How long after the expiration date is block cheese (mozzarella, Monterey Jack) safe to eat IF it has been kept refrigerated AND has never been opened? They LOOK as fresh as the day I bought them, about 6 months ago. Thank you.

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    Most, if not all, of the block cheeses I've seen have a 'sell by' date or a 'best by' date rather than an expiration date. – Cindy May 16 '17 at 9:54

It is easy to see if mold is forming on block cheese. I have, many times over the years, simply excised moldy portions from blocks of cheese, rinsed the remainder with cold water and if it looked and smelled okay, tried a nibble. If I was satisfied that it still tasted good, I've gone right ahead and eaten it, with no ill effects.

Shredded cheese, on the other hand, can be difficult to evaluate. Usually, once shredded cheese starts to go bad, the whole bag picks up the smell and off flavor, rendering it garbage.

Of course, I am NOT recommending that anyone (including you) eat foods beyond their expiration dates and I would NOT risk anyone else' health with such gambles. I'm just sharing what seemingly silly, reckless behavior I've managed to get away with, unharmed. Your mileage may vary. Beware.

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  • In the US, only infant formula are required to have an expiration date and selling an expired product is illegal. Other than that, everything is at the manufacturers' and sellers' discretion, method of determination (or arbitrarily), lingo (exp, best-before, sell-by, use-by, made-on, etc), have it or not, decision to sell or discard post such dates. Liability insurance cover may have a hand in this. Such dates are not always scientifically and statistically determined. fda.gov/AboutFDA/Transparency/Basics/ucm210073.htm – user110084 May 16 '17 at 16:06

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