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FOOD STORAGE — HOW LONG CAN YOU KEEP...

COLBY CHEESE, SOLD IN WRAPPED CHUNK OR BLOCK — OPENED

RefrigeratorRefrigerator
Blue Arrow Blue Arrow 3-4 weeks
Freezer Freezer
Blue Arrow Blue Arrow 3 months
Tips
  • How long does a chunk of Colby cheese last once opened? The exact answer to that question depends to a large extent on storage conditions — keep the cheese refrigerated at all times.
  • To maximize the shelf life of a chunk of Colby cheese after opening, wrap the original packaging tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil; for even better results, wrap the cheese first in wax or parchment paper and then cover with plastic wrap before refrigerating.
  • Properly stored, an opened chunk of Colby cheese will last for 3 to 4 weeks in the refrigerator.
  • Is an opened chunk of Colby cheese still safe after the “sell by date” or "best by date" on the package? Yes — after the cheese is opened, it will typically remain safe to use for 3 to 4 weeks, even if the "sell-by" or "best by” date on the package expires.
  • If a chunk or block of Colby cheese has mold on it, is it still safe to eat? Yes — cut away at least 1 inch around and below the moldy area (do not touch mold with the knife) and re-cover the cheese in fresh wrap.
  • Note: if mold appears in a package of shredded, sliced or crumbled Colby cheese, the entire package should be discarded.
  • To further extend the shelf life of Colby cheese, freeze it; when freezing, place the cheese in the freezer before the number of days shown for refrigerator storage has elapsed.
  • To freeze a chunk or block of Colby cheese: Cut the cheese into portions no larger than 1/2 pound each, and wrap tightly in heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place inside a heavy-duty freezer bag.
  • How long does a chunk of Colby cheese last in the freezer? Properly stored, it will maintain best quality for about 6 months, but will remain safe beyond that time.
  • The freezer time shown is for best quality only — Colby cheese that has been kept constantly frozen at 0° F will keep safe indefinitely.
  • How long does a chunk of Colby cheese last after being frozen and thawed? A chunk of Colby cheese that has been defrosted in the fridge can be kept for an additional 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator before using; a chunk of Colby cheese that was thawed in the microwave or in cold water should be used immediately.
  • Frozen cheese may become crumbly and lose some of its flavor; the thawed chunk of Colby cheese will be best suited to cooked dishes, such as sauces, soups and casseroles.
  • How can you tell if an opened chunk of Colby cheese is bad or spoiled? Colby cheese that is going bad typically will develop a very hard texture, will darken in color, will develop a strong smell and mold may appear; see instructions above for how to handle mold on a chunk of Colby cheese.

Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here.

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