A hard cheese has a lower water content. Since water is a medium conducive to the growth of spoilage-causing bacteria and mold, a hard cheese like Cheddar (about 37 percent water content) will last much longer than cottage cheese (between 70 and 80 percent water content).
Once any cheese is opened, however, you want it to retain moisture for the sake of texture. To minimize moisture loss, keep it tightly wrapped in your refrigerator. This shield also helps keep the cheese and its storage mates from exchanging odors. Taking a cheese back and forth from refrigerator to dining room table robs it of moisture and hastens decay. If you have a piece of cheese too large to eat all at once, cut off and bring to room temperature only what you plan to eat and leave the remainder tightly wrapped in the refrigerator.
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