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. Choose the cheese category most resembling your cheese in question for more specific shelf life information.

Cottage cheese expires quickly if not stored properly. Be careful!
Does cream cheese go bad? It does! Find out when.
How long does hard cheese last? It depends! Find out more.
Soft cheese, like Swiss cheese, expire quicker than hard cheeses.

Cheese Products

To find out how long foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or search below.

What are our shelf life resources?

In determining how long Cheese lasts, our content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of Cheese.

*An important note about expiration dates...

Although the Cheese shelf life information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and that our advice should only be taken as an opinion and not a replacement for your health care professional. Please eat responsibly!