How Long Does Parmesan Cheese Last – Some Little Known Facts

Parmesan is a famous ingredient in Italian cuisine. This unique cheese has a firm texture and is made primarily of cow’s milk. The procedure of making Parmesan normally takes at least a year, and the average duration is between 2 and 3 years to mature the cheese to perfection.

It would be best to use Parmesan immediately once you open the package (especially after ground it into a powder). However, there are occasions when you cannot use it immediately after purchasing it and must preserve it to use it later. So, how long does parmesan cheese last? Read on to learn about it!

How Long Does Parmesan Cheese Last?

Parmesan Cheese

Normally, grated parmesan cheese shelf life will differ from that of unopened cheese, which will last for around 2-4 months. Under the same conditions, once opened, grated parmesan cheese expiration is shortened to around six weeks.

Continue reading for a thorough explanation to the question, “Can Parmesan cheese go bad?”!

How Long Does Parmesan Cheese Last In Fridge?

  1. Unopened Parmesan Cheese

When it comes to extending the grated Parmesan cheese shelf life, the fridge, without a doubt, is the best way to store parmesan cheese

Suppose you are wondering, “Does parmesan cheese need to be refrigerated”. In that case, totally yes! It is the same as our advice on how to keep grated parmesan cheese from molding.

Home cooks can use whole pieces in the fridge for 7-9 months by strictly controlling the ambient temperature and humidity. Even more astonishing, in cases where your cheese is cooled throughout transportation and on sale in a supermarket, it can last for 10-12 months.

  1. Opened Parmesan Cheese

Grated parmesan cheese vs shredded vs opened cheese? Is there a significant difference in their storage times? The answer is yes.

Opened ones can only stay fresh for about 4-6 weeks, even if you have refrigerated them and used air-restrictive methods. This period is much shorter than with the whole block. As a result, we recommend using it as soon as possible after opening to avoid parmesan vomit.

How about some shredded cheese? Does shredded cheese go bad or not? There are two possible results when it comes to “how long does opened shredded cheese last“?.

Many studies have shown that in cold storage conditions from production and sale in airtight ziplock bags or vacuum sealers, you can eat this product for about 4-6 months. Otherwise, you may only use them for a maximum of 7 days. 

How Long Does Parmesan Cheese Last In The Freezer?

Many people wonder, “does grated parmesan cheese have to be refrigerated,” or can they be frozen? Your cheese will be less affected and therefore, reducing the possibility of deterioration or mold. You can keep using them for 12-18 months, which is a very impressive amount of time. Even expired parmesan cheese, if kept in the freezer, is still safe to make quality dishes.

How To Tell If Parmesan Cheese Is Bad?

Have you ever been in a situation where you couldn’t tell does grated parmesan cheese go bad or not? To avoid this issue from bothering you again, here are a few indicators on how to tell if shredded cheese is bad:


First and foremost, you must understand “what does Parmesan cheese look like” in order to spot suspicious signals. Typically, it has bright yellow or off-white, while grated Parmesan is yellow or dark beige with slightly darker skin.

If there is discoloration or the appearance of parmesan white spots on the cheese, discard it immediately!


When cheese spoils, it frequently has a sour odor similar to sour milk; or it may have a musty or decomposing odor. In general, if cheese emits a foul odor, it is a warning that it is no longer safe to consume. It would be best to throw it all away!


Ok, visually, you have color, olfactory, you have odors to perceive. So what are other senses that you can use? Well, you can always use tactile to feel!

Although Parmesan cheese will dry out after a while, when it reaches its limit, it will gradually turn watery and become an ideal environment for harmful bacteria to grow. This is probably the most obvious sign when it has gone bad, as they have a slightly wet and spongy feel.


Cheese is one of those foods that you can still use even when it is moldy. Particularly, we only need to remove the moldy section of that slice of cheese with a sharp knife (about 1 inch from the surface of the parmesan block), then you can consume the rest as usual.

That’s not to say you should take advantage of this method. If the mold has covered its entire surface due to past use-by or improper storage, it is still advisable to discard it!


To be clear, you should only attempt this way in case all of the other procedures are ineffective. This means that mold or bacteria of any kind have not yet developed to the point where you should throw them afar.

Expired or dried Parmesan cheese frequently tastes sour and rotten when eaten. At this point, do not hesitate to get rid of your dish immediately to avoid causing illness to the body.


Naturally, this type of cheese will eventually clump. One way of preventing clumping is putting uncooked rice grains in the airtight container along with the cheese. The starch inside the grain will absorb all the water from the surrounding environment, keeping the cheese fresh for much longer as a result. 

How To Store Parmesan Cheese Properly?

How To Store Unopened Parmesan Cheese?

Fresh cheeses should be refrigerated at all times and used within 4 to 10 days. In general, oxygen is the substance that causes cheese to deteriorate. This is also why cheese is frequently marketed in vacuum packing since it could last longer than other varieties. So, the best method to store cheese is in its original packaging, in a box inside the fridge.

The same technique applies to refrigerated or unrefrigerated shredded Parmesan and grated cheese, as well as how to store Parmigiano Reggiano. You place them in the refrigerator and regulate the humidity to a low level.

How To Store Opened Parmesan Cheese?

  • Step 1: Wrap it in wax paper

At first, it may be a bit strange to think about this notion, but you’ll be astonished after finding out the extreme moisturization of wax paper. As wrapping your cheese in wax paper will reduce the environmental effects of germs and keep the moisture, your cheese won’t be drying out after a short while.

  • Step 2: Wrap it in aluminum foil

Add another layer of foil on top of the wax paper because foil shields food from air and bacteria without drying the food. In this way, your Parmesan may be preserved for a longer time.

  • Step 3: Store the parmesan cheese properly

As previously mentioned, the best way to keep Parmesan is in the fridge. Depending on the purpose and duration of storage, you can keep it in the fridge or freezer. The colder the atmosphere, the longer your cheese will stay fresh. However, to maintain the greatest food, keep your fridge at 40 degrees F to 140 degrees F at all times.


Is It Safe To Parmesan Cheese After The “sell by” date or “best by date” On The Package?

When you see the phrase “sell-by date” on a product label, it signifies that you should use it within a certain amount of time for safety concerns. After this date, the product may endanger the user’s health, so you shouldn’t eat it anymore.

If it says “best by date,” you can eat it for a while after that date.

Is It Safe To Eat Parmesan Cheese With Mold On It?

Yes, it is. It is completely safe if the mold is not much, and you can remove the damaged part before using it.

How Long Does Parmesan Cheese Stay At Its Good Quality After Being Frozen and Thawed?

You can use it for about 3-4 days if defrosted from the freezer to the cooler. If using the microwave to defrost, you should use it immediately after the ice melts.

Does The Flavor Of Parmesan Cheese Remain After Being Defrosted?

After defrosting, it loses its flavor and nutrients. It will be slightly brittle and will be suitable for use in pasta sauces or potato casseroles.


In general, how long does parmesan cheese last? The answer is that this period will range from a few days to a whole year. Our recommendation is to thoroughly inspect the components before creating any dish to prevent eating foods that are stale, moldy, or likely to cause food poisoning.

We hope this post is useful to you, and thank you for reading.

Kevin Richard

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.

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