Cheese is absolutely brilliant and is loved by all. I am sure there are some who would disagree, but for the most part, cheese is one of the most loved products available. Deli cheese is especially popular because of how tasty it is. Or how easily you can throw it onto a sandwich or a wrap for that extra flavor and texture. While deli cheese and sliced cheese are delicious, you may be wondering if they have a long shelf life that allows them to be stored for a while without any worry in the world. Let’s discuss how long sliced cheese lasts in the fridge!
Table of Contents
- How Long Does Sliced Cheese Last In The Fridge – Sliced Cheese Storage
- Ensuring Optimal Sliced Cheese Storage
- How Long Does Sliced Cheese Last In The Fridge – FAQs On Sliced Cheese Storage
How Long Does Sliced Cheese Last In The Fridge – Sliced Cheese Storage
Storing sliced cheese is thankfully very easy and convenient. Unlike other food products that require very specific storage conditions to ensure their shelf life is optimal, sliced deli cheese is quite easy to store.
Before mentioning the actual storage of it, or discussing the deli cheese shelf life, it is important to know what types of cheese this article is referring to. While a lot of people will know exactly what sliced cheese or deli cheese is, there are some people who are unaware. Soy you may be trying to store a different type of cheese in these conditions. And this would lead to a lessened shelf life and unstable storage.
Sliced cheese typically consists of hard cheeses or types of cheese that are low in moisture. This can be a range of cheeses from American cheese, Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, red Leicester cheese, and gouda. While, yes, they are all quite different in taste and texture, they all have a similar moisture content and can be stored in the same way. For instance, mozzarella is stored very differently as it is a very moist cheese that is commonly still in a brine when you buy it.
Furthermore, it is also worth noting that the type of cheese you buy should also be checked. Some cheese can be processed more than others and will therefore have a longer and more stable shelf life. The sliced cheese you buy from a supermarket in an airtight package will be more processed than the sliced cheese you buy from a dairy shop that is wrapped in parchment paper or something similar. Supermarkets commonly sell more processed cheese just because it is more convenient for a lot of households as it will last longer without the need to be eaten immediately.
A lot of fresh cheeses might not last too long whereas cheese that has experienced a long aging process will have a longer shelf life due to its lower moisture content. No matter where you buy it from, your cheese should have an expiration date or a sell-by date printed somewhere on the packaging. And as long as the cheese is in an unopened package, this date will be reliable.
Storing Sliced Cheese In The Fridge
While being aged, cheese is left in packing material (such as wax or cork). This is in order to keep it away from oxygen. When this packaging is removed or damaged, store cheese in the fridge for the most stable and longest shelf life.
When storing cheese in the fridge, it is important to make sure you prepare it properly for storage. This might seem like a chore, yet it will help you ensure your cheese remains fresh.
- To prepare your cheese for fridge storage, you are going to want something to wrap the cheese in. This can be a plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or cheese paper. Anything similar to these will work.
- Once you have your cheese wrapped, place it in an airtight container that is large enough to accommodate it. This airtight container will help reduce the amount of oxygen that the cheese comes into contact with. Alongside this, it will also help reduce the smell of the cheese. This way, your fridge does not stink of it.
- Once stored in the fridge, your cheese will last for around 2 weeks assuming it is hard cheese. Most hard cheese can last for around 3-4 weeks. But it is best to recommend 2 weeks and then let you check the cheese to make up your own mind on if it is safe to eat or not.
Storing Sliced Cheese In The Freezer
While freezing cheese might seem weird or unorthodox to you, it is actually quite common. It is best for large batches of cheese to be frozen instead of smaller pieces. They have a tendency to lower in quality quite quickly when compared to bigger pieces.
Frozen cheese is very much a last resort as it can ruin the texture of your cheese, but is still helpful if you are wanting to use your cheese as an ingredient instead of a snack.
For this, you are going to want some heavy-duty freezer bags and an airtight container that is large enough to accommodate all the cheese you are wanting to store. While all storage methods are about reducing the contact that the cheese gets with air, this storage method calls for you to be even more cautious with this. When there is a lot of moisture and air in the same container as food, you get something known as freezer burn. This is when your food has a lot of ice on it. Freezer burn really ruins the quality of the food.
The best way to counter this is to squeeze out as much air as possible from the freezer bag that you put your cheese in. The airtight container also helps with this, which is why both are used instead of just one.
Once you have frozen your cheese, it will last in the freezer for up to 3 months. It will be relatively fresh when you next need it. I say relatively as the texture will have changed a lot. Before eating your cheese, it must thaw first. The safest way to do this is gradually overnight. Place your cheese in the fridge overnight and by the morning it should be perfectly thawed and ready to use.
Storing Sliced Cheese At Room Temperature
Dairy products are especially susceptible to room temperature conditions and must be monitored quite closely. Cheese is a tiny bit more lenient. Yet it should still not be at room temperature for too long, especially out in the open with endless contact to the air and oxygen. Cheese should not be able to breathe. This means that you should not allow it to air for more than 2 hours before your store it in an airtight container or put it in the fridge.
When stored out in the open at room temperature, cheese is only good for 2 hours. After this, it is at risk of becoming unsafe to eat. Bacteria and mold grow and breed rapidly in these conditions. Two hours is enough time for it to be a risk.
On top of this, cheese is best served at room temperature. This means that if you have stored your cheese in the fridge (or frozen it and then thawed it) you should allow it to rest at room temperature for 30-40 minutes to let it get to room temperature. This is when it is best for serving. Room temperature cheese has the best flavor and texture than its refrigerated or frozen counterparts.
Ensuring Optimal Sliced Cheese Storage
The best storage method for cheese is without a doubt the refrigerator. While you can argue that the freezer is the best for longevity, it really ruins the texture of the cheese. It can also be quite the hassle to thaw afterwards. Room temperature is also obviously not ideal . You can only keep cheese out for 2 hours before it is no longer safe to eat.
This leaves the fridge as the best storage method. You can easily take cheese in and out of the fridge. You can let cheese stay there for 2 weeks easily without any hassle or fuss.
In desperate need of using the freezer to store cheese because you have so much that it will go off before you can eat it? Probably best to reevaluate how much cheese you buy at once and break it down into smaller batches.
How Long Does Sliced Cheese Last In The Fridge – FAQs On Sliced Cheese Storage
Does sliced cheese go bad if left out?
Sliced cheese does go bad if left out at room temperature with exposure to air. At first, the cheese will go stale and will have a much harder texture, and then it will start to form mold and grow bactiera that will be visible.
How can you tell if sliced cheese is bad?
When cheese starts to go bad, it will initially be stale and have a harder texture than you normally expect. Other than this, mold and bacteria will begin to grow on the cheese which will leave visible signs of decay and spoilage.
How long does cheese last once sliced?
When you have a type of cheese that is either encased in wax, cork, or has a rind – you might panic about slicing it and removing this protective layer. The wax is most commonly wrapped around paper which means you can save it for later and wrap your cheese again. Once sliced, these cheeses will last for around 3 weeks in the fridge. It is best to wrap the cheese, and pay extra attention to the sliced side. The rind does not need to be wrapped but the exposed cheese does.
How long does pre-sliced cheese last in the fridge?
Pre-sliced cheese will sometimes be more processed than fresh cheese, which results in a longer shelf life. Alongside this, pre-sliced cheese also comes in an airtight packaging. This is convenient for longtime storage as it will not spoil at an accelerated rate until you open the packaging. Once opened, it will last for three weeks in the fridge.