Shelf Life of

How Long Does Cheese Last?

How long does cheese last? More than 400 varieties of cheese are available worldwide, all deriving from milk. Cheeses are categorized in several ways, including hard, soft, unripened, and ripened. Unripened cheeses are made by coagulating milk proteins–or casein–with acid. These include soft varieties such as cream cheese, cottage cheese, and Neufchatel. Ripened cheeses are made by coagulating milk proteins with enzymes– or rennet–and culture acids. The cheeses are then ripened by bacteria or mold. Examples of bacteria-ripened cheese include hard varieties such as Cheddar, Swiss, Colby, Brick and Parmesan. Mold-ripened cheeses include hard and soft varieties and some examples of mold-ripened cheeses include Blue, Roquefort, Camembert, and Brie.

Each category of cheese has different characteristics, thus setting themselves apart as a group or sub-category, and therefore they also have different shelf lives. For instance, mold is OK on your blue cheese, but very dangerous to your health if it appears in your cottage cheese. So, we have broken cheeses out into different menus.

Can you freeze cheese?