Does String Cheese Need To Be Refrigerated? – Snack Safety

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String cheese is an awesome snack that many love to eat whenever they fancy it. Thankfully, it is not a seasonal snack and can be enjoyed year-round, whether the outside world is freezing or boiling. It can be surprisingly easy to store string cheese for a long time, mostly unopened string cheese, as it is a relatively non-reactive food. Unlike milk and other dairy products that risk going bad quite quickly, string cheese is quite tame and can be easily stored. So, does string cheese need to be refrigerated, or is room temp good enough?

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Does String Cheese Need To Be Refrigerated?

Table of Contents

Storage Conditions For String Cheese And Why It Is Important

It is very important for you to store string cheese in the correct way to ensure that it lasts as long as possible and does not spoil. No one wants to eat a bad string cheese that has been left out in a warm room for a while. Not only would it be potentially harmful for you but it would also be extremely unpleasant to eat.

The string cheese package should remain undamaged and unopened. An unopened package means that your string cheese can have the optimal shelf life that was decided.

Storing String Cheese In Fridge

The fridge is arguably the best place to store your string cheese for a long time. If the package is unopened, the string cheese will last until the expiration date that is mentioned on the package. This can sometimes be labeled as the ‘best by date’ or the ‘sell by date’.

If you are trying to squeeze out a longer lifetime for a string cheese that is currently in an opened packaging, you will only be able to store it properly for 4-5 days until you should discard it. Even when properly stored, an opened string cheese will not last as long as unopened string cheese.

Whether your string cheese has an opened or unopened pack, it is good practice to store it in an airtight container, such as a resealable bag, and make sure it is always tightly sealed. You want to minimize air contact as this can make the cheese spoil faster.

Storing String Cheese In Freezer

It is quite a last resort, a hail Mary if you will, to freeze string cheese. However, if you are really wanna have your string cheese stored this badly, then freezing it is certainly an option.

Frozen string cheese will never have quite the same texture as it once did, but it will still be edible and that is still better than it spoiling. Eating string cheese is mostly for the texture, so I can see why a lot of people avoid freezing string cheese, yet it will certainly allow for you to store your string cheese safely for a few months.

For a long shelf life and optimal storage, you will want to place your string cheese in a freezer bag. Let your cheese sit in the freezer until you’re ready to eat it. When stored properly in this context, string cheese will last for up to 3 months. During this period, it is best to leave the cheese alone unless you are about to eat it. Thawing the cheese and then freezing it again is not recommended. This can cause it to go bad and have a noticeable decrease in quality.

Storing String Cheese At Room Temperature

While it is not recommended for long term storage, cheese can be stored at a warmer temperature for a while before consumption without it spoiling or going off.

It will typically take a few hours before the deterioration process begins. So you have quite a while before you should think about other storage methods. However, it is crucial that you keep your string cheese out of direct sunlight and away from high heat. It can stay at room temp for a bit. But anything warmer and your cheese might start to produce an off odor that indicates that it is spoiling.

Is Room Temperature String Cheese Safe To Eat?

Room temperature string cheese is completely safe to eat. As long as it has not been sitting out in an unopened pack for more than 5 hours.

Most foods will typically need to be stored in the fridge after around 2 hours. Yet string cheese is still safe to eat for a little bit more, even if it has been sitting out with contact to the air.

Does String Cheese Need To Be Refrigerated?

Should String Cheese Be Stored Optimally?

While fresh cheese is suggested to be stored in the fridge when not being eaten, string cheese is not as strict with how it is stored. While it is always ideal to store food in optimal conditions to ensure they have a long shelf life, it is not always a bad thing to store it in more convenient ways as long as you are going to eat it quickly.

String cheese should be stored in the fridge for the most part. But if you are going to take it as a snack and pack it into a lunch box or something similar, it will still be completely fine to eat when you get to work or school and decide to eat it.

What Is String Cheese?

String cheese can be both branded and non-branded, and is sometimes homemade. What it is, in very simple terms, is multiple types of cheeses rolled into one long string. The types used can vary from string to string but a lot of people love to use mozzarella, cheddar, and gouda. Mozzarella sticks and other named cheese sticks might be more expensive.

The protein in the cheese is heated to around 60 degrees Celsius, which makes it very stringy and pliable. This is what allows the cheese to be stretched to such lengths and be twisted in on itself. This process is crucial for getting the desired texture that the end product is known for. String cheese can sometimes be called cheese sticks. But this is more typical for the ones that have been produced and branded.

One of the main aspects about string cheese that people love is how it can be pieced apart. You can pinch little bits of cheese at the top and slowly peel it away from the rest of the cheese. It’s an extra activity that you can do while snacking. Needless to say, this exact example is very popular among children and younger consumers. Even older consumers do this and have fun.

This semi-soft cheese snack, despite being basically mozzarella, can be quite a healthy snack. As mentioned, all of these different cheese varieties are from cow’s milk and have a stringy texture. This means that there is a lot of protein and calcium in the string cheese. Thus, it’s both a fun and healthy snack for people of all ages.

Calcium is essential for bone health and protein is needed for muscular development. These two nutrients are so helpful for people of all ages. But can be ridiculously important for developing children as a lunch time snack.

Does String Cheese Need To Be Refrigerated FAQs

Will unrefrigerated cheese make you sick?

Unrefrigerated cheese will not make you sick unless it has been sitting unrefrigerated for a while. String cheese will survive for a few hours before it turns bad and is no longer safe to eat. While most food needs to be stored in a more optimal situation after 2 hours of room temperature conditions, cheese can last longer at room temperature and will not go bad to the point that it is unsafe to eat. If you leave it out for a few hours, 5 or 6, then it may start to spoil.

Does mozzarella cheese need to be refrigerated?

Mozzarella needs to be refrigerated if it is on its own and not heat treated. when it is used as an ingredient for string cheese, it no longer needs to be stored as strictly. However, standard mozzarella should be stored in the fridge and should also remain in an unopened package with the brine it comes with otherwise you risk it drying out.

How long can string cheese be left unrefrigerated?

String cheese can be left unrefrigerated for around 5-6 hours before it is deemed unsafe to eat. It will begin to spoil after this period of time yet before this it is completely okay to be left at room temperature for a while. It is always best to refrigerate your string cheese, but if you are packing it away for a lunchtime snack and you leave in the morning, it will still be safe to eat by the time you open it at work or school.

Can you eat cheese sticks that have not been refrigerated?

Yes, you can. Cheese sticks, also known as string cheese, do not need to be refrigerated permanently to stop them from spoiling. While they should not be left out overnight at room temperature, cheese sticks can be left out for around 5-6 hours before you need to be cautious about if they are spoiling or not.

By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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