levels.

What cheese does not expire? ›

“Hard cheeses [like parmesan and pecorino] will last the longest, followed by semi-hard cheeses, such as cheddar, swiss and gouda,” explains Savage.

Is light string cheese a healthy snack? ›

Key Point: String cheese provides a similar nutrition profile to other types of cheese. It is a particularly good source of calcium, selenium, and vitamin B12.

Does string cheese raise blood pressure? ›

Cheese is a great source of protein and calcium but is often high in saturated fat and salt. This means eating too much could lead to high cholesterol and high blood pressure, increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

How long does string cheese last? ›

Because string cheese is a fresh cheese, it doesn't last as long as other types of cheese. What is this? Once opened, it should be consumed within 7-10 days. After that, the quality of the cheese will start to decline, and it may develop an off odor or flavor.

Can you eat 2 weeks expired cheese? ›

If you've got semi-hard or semi-soft cheeses, you're probably good to have them two to four weeks past the expiration date (again, as long as they smell regular for what kind of cheese they are). But watch out for softer cheeses, Sims advises.

How long can you eat expired cheese? ›

I'd say two to four weeks after the expiration date is the basic time frame. Again, you have to be able to also use your judgment to see if it's still good," she noted.

How many string cheese can I eat a day? ›

The American Heart Association notes that one portion of cheese is 1.5 ounces and the recommendation for eating cheese is three servings per day.

What foods should you avoid finger foods? ›

✘ Avoid foods that could cause choking: crisp fruits, hard candy, raw veggies, large pieces of meat, hot dogs, nuts, seeds, chips, whole grapes, popcorn, or dried fruit.

Can you eat 6 month old cheese? ›

Some cheeses

Babies can eat pasteurised full-fat cheese from 6 months old. This includes hard cheeses, such as mild cheddar cheese, cottage cheese and cream cheese.

What cheese will last the longest? ›

Soft cheeses—including Brie, Camembert, or a bloomy-rind fancier cheese like Jasper Hill's Harbison—will last a little longer, and harder cheeses from cheddar to Gouda to Parmesan will hold up the longest.

How long does butter last in the fridge? ›

"This is mitigated by refrigerating butter and making sure it is well wrapped." In general, butter kept in the fridge will last one to three months, while butter stored in the freezer will last up to a year.

What cheese has the longest shelf life? ›

Soft cheeses last 1–2 weeks in the fridge after opening while most hard cheeses last 3–4. Hard cheeses generally don't require refrigeration but keep longer in the fridge.
Shelf life of cheese.
CheeseTypeShelf life (after opening)
Americanhard1–2 months
cheddarhard3–4 weeks
Colbyhard3–4 weeks
Goudahard3–4 weeks
11 more rows
Apr 20, 2022

Is string cheese good for your heart? ›

Whether it comes in a box or a jar, these pasteurized, processed cheeses contain very high levels of calories, saturated fat, and sodium—all of which are bad for your cardiovascular health.

What is the healthiest cheese to snack on? ›

The 9 Healthiest Types of Cheese
  • Blue cheese.
  • Feta.
  • Cottage cheese.
  • Ricotta.
  • Parmesan.
  • Swiss.
  • Cheddar.
  • Goat.

Are bananas good for you? ›

Bananas are highly nutritious

Bananas are as delicious as they are convenient, but their nutritional value is what really makes them shine. They're a good source of several essential nutrients, including manganese, potassium, and vitamins C and B6.

What type of cheese is string cheese? ›

The answer: string cheese must always be mozzarella cheese. Why? Because mozarella cheese is the only type of cheese that has a stringing quality, naturally. Snack cheese, on the other hand, can be any variety of cheese, from cheddar to muenster, but you won't be able to pull it apart in strands.

How long does Sargento string cheese last? ›

Sargento identifies all products with a freshness date. This date assures freshness in an unopened package only. Once the package is opened and the cheese is exposed to air, there's the potential for mold to develop. For this reason, we recommend using our cheese within 5 days of opening.

How is string cheese supposed to be eaten? ›

This tried and true way of eating string cheese is the basic, straightforward peel-and-enjoy method. String cheese is inherently stringy and, as a result, lends itself well to slowing peeling and enjoying each little bite.

Can expired cheese make you sick? ›

Like any expired food, eating cheese that has gone back can cause food poisoning and/or other gastrointestinal issues.

What happens if I ate expired cheese? ›

Spoiled cheese won't taste like cheese at all, and will actually cause the insides of your mouth to tingle, sometimes even burn. It's important to note that sometimes spoiled cheese will smell fine but taste bad, or vice versa, so the listed expiration date is usually the safest gauge for whether or not to toss it.

What happens if you eat old cheese? ›

Molds can carry harmful bacteria, including E. coli, Listeria, Salmonella, and Brucella, all of which can cause food poisoning ( 5 , 6 ). The symptoms of food poisoning include vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea.

How do you know if the cheese is spoiled? ›

If the colour of the cheese has darkened or faded, there might be something wrong with it. Also, look out for changes in the texture of the cheese. If you notice anything slimy on the surface or bloating in the package, it may be time to discard it.

Can you eat cheese 2 months after expiration date? ›

Therefore, hard cheeses, like Parmesan and Pecorino, have a shelf life of up to six months. They can remain good for up to two months after the printed expiration date, even after the package is opened, so long as it is stored properly, per Does It Go Bad.

Can you eat expired bread? ›

Bread will generally become stale past its expiration date, but it's still safe to eat. If it's moldy, toss it out. To extend its shelf life, toss it in the freezer.

How long can string cheese last in the fridge? ›

To prevent string cheese from going bad, it should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When stored properly, string cheese will stay fresh for up to two weeks.

Do cheese expiration dates matter? ›

As with many food items, appearance and odor will tell you more about if cheese is safe to eat than the number on the package. Generally speaking, cheese lasts beyond its expiration date. Even if cheese (whole, cut, or sliced) grows mold, it can often be salvaged by cutting around the decay.

How long can cheese be expired? ›

Hard Cheese Expiration Date
Past Printed DatePast Printed Date
Hard Cheese (Parmesan, Asiago, Romano) lasts for2-4 Months6-8 Months
Shredded Hard Cheese lasts for1-2 Months6-8 Months
Semi-Hard Cheese Chunk (Cheddar, Swiss) lasts for1-2 Months6-8 Months
6 more rows
Apr 21, 2015

How do you know if cheese is expired? ›

If the colour of the cheese has darkened or faded, there might be something wrong with it. Also, look out for changes in the texture of the cheese. If you notice anything slimy on the surface or bloating in the package, it may be time to discard it.

Can you eat 2 week old cheese? ›

After opening, you can safely store most soft cheeses in the fridge for at least 7 days and most hard cheeses for 3–4 weeks. Carefully inspect hard cheeses for mold and cut off any spots, but toss soft cheeses and crumbled, shredded, or sliced cheeses (whether hard or soft) if you see mold.

What kind of cheese is string cheese? ›

The answer: string cheese must always be mozzarella cheese. Why? Because mozarella cheese is the only type of cheese that has a stringing quality, naturally. Snack cheese, on the other hand, can be any variety of cheese, from cheddar to muenster, but you won't be able to pull it apart in strands.

Can you put cheese strings in the freezer? ›

Yes, you can freeze string cheese. You might notice a slight difference in taste, and the texture might end up a bit more crumbly, but overall it freezes really well.

What cheese lasts the longest? ›

Soft cheeses—including Brie, Camembert, or a bloomy-rind fancier cheese like Jasper Hill's Harbison—will last a little longer, and harder cheeses from cheddar to Gouda to Parmesan will hold up the longest.

Can you eat 10 year old cheese? ›

While cheese is naturally stinky, and some can even last without refrigeration, eating it after its expiration date is generally a bad idea, especially because it can be hard to tell when it's actually past the point of safe consumption.

Can you get food poisoning from expired cheese? ›

Like any expired food, eating cheese that has gone back can cause food poisoning and/or other gastrointestinal issues.

Can you eat expired cheese if it hasn't been opened? ›

If you think about how cheese is made and aged, you might be more apt to believe it's the kind of food that doesn't always go bad after its expiration date. Even if there is a little mold growing, consuming "expired" cheese can be safe — as long as you cut off the mold and it still smells alright.

Is cheese good if not moldy? ›

Mold is an integral part of the cheesemaking process. Almost none of it will kill you, but it could negatively impact the flavor and texture of the cheese it's growing on or at the very least make it taste pretty different from how it was supposed to.

How do you store cheese long term? ›

Store all types of cheese in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator, where the temperature is cold and stable. Use a fresh piece of plastic wrap or wax paper to rewrap cheese after each use. The length of time you can keep cheese differs by variety; in general, the harder the cheese, the longer it will last.

What does spoiled cheese taste like? ›

Taste is the one indicator that is a dead giveaway that your cheese is bad. If your cheese tastes sour or just has a plain unpleasant aftertaste you'll know your cheese is done.


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