Does parmesan cheese need to be refrigerated?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “does parmesan cheese need to be refrigerated” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not parmesan cheese needs to be refrigerated and the shelf life of parmesan cheese in different conditions. Moreover, we are going to discuss the ways to spot bad parmesan cheese and the health implications of eating bad parmesan cheese.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Does parmesan cheese need to be refrigerated?

Yes, parmesan cheese does need to be refrigerated. When it comes to refrigeration of hard cheese, it is more for preserving the flavor and freshness of the cheese for a long time. So if you want to prolong the shelf life of your parmesan cheese you should definitely store it in the fridge properly.

No doubt that parmesan cheese has very low water content and has a pH level of 5.2-5.3 but still, it should not be kept out in open for long as the bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between 40°F and 140°F, and ultimately bacteria will find their way to your cheese. 

How long does parmesan cheese last in the fridge?

The opened parmesan cheese lasts for about 4-6 weeks in the fridge if stored properly at or below 40°F. It is recommended that you always store your parmesan cheese wedge or block wrapped in plastic wrap or cling film once you have opened its packaging. 

Moreover, it is the best practice to wrap a wax paper or parchment paper around your parmesan cheese wedge and afterward wrap a plastic wrap around it for maximum protection.

It is recommended to store your parmesan cheese on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator as it is the coldest part of the refrigerator and has its temperature between 38 °F to 40 °F.

The unopened parmesan cheese lasts for about 7-9 months if stored properly in the fridge.

What is the optimum temperature to store the parmesan cheese in the fridge?

You should always store your parmesan cheese at 40°F or below in the fridge. Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40°F and 140°F, therefore it is always advised to store parmesan cheese at a lower temperature to preserve its freshness and quality for a long time.

How long does parmesan cheese last in the freezer?

The parmesan cheese lasts for about 12-18 months in the freezer if stored properly in a plastic freezer bag. As the frozen parmesan cheese crumbles when thawed so it is better to use it in sauces, soups, or casseroles.

How to store parmesan cheese in the freezer?

To store the parmesan cheese in the freezer, it is recommended to cut it in the form of slices or wedges and store those wedges individually by wrapping them in heavy-duty aluminum foil, plastic freezer bag, or plastic freezer wrap.

How long does a wedge of parmesan cheese last after being frozen and thawed?

A frozen wedge of parmesan cheese lasts for about 3-4 days if thawed in the fridge but if you thaw your parmesan cheese in the microwave or a bowl of cold water, it is recommended to use it immediately. 

How to tell if the parmesan cheese has gone bad?

You can tell if your parmesan cheese has gone bad by considering its color, texture, and smell.

Appearance

Moreover, if you see some mold, especially some grey-green mold on the parmesan cheese then it is an indication of bad parmesan cheese. In the case of the grated parmesan cheese, if you spot a mold in it, you should discard the whole package.

On the other hand, if you spot a mold on a large wedge of parmesan cheese then what you can do is to cut out the cheese at least 1 inch around and below the mold and discard it. Care should be taken while cutting out the mold and the knife should never touch the mold.

Color

If you see that the color of parmesan cheese has darkened, it is the indication that your parmesan cheese has gone bad.

Texture 

If you notice that the edges of the parmesan cheese have hardened or that the cheese has become flaky, then it is the indication that your parmesan cheese is past its prime age. 

Smell

If you notice some off-smell (pungent or ammonia-like smell) or something that does not quite smell like parmesan cheese itself, then it means that your parmesan cheese has gone bad and you should discard it.

What will happen if you eat parmesan cheese that has gone bad?

Eating bad parmesan cheese can put you at the risk of many food-borne illnesses especially food poisoning. Eating bad parmesan cheese can cause vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramps.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “does parmesan cheese need to be refrigerated” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not parmesan cheese needs to be refrigerated and the shelf life of parmesan cheese in different conditions. Moreover, we discussed the ways to spot bad parmesan cheese and the health implications of eating bad parmesan cheese.

Citations

https://www.stilltasty.com/Fooditems/index/19125

https://www.doesitgobad.com/does-parmesan-cheese-go-bad/

Avatar

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *