How long can brie last unopened?

Brie is a soft cow’s milk cheese with a white rind and a creamy interior. When properly stored, an unopened wheel of brie can last 2-4 weeks past the printed expiration date. However, once opened, brie should be consumed within 5-10 days.

Quick Summary

An unopened wheel of brie will last:

  • Refrigerator: 2-4 weeks past the expiration date
  • Freezer: Up to 6 months in the freezer

Once opened, brie should be consumed within:

  • Refrigerator: 5-10 days
  • Freezer: Not recommended to freeze opened brie

How to Tell if Brie is Bad

Here are some signs that your brie has gone bad and should be discarded:

  • Mold – Excessive mold beyond the rind
  • Ammonia smell – A strong ammonia odor indicates the cheese has spoiled
  • Slime – Slime formation on the cheese is a sign of bacterial growth
  • Discoloration – Yellow, brown, or orange spots indicate spoilage
  • Hard texture – Dried out, hard, or crumbly cheese has dried out

When in doubt, remember the old saying: “When in doubt, throw it out.” Don’t risk eating spoiled brie.

Storage Methods to Extend Brie Shelf Life

Proper storage is key for maximizing the shelf life of brie. Here are some storage tips:


Keep brie refrigerated at 40°F or below. The high moisture content of brie makes it prone to bacterial growth at warmer temperatures. Refrigeration will slow that growth.

  • Unopened – Lasts 2-4 weeks past “best by” date when refrigerated.
  • Opened – Will last 5-10 days after opening when kept refrigerated.


Freezing can significantly extend the shelf life of unopened brie.

  • Unopened – Can be frozen for up to 6 months.
  • Opened – Not recommended to freeze opened brie.

To freeze, wrap the unopened brie wheel tightly in plastic wrap or place in an airtight freezer bag. Defrost in the refrigerator before using.

Proper Packaging

Keep brie well wrapped at all times – whether refrigerated or frozen. Air exposure will cause drying.

  • Unopened – Keep in original packaging until ready to use.
  • Opened – Rewrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil.

Monitoring for Spoilage

Check periodically for signs of spoilage like mold growth. Discard at first signs of spoilage.

Use Clean Utensils

Always use clean, dry utensils when cutting into brie. Dirty utensils can introduce bacteria and shorten shelf life.

Proper Display at Cheese Board

When displaying brie at room temperature on a cheese board, follow these tips:

  • Cut off the amount you plan to serve. Don’t leave whole wheel exposed.
  • Keep uncut portions refrigerated until ready to serve.
  • Discard any remaining brie after 2 hours left at room temperature.

How Long Does Brie Last When Refrigerated?

Refrigeration can significantly extend the shelf life of brie by slowing bacteria growth. Here’s how long properly refrigerated brie will last:

Unopened Refrigerated Brie

  • Fresh brie – Lasts 3-4 weeks past the “best by” date when kept refrigerated.
  • Aged brie – Can last 2 months or longer if well wrapped and refrigerated.

Opened Refrigerated Brie

  • Fresh brie – Lasts 5-7 days refrigerated after opening.
  • Aged brie – Lasts 7-10 days refrigerated once cut into.

To maximize the shelf life, keep opened brie tightly wrapped in the refrigerator. Minimize air exposure.

Does Freezing Extend How Long Brie Lasts?

Freezing can keep an unopened wheel of brie fresh for up to 6 months. However, freezing is not recommended for portions that have already been cut into.

Unopened Brie

  • Can be frozen for 4-6 months beyond the “best by” date if tightly wrapped.
  • Freezing stops bacteria growth that causes spoilage.

Opened Brie

  • Not recommended to freeze brie after it’s been cut into.
  • Thawing will cause texture changes – becomes crumbly.
  • Refrigeration is best for storing opened brie.

To freeze brie, wrap tightly in plastic wrap or freezer bags, squeezing out excess air. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before using.

How Long Does Brie Last at Room Temperature?

Brie has a very short shelf life at room temperature. The high moisture content makes it prone to rapid bacteria growth when not refrigerated.

  • Unopened brie – Lasts only 1-2 hours at room temperature.
  • Cut brie – Should be consumed or discarded after 1 hour left out.

When serving brie at room temperature, follow these guidelines:

  • Cut off only the portion you plan to serve within 1-2 hours.
  • Keep remaining brie refrigerated.
  • Discard any leftover portions after 2 hours at room temp.

How to Store Brie to Maximize Freshness

Proper storage is key for keeping brie fresh as long as possible. Here are some tips:

Short-Term Storage

  • Keep brie refrigerated until ready to serve. Refrigeration prevents bacterial growth.
  • Wrap tightly in original packaging or plastic wrap. Minimize air exposure.
  • Use within 5-10 days of opening (refrigerated).

Long-Term Storage

  • Unopened – Freeze for up to 6 months.
  • Place unopened wheel in freezer bag, squeezing out excess air.
  • Opened – Not suitable for freezing. Refrigerate only.


  • Cut off only the amount needed for immediate consumption.
  • Serve at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
  • Discard any remaining portions after 2 hours left out.

Avoiding Spoilage

  • Use clean, dry utensils to avoid introducing bacteria.
  • Check regularly for signs of spoilage like mold.
  • Discard immediately at any signs of spoilage.

What Happens if You Freeze Brie Then Refrigerate It?

Freezing brie can extend its shelf life, but will create textural changes after thawing. Here is what happens when frozen brie is thawed and refrigerated:

  • Loses its creamy, oozy texture – becomes drier and more crumbly.
  • Flavor is diminished – tastes less fresh.
  • The rind becomes tough to cut through and chew.
  • Can last up to 1 week refrigerated after thawing.

The freezing and thawing process causes damage to the cheese at a cellular level. The fats can degrade and separate from the water. This results in a dried out, crumbly, and bland product.

Tips for Thawing Frozen Brie

While not ideal, thawed frozen brie can still be consumed. Follow these tips:

  • Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Use within 1 week of thawing.
  • Avoid freezing again after thawing.
  • Flavor and use immediately after thawing for best quality.

Freezing doesn’t completely ruin brie, but it does degrade the quality. Refrigerating after thawing will allow safe consumption.

Can You Freeze Brie After Cutting It?

Freezing pre-cut brie is not recommended. Here’s why:

  • Exposed surfaces will dry out from freezer burn.
  • Oxidation causes flavor changes – tastes bland after thawing.
  • Thawing makes the cheese very crumbly in texture.
  • Greatly increased risk of bacterial contamination after cutting.

For best quality and safety, use any opened brie within 5-10 days (refrigerated). Only freeze unopened, uncut wheels of brie.

What To Do With Leftover Cut Brie

Instead of freezing open pieces, try these options for enjoying the rest of your brie:

  • Create quick appetizers like brie baked in puff pastry.
  • Make a cheese board with fruits, nuts, crackers, and jams.
  • Toss cubes into salad dressings or pasta dishes.
  • Use in grilled cheese sandwiches.
  • Pair with wine or champagne for an easy appetizer.

With a little creativity, you can use up leftover brie before it spoils!

Brie Storage Chart

Here is a quick reference guide for how to store brie and how long it lasts:

Brie Type Refrigerator Freezer After Opening
Fresh brie 3-4 weeks after “best by” date 4-6 months 5-7 days
Aged brie 2+ months 4-6 months 7-10 days

Proper refrigeration and freezing can prolong the shelf life of brie significantly. But once cut into, brie should be consumed within about 1 week for best quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you tell if brie is bad?

Signs that brie has gone bad include mold beyond the rind, sliminess, ammonia smell, discoloration, dried out texture, or hard spots.

Can you freeze brie cheese?

You can freeze unopened brie for 4-6 months. But freezing is not recommended for portions that have already been cut into.

Can brie be left out overnight?

No, brie should not be left out at room temperature overnight. Refrigerate all uneaten portions. Discard any brie left unrefrigerated for over 2 hours.

How long can opened brie stay in the fridge?

Once opened, brie will last 5-10 days in the refrigerator. Keep tightly wrapped and minimize air exposure.

Can you eat brie past the expiration date?

An unopened brie wheel can often be safely consumed 2-4 weeks past its printed expiration date, provided it has been properly refrigerated the entire time.

Key Takeaways

Here are some key tips for maximizing the shelf life of your brie:

  • Refrigerate unopened brie for 3-4 weeks beyond “best by” date.
  • Freeze unopened wheels for 4-6 months.
  • Eat opened brie within 5-10 days.
  • Don’t freeze previously cut pieces.
  • Discard brie left at room temp for over 2 hours.
  • Watch for signs of spoilage like mold or sliminess.

With proper refrigeration and handling, an unopened wheel of brie can remain fresh for weeks after purchase. But once cut into, brie has a short shelf life of just 5-10 days. Follow these storage tips to enjoy brie at peak flavor.

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