Quick Answer: Yes, string cheese should be refrigerated to maintain its freshness and safety. String cheese is typically made from real cheese, such as mozzarella, and it can react to heat like any other cheese, causing changes in texture and potentially leading to spoilage. To ensure the best quality and to prevent foodborne illness, it’s advisable to store string cheese in the refrigerator. If you have opened string cheese, be sure to wrap it tightly or place it in a sealed container and transfer it to the fridge promptly.
String cheese is a popular snack for school kids everywhere! To make these snacks, they heat mozzarella cheese then stretch it into long, thin pieces. Then, the cheese gets molded into the classic string cheese shape. This process gives string cheese that peelable quality we know and love.
String cheese is known for its fun, peelable quality. Not to mention, its soft texture and mild flavor. Your kids love it for the taste but you love it for the simplicity. String cheese is easy to throw into lunch kits, as they come individually packaged. No need for containers! Plus, no clean up necessary. Bonus!
Whether eaten on its own or as part of a recipe, string cheese is a versatile and delicious addition to any meal.
So, do these delicious snacks need to be refrigerated? We’ve done the research so that you don’t have to. And, the short answer is yes!
If you want to dive into the world of string cheese, read on.
Get ready to learn everything you need to know about storing string cheese!
Does String Cheese Need to be Refrigerated?
String cheese is a lifesaver for those busy weeknights. Who wants to spend time cutting up a cheese block to pack into your kids lunch if you don’t have to? Instead, reach for string cheese. Pre-packaged in individual sticks, this product makes an excellent time saver! Not to mention, you don’t have to wash any dishes.
String cheese is packaged in single, plastic-wrapped portions to help maintain freshness. The plastic wrapping is easy to tear open, making it an excellent choice for kids lunches!
But, does the packaging of string cheese make it shelf stable? We’ve wondered the same thing. The simple answer is no.
Keep your string cheese refrigerated! String cheese is traditionally made of mozzarella cheese. Today, you can find many cheese varieties in these tasty little snacks. But don’t be fooled – only the mozzarella varieties develop that stringy texture. (*)
Whether you’re buying mozzarella, cheddar, or anything in between, keep these cheese snacks in the refrigerator. This is important for food safety!
Why, you might ask? Well, the answer may shock you, but… string cheese is real cheese. Many people think that it’s highly processed, due to the fun qualities of the product.
String cheese will react to heat like any other cheese. Its texture changes, becoming soft and wet, making it rather unappetizing.
Since string cheese is real cheese, you can feel good about what your family is consuming! Just make sure to put an ice pack in the lunch kit to keep your string cheese cool. This will not only save the taste and texture, but also prevent food borne illness. (*)
Table of Types of String Cheese Varieties
|String Cheese Variety||Texture||Recommended Storage|
What is the Shelf-life of String Cheese?
The stringy, peelable texture of string cheese is what deceives people when it comes to storage requirements. It nearly seems like string cheese is not real cheese.
String cheese is, however, very real. It is simply low moisture mozzarella cheese, stretched out multiple times. This is what gives it the unique, stringy texture that we all know and love. Plus, it makes this fun cheese snack surprisingly healthy!
If you have kids, you surely go through tons of string cheese! So, how long does string cheese last? Is it something you should stock up on during a sale?
As a general guideline, you should always refer to the best before date on the package. Don’t buy too many if they are going off in a short time frame. This is often the reason for sales, so be sure to check this before purchasing!
Once opened, you should eat your string cheese rather quickly. Within a few days is best. It can last 5-7 days once opened, if properly stored.
If storing open string cheese, follow these recommendations:
- Saran wrap the leftover string cheese
- Store in a tightly sealed container
- Transfer to the fridge immediately
If your kids bring home a half eaten cheese string that has sat in a lunch kit all day, it’s best to toss it. Better safe than sorry. It’s not worth the risk of getting sick.
Table of String Cheese Shelf Life
|Storage Condition||Shelf Life (Unopened)||Shelf Life (Opened)|
|Refrigerated (Properly)||Up to Best Before Date||5-7 days|
|Frozen||Up to 3 months||N/A|
|Room Temperature (Avoid)||Not recommended||Not recommended|
Can You Freeze String Cheese?
One way to extend the shelf life of your string cheese is to pop it in the freezer!
You can freeze string cheese. It freezes well, thanks to the low moisture content of this snack! The texture and taste of this product will remain the same after you thaw them.
So, if you have room in your freezer, throw any extra packs in there. You’ll thank yourself later!
Freezing string cheese will extend the shelf life of these snacks. Your string cheese will last up to 3 months in the freezer!
One fun thing about frozen string cheese is that it is perfect for mozzarella sticks! Have you tried making baked or fried mozzarella sticks? Breaded, melty, and delicious. Using frozen cheese sticks keeps the cheese from melting too much!
If you intend on eating them as a snack, thaw your string cheese slowly in the fridge. This will help preserve their unique texture, as well as prevent food borne illnesses.
Table of String Cheese Storage Tips
|Refrigerate string cheese promptly.||Maintains freshness and texture.|
|Use airtight containers for opened packs.||Prevents moisture and odors.|
|Store in the freezer for extended shelf life.||Ideal for bulk purchases.|
|Check the best before date before buying.||Ensures product freshness.|
Learn more: Do Nacho Lunchables Need to be Refrigerated?
The Final Scoop
Everyone loves cheese strings! These fun and tasty snacks are a favorite of both children and parents. They are healthy and fun. Made of real mozzarella cheese, they pull apart easily. The stringy consistency makes them much more fun to eat than sliced cheese!
So, does string cheese need to be refrigerated? To keep this snack in the best condition, keep it tucked away in your refrigerator! Since they consist of real cheese, they require refrigeration. You can always feel good about serving these real cheese snacks.
If you want to extend their shelf life past the best before date, the freezer is your friend! You can freeze and thaw string cheese while still maintaining the same texture and taste.
We hope this article has been helpful. Now you know where to store your string cheese! Is string cheese a staple in your household? Let us know in the comments below!