Philadelphia, PA - No matter where it fits into your life, chances are there's some form of cheese in your fridge at any time. But when does that Brie or wedge of ricotta start spoiling? In general, most types of cheese last an extended amount of time once opened in your refrigerator; however, specific time frames help determine when they become unsafe to consume. How long can popular varieties such as American, mozzarella, and cheddar stay safe after being placed inside your fridge (plus tips to keep them fresh)!
Hard cheeses with less moisture do not need to be refrigerated and can remain safely at room temperature for two hours before it becomes unsafe to consume. Kubick advises using Formaticum Zero cheese paper - biodegradable plastic-free wrap designed to regulate moisture while letting cheese breathe - though parchment or wax paper also works effectively.
According to Horne, soft cheeses tend to have shorter shelf lives due to their increased moisture content and susceptibility to bacterial growth. Most soft cheeses such as chevre and ricotta should last about five days once opened; fuzzy or dark discolorations indicate it has outlived its prime and should be discarded; an unpleasant odor also suggests it has gone wrong; use your nose as a guide; any cheese with such characteristics has likely passed its prime and should no longer be consumed safely.