How long does unopened cheese last in the fridge?


How Long Does Unopened Cheese Last in the Fridge?

If you’re a cheese lover, you might have wondered how long you can safely keep unopened cheese in the fridge before it goes bad. The answer to this question depends on various factors, including the type of cheese and how it’s stored. In this section, we’ll dive into the shelf life of unopened cheese in the fridge.

Key Takeaways

  • Unopened cheese can last in the fridge for a long time, but its shelf life is not indefinite.
  • The shelf life of unopened cheese varies depending on factors like the type of cheese, packaging, and storage conditions.
  • Understanding these factors can help you determine when the cheese has gone bad and when it’s still safe to consume.

Factors Affecting the Shelf Life of Unopened Cheese

The shelf life of unopened cheese can vary depending on various factors. Understanding these factors is essential to ensure the optimal freshness and quality of cheese.

The Type of Cheese

The type of cheese is a crucial factor that affects its shelf life. Hard cheeses such as Parmesan or cheddar can last longer than soft cheeses like brie or Camembert. This is because the moisture content in soft cheeses is much higher, making them more susceptible to spoilage.


The packaging of the cheese can also impact its shelf life. Vacuum-sealed packaging can extend the shelf life of cheese by reducing the exposure to air, while wax paper packaging is less effective in preserving the cheese’s freshness.

Storage Conditions

The storage conditions of the cheese play a significant role in determining its shelf life. Cheese should be kept in the refrigerator at a temperature of 40°F or lower. Exposure to warmer temperatures can cause the cheese to spoil earlier. Also, it is advisable to keep the cheese in its original packaging until it is ready to be consumed. This is because the packaging is specifically designed to allow the cheese to breathe and prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.

In conclusion, the type of cheese, packaging, and storage conditions are crucial factors in determining the shelf life of unopened cheese. Consider these factors to extend the optimal freshness and quality of your cheese.

Best Practices for Storing Unopened Cheese

There are several best practices to follow when storing unopened cheese in the fridge. By following these guidelines, you can ensure the cheese stays fresh and flavorful for a longer period.

1. Check the Expiration Date

Before storing unopened cheese, check the expiration date on the packaging. The expiration date gives you an idea of how long the cheese will remain fresh before it starts to deteriorate in quality. Ensure you buy cheese with a longer shelf life if you’re not going to use it for a while.

2. Keep Cheese in Its Original Packaging

It is best to keep unopened cheese in its original packaging as it is designed to keep the cheese fresh. If the original packaging is damaged, wrap the cheese in parchment paper or aluminum foil to protect it from air and moisture. This will help prevent the cheese from drying out or becoming moldy.

3. Store at the Right Temperature

Unopened cheese should be stored in the fridge at a temperature between 35-40°F. Avoid storing cheese in the door of the fridge as the temperature fluctuates more frequently, which can affect its shelf life.

4. Avoid Storing Cheese Near Strong-Smelling Foods

Unopened cheese will absorb odors from other strong-smelling foods in the fridge. To avoid this, store cheese in a separate container or area of the fridge. You can also use a cheese dome or airtight container to store the cheese.

5. Don’t Freeze Unopened Cheese

Freezing unopened cheese is not recommended as it can alter the texture and flavor of the cheese. If you need to freeze cheese, it is best to do so after opening it.

By following these best practices for storing unopened cheese, you can extend its shelf life and maintain optimal freshness and flavor.


When it comes to unopened cheese, proper storage is key to maintaining its quality and freshness. By keeping the cheese in the fridge at the right temperature, using appropriate packaging, and considering factors such as the type of cheese, you can extend its shelf life and enjoy its optimal flavor.

It’s important to note that while unopened cheese can last for a long time in the fridge, it’s always a good idea to check the expiration date on the packaging before consuming it. If the cheese has passed its expiration date, it’s best to dispose of it.

By following the best practices for storing unopened cheese, you can save money and reduce food waste while still enjoying delicious cheese whenever you want. So go ahead and stock up on your favorite types of cheese, knowing that they’ll stay fresh and tasty for a long time.


How long does unopened cheese last in the fridge?

The shelf life of unopened cheese stored in the fridge can vary depending on the type and packaging. On average, most unopened cheeses can last for several weeks to several months. It’s important to check the expiration date on the packaging for specific guidelines.

What factors affect the shelf life of unopened cheese?

The shelf life of unopened cheese can be influenced by several factors. These include the type of cheese, packaging materials, and storage conditions. Hard cheeses generally have a longer shelf life compared to soft or fresh cheeses. Proper packaging and refrigeration can also help extend the cheese’s freshness.

What are the best practices for storing unopened cheese?

To ensure the optimal shelf life and quality of unopened cheese, follow these best practices:

  • Keep the cheese in its original packaging or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  • Store the cheese in the refrigerator at a temperature between 34-40°F (1-4°C).
  • Avoid storing the cheese near strong-smelling foods to prevent flavor absorption.
  • If the cheese develops mold, trim off the affected portion before consuming.

Can unopened cheese go bad?

While unopened cheese has a longer shelf life compared to opened cheese, it can still go bad if not stored properly. Factors such as temperature, moisture, and exposure to air can contribute to the cheese’s spoilage. It’s important to check for signs of mold, off-putting odors, or a significant change in texture before consuming unopened cheese.

How can I tell if unopened cheese is still good to eat?

To determine if unopened cheese is still safe to eat, use your senses. Check for any visible mold growth, unusual odors, or a slimy texture. If the cheese appears normal and smells fresh, it is likely safe to consume. However, if you have any doubts, it’s best to discard the cheese to avoid potential foodborne illnesses.

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