Have you ever found a container of grated Parmesan cheese in the back of your fridge and wondered if it was still safe to eat? It’s a common concern, as many people are unsure whether expired grated Parmesan cheese can make them sick. In this article, we’ll explore the risks associated with consuming expired grated Parmesan cheese and what you should do if you find yourself in this situation.

What is Grated Parmesan Cheese?

Grated Parmesan cheese, also known as grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, is a popular topping for pasta dishes, pizza, and salads. This type of cheese is made from cow’s milk and has a hard texture that makes it easy to grate. It has a unique nutty flavor that adds depth to many dishes.

How Long Does Grated Parmesan Cheese Last?

Like all dairy products, grated Parmesan cheese has an expiration date. The shelf life of this type of cheese depends on various factors, such as whether it’s opened or unopened, how it’s stored, and its exposure to air.

If unopened and stored in the refrigerator at 40°F or lower, grated Parmesan cheese can last up to six months past its expiration date. However, once opened or exposed to air, the shelf life decreases significantly. In general, grated Parmesan cheese will last for about two weeks after opening if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Can You Get Sick from Expired Grated Parmesan Cheese?

The short answer is yes; you can get sick from eating expired grated Parmesan cheese. Consuming any expired food product exposes you to the risk of foodborne illness. When food goes bad, bacteria start to grow on it and produce toxins that can cause food poisoning.

The most common symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. In severe cases, food poisoning can lead to dehydration and hospitalization.

How to Tell if Grated Parmesan Cheese is Expired

The best way to tell if grated Parmesan cheese is expired is to look at its appearance, smell, and texture. If the cheese has mold on it, a sour smell, or a slimy or gritty texture, it’s likely gone bad. Additionally, if the cheese has been sitting in your fridge for more than two weeks after opening, it’s probably time to throw it away.

What to Do with Expired Grated Parmesan Cheese

If you’ve discovered that your grated Parmesan cheese has expired, the safest thing to do is to throw it away. Don’t try to salvage any parts of the cheese that appear unaffected by mold or spoilage.

It’s essential to practice good food safety habits when handling dairy products like grated Parmesan cheese. Always check the expiration date before consuming any food product and store them properly according to their instructions.


In conclusion, consuming expired grated Parmesan cheese can make you sick due to the risk of foodborne illness. It’s crucial to check for signs of spoilage before consuming any dairy products like grated Parmesan cheese and follow proper storage guidelines. When in doubt, always err on the side of caution and dispose of any expired food products immediately.