Can Provolone Gone Bad? How to Tell, FAQs, and More

Last Updated on November 5, 2022 by Aaron

Do you have a container of provolone cheese in your fridge that’s been sitting around for a while? If so, you may be wondering if it’s still safe to eat.

In this article, we’ll discuss the signs of spoilage and how to increase the shelf life of provolone cheese. We’ll also answer some common questions about this type of cheese.

Yes, of course, provolone can go bad.

The shelf life of provolone cheese depends on a few factors, including how it’s stored. If it’s left out at room temperature, it will not last long – which is usually safe to eat within 2 hours according to guidelines. However, since provolone is an aged semi-hard cheese with slightly lower moisture (45% moisture as compared to mozzarella at ~55%), it can be wrapped well and refrigerated to use again.

If it’s refrigerated, it can last for about 2-3 weeks. And if it’s frozen, it will keep for up to six months.

How to increase shelf life?

Always Keep in the fridge: If you’re going to eat it within a week or two, store your provolone cheese in the fridge. It will stay fresh and last longer than if it’s left out at room temperature.

Consider Freezing it: This is a great way to extend the shelf life of your cheese for up to six months. Just make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before freezing. However, the quality of the cheese may diminish over time if it’s frozen.

Use a vacuum sealer: A vacuum sealer will create an airtight seal that will help keep your cheese fresh for longer.

Keep it away from heat: Direct sunlight, heaters, and other appliances that generate heat will make your cheese spoil faster.

Signs of Spoilage – How to know?

The signs of spoilage for provolone cheese are similar to other soft cheeses. Look out for changes in smell, texture, color, and the presence of molds.

  • Smell: Provolone that’s gone bad will often smell sour, rank, or like feet. The fresh provolone smells slightly acidic and milky.
  • Texture: The texture of bad cheese will be gritty, sticky, or slimy. It may also look lumpy, hardened, or less firm. The fresh one is smooth, uniform in color, and has a springy texture.
  • Color: Aged provolone will have a yellowish golden hue, whereas spoiled cheese may be darker than usual, but if it starts to spoil it will turn brown, green, or black. Young provolone usually is milky white to ivory in color.
  • Molds: If there are any visible mold on the cheese – green, black, or white molds – growing on the cheese, throw it? wait, here is what you can do.

As with all dairy products, provolone will eventually spoil if left out unrefrigerated for too long. The length of time that it can be left out before spoiling depends on the temperature and humidity levels in your environment, but typically it is okay to leave provolone out for up to two hours.


Is Provolone supposed to be stinky?

Provolone is not a stinky cheese like the washed-rind cheeses. It is supposed to smell nice and mild but if it smells too strong or like vomit, then it has probably gone bad. Inspect the cheese for any signs of molds as well.

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