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K-12 Products

Q How many grams of fat are in LAND O LAKES® natural cheese portions?
A Our natural cheese portions have 9 grams of fat per 1-oz portion. The reduced fat natural cheese portions have 7 grams of fat per 1-oz portion. Light mozzarella string cheese has 2.5 grams of fat per 1 –oz. portion.

Q How much shredded cheese does it take to equal sliced natural or process cheese in a recipe?
A One cup of shredded cheese equals 4 ounces of natural or process cheese.

Q How many servings are contained in a case of LAND O LAKES® Macaroni and Cheese?
A LAND O LAKES® Macaroni and Cheese comes ready to serve in six 5-lb pouches per case. Each pouch has a volume of 9 cups, for total volume of 54 cups per case. Six ounces by weight provides 2 meat/meat alternates and 1 bread/grain serving for food- based menu planning. A scoop or dipper measures product by volume, not by weight, so you need to measure a leveled scoop of macaroni and cheese and weigh the product to determine the portion size to serve. Land O’Lakes Test Kitchen staff has found that a leveled #12 scoop provides 3 oz. of macaroni and cheese by weight and a leveled #6 scoop provides 6 oz. of macaroni and cheese by weight. The viscosity of macaroni and cheese products will thicken over time especially if left uncovered or held at high temperatures, and this will impact the number of servings obtained per pouch.

Q What temperature should cheese be stored at?
A All cheese products should be kept under refrigeration at 35°F to 41°F. Once cheese is opened it must be re-wrapped securely to keep air out and moisture in. Natural and Pasteurized Process Cheese will remain fresh approximately 4 to 8 weeks under refrigeration. It is not recommended to freeze cheese.

Q We have extra cheese remaining at the end of the school year.  Can we freeze it?
A Land O’Lakes does not recommend freezing cheese, mainly because freezing adversely affects the texture of cheese.  This may mean that the cheese is no longer suitable for eating “out of hand” or in cold applications, but still may be satisfactory for cooking.

Cheese that has been frozen may not melt as quickly or as smoothly as cheese that has not been frozen.  When Land O’Lakes Customer Concerns receives a report that cheese is not melting properly, one of the first factors we check on is whether or not the cheese might have been frozen at some time.

If you do choose to freeze cheese, divide the cheese into small packages so it will freeze quickly and wrap the cheese tightly to prevent drying of the surface. Frozen cheese should be thawed slowly in the refrigerator and used as soon as possible after thawing.   Flavor of cheese frozen for short periods (less than 3 months) should not be affected, but texture changes (crumbly, grainy) will limit the use of the cheese to cooking. Please note that even if cheese is frozen, it should still be used within the expiration date that is indicated on outside of case or packaging.

Food Safety

Q Can I freeze butter?
A Butter can be frozen in its original carton for up to four months from the time of purchase. To protect the delicate flavor of butter, wrap the carton in aluminum foil or in an airtight, resealable plastic freezer food bag before freezing. Once the butter has been thawed, it should be used within 30 days. We do not recommend freezing our Country Morning Blend® Margarine products, our whipped products or our portion control Butter/Spreads cups.

Q What is mold and why does it happen on cheese?
A Mold is downy, furry or fuzzy growth on the surface of an organic matter, such as cheese, caused by fungi, especially in the presence of dampness or decay. It is more likely to occur if cheese is improperly handled or stored. (e.g., open to the air, improper temperature, etc.).

The white crystalline matter on the surface of cheese (similar to grains of salt) is not mold. It is calcium salts that have precipitated out of the cheese. This substance is not harmful, and can be trimmed off the cheese before use.


Q How can I help prevent my cheese from getting moldy?
A
  • Use clean cutting utensils, work surface and new plastic film.
  • Wrap plastic film tightly around the cheese, making sure the air is driven out.
  • Store cheeses, such as blue cheese, at a distance from other cheeses.
  • Store between 35 to 40° F (1.6 to 4.4° C.) Warmer temperatures accelerate mold growth.

Menu Planning

Q

Our school uses a food-based menu planning system. How many ounces of LAND O LAKES® Cheese Sauce do I need to use in a recipe to provide one meat/meat alternate?

A LAND O LAKES® Cheese Sauces are available in both 6-lb, 10-oz pouches, and individual 3-oz dip cups. All variations provide 1 meat/meat alternate per 3-oz serving.