string cheese

String Cheese Shelf Life: Can It Go Bad?

Who doesn’t love string cheese? It’s a favorite snack for both kids and adults. If you have kids who wouldn’t go to school without this little treat in their lunch box, having a supply of string cheese in the refrigerator is a must.

When it’s on sale, you might think that it’s time to stock up as many as your fridge fits. But, right before moving the packs into your carts, you start wondering: How long can string cheese be kept in the fridge? Can you freeze string cheese? Does string cheese go bad?

Do you have a similar situation? Well, you’re on the right page. If you are looking for more information on string cheese shelf life, storage methods, and signs of string cheese going bad, this article is for you! Read on!

What Is String Cheese?

String cheese is also known as “cheese stick,” due to its long cylindrical shape. It is an extremely popular snack in America as well as in other countries.

String cheese is a semi-soft cheese, typically low-moisture mozzarella or mixed with cheddar. The cheese is stretched multiple times to achieve the stringy texture.

If you like to play with your food, string cheese was definitely invented for you. It gets its name for a reason. String cheese is supposed to be “play food.” You eat it as you peel it off into strings. Hence, its name. No wonder kids and adults equally love this little treat.

How To Store String Cheese

String cheese is typically packed in individual packages or several pieces in one pack. Next to that, some brands also pack this cheese in a large block.

Similar to most dairy products, string cheese should always be kept refrigerated. The rule of thumb is, if you pick up foods from a refrigerated shelf, put them back into your fridge as soon as you’re home.

After opening, always make sure to seal the package tightly before tossing it back into the fridge. Alternatively, transfer the leftover into a resealable bag and remove as much air as possible before sealing. Using a sealed container is also possible.

If you happen to have an unfinished stick, at least cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent the cheese from drying out.

Can You Freeze String Cheese?

Whether to freeze or not to freeze string cheese, this topic has been a subject of an ongoing debate. Some fans insist to not freeze it while some others find it quite handy to do so.

Well, the choice is yours. Apart from the split opinions, technically, you can freeze string cheese. Thanks to the low moisture content, string cheese freezes pretty well.

However, there’s no guarantee that the texture is as pleasant as regular string cheese. After thawing, this fun food tends to be more rubbery and crumbly. This should be not a problem at all if you plan to use the cheese for cooking or topping pizzas instead of snacking.

How frozen string cheese turns out after thawing also depends on the brands. Check the manufacturer’s website for further information or just try for yourself and see if you’re happy with the result.

For an unopened pack of string cheese, no preparation is necessary before freezing. Toss it into your freezer and let it freeze. Otherwise, transfer the cheese into a freezer bag and squeeze the air before freezing.

It may come handy to pack the cheese as many as you need per serving. Whenever you need it, thaw the pack in the fridge and leave overnight.

How Long Does String Cheese Last?

A pack of string cheese comes with a “best-before” or “sell-by” date stamped on the package. Observe this date as a general guideline.

With proper storage, your supply of string cheese should stay in its prime quality at least until this date and possibly after it. Only the flavor or texture may slightly change.

Like other packaged foods, string cheese won’t go bad right after the date and the shelf life can extend up to two weeks after the recommended date.

This prolonged period is only an estimate. The actual shelf life depends on the quality of the cheese and storage conditions, you should inspect if the cheese is spoiled or not before eating.

After opening, try to finish this cheese within 5 to 7 days while it’s still fresh. The longer you keep it, the higher the chance for the quality to degrade over time and get spoiled.

When properly frozen, string cheese is best to consume within 2 to 3 months after freezing.

How To Tell If String Cheese Goes Bad

As with other dairy products, string cheese will also go bad eventually. Spotting string cheeses going off is not very difficult. You can use your senses to pass your judgment.

If you notice any greenish specks or molds on the surface of the cheese, this little treat can’t be saved; likewise, if you smell a bad odor or notice a slimy texture.

Also, if it’s already too long in the fridge and past the date, let’s stay on the safe side and don’t put it into your kids’ lunchbox.


Does string cheese go bad if not refrigerated overnight?

String cheese is supposed to be kept in the fridge. Room temperature will speed up the deterioration process and spoilage. It should not be left outside the fridge for too long.

If you’re doubtful, better discard the product and don’t pack it into your kids’ lunch box.

Can you substitute mozzarella with string cheese?

String cheese is technically mozzarella with lower water content. When running out of mozzarella for making stuffed crust pizza, no need to rush to the store and use string cheese instead.

Can you cook string cheese?

Yes, you can follow your creative mind in using string cheese beyond your kids’ snack, from making grilled cheese, stuffed crust pizza, fried sticks, and the list go on.

Final Thoughts

String cheese is a favorite play food for both kids and adults. Having a stack of string cheese in the fridge is never a bad idea. As with other dairy products, string cheese goes bad eventually.

Always keep string cheese safely tucked in the refrigerator to benefit a maximum shelf life. While string cheese freezes pretty well, try it for yourself if it works for you. Either way, shop wisely and enjoy stringing your string cheese!

Up Next: Does Parmesan Cheese Go Bad?

string cheese shelf life

*Photo by ajafoto/depositphotos

About The Author

Scroll to Top