Cottage cheese is not strange for those dieting or athletes due to low-fat and the high-protein content. However, not everyone knows cottage cheese shelf life, its storage, and how to tell if cottage cheese is bad.
For this reason, we will dive into those topics and summarized them all in the article below. How long does cottage cheese last? When does cottage cheese go bad? Let’s find out the desired answer to these questions now.
About Cottage Cheese
First, you should have a brief look at cottage cheese.
Cottage cheese is a fresh white cheese in the form of multiple small curds whose taste is slightly mild, savory, and texture is soft, creamy, and soupy. It is specially made from slightly soured milk by draining the cheese to separate curds from the whey.
Thereafter, manufacturers rinse the formed curds and add some salt. They also use the cream as a dressing for these curd grains to create a different taste from other types. Thanks to it, this dairy product is not aged.
As mentioned early, cottage cheese is high in protein and low in calories. That’s why dieters and athletes highly praise this type and use it frequently. The special thing here is that you can combine this cheese with various foods, including fruits, granola, salads, yogurt, or use it as a mayonnaise replacement for pasta.
Continue scrolling down to know how long can cottage cheese stay out, as well as how long does cottage cheese last in the fridge.
How Long Does Cottage Cheese Last?
Usually, cottage cheese can last for two hours at room temperature. If you store it in the refrigerator, you can keep an unopened package fresh until its best by date. Meanwhile, the opened one only has a shelf life of ten days in the fridge and three months in the freezer. Let’s explore carefully below!
How Long Does Unopened Cottage Cheese Last?
The shelf life of cottage cheese often depends mostly on the sealed or unsealed container.
Then how long is unopened cottage cheese good for? Well, you must pay attention to cottage cheese best by date available on the label. It indicates the period that you can keep your product fresh in the fridge.
The temperature from 40 to 140 degrees F will create a chance for bacteria to grow strongly and quickly. As a result, it only lasts for up to two hours in case of storing at room temperature. If you keep it longer, you will end up with a block of bad cottage cheese.
How Long Does Opened Cottage Cheese Last?
Then how long does cottage cheese last once opened? If you keep its container at room temperature, it similarly lasts for up to two hours like the original one. Yet, the proper fridge storage keeps the opened product good for up to ten days as long as it is refrigerated continuously.
The colder the temperature is, the longer your cottage cheese lasts. That’s why we recommend you freeze it to lengthen the shelf life of around three months while keeping its best quality.
It’s also worth noting that thawed cheese will get crumbly and lose its taste over time, so you only utilize it for cooked dishes, like soups, sauces, or casseroles.
How To Tell If Cottage Cheese Is Bad?
How do you know if cottage cheese is bad? Well, there are many signs while considering the quality of cottage cheese, including its smell, taste, and look. It means that you have to make use of all your senses. To be more specific:
- Sniffing: When your cottage cheese tastes sour, consider throwing it in the trash. Though the sour smell doesn’t mean it’s harmful to you, the cheese now is not delicious to eat anymore. Hence, it will be best to discard it, no matter how it smells off.
- Touching: When a layer of water appears on top of the cottage cheese, and its texture gets almost solid, rotten cottage cheese is what you get.
- Looking: The surface of moldy cottage cheese will have some mold or any other discoloration.
- Besides, you had better discard the cottage cheese when it has been opened for more than one week.
Then what happens when you accidentally eat spoiled cottage cheese?
You might suffer from many serious symptoms, such as fatigue, abdominal pain, fever, vomiting, watery diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps, and loss of appetite. Meanwhile, your body is trying to remove the infectious organism. These problems often tend to develop after 4 to 36-hour of ingesting.
How To Store Cottage Cheese Properly?
The best way to store cottage cheese properly is by placing its sealed container in the refrigerator right away after buying. Let’s put them on the internal lower shelves near the back of your fridge instead of the door. It will ensure an optimal condition throughout the storage thanks to a stable temperature.
Regarding the opened container of cheese, please do not reuse the foil seal to close it afterward. A plastic lid works better in this case. If not, you can take a food container along with a homemade aluminum foil seal to reseal it with a rubber band.
Make sure that your utensils to dip the cottage cheese are completely clean. Moreover, only spoon out enough at a time and put the remaining cheese into the fridge immediately.
After a few days of opening, whey tends to separate from your cottage cheese. In that case, you should not discard it right away; we always have a solution to handle it. It will become normal if you take a spoon to flatten the top surface of your cheese before placing it onto the fridge.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are There Any Situations When Your Cottage Cheese Looks Bad, Yet They Are Safe To Eat?
Of course, yes, there are a lot.
When your all-natural cottage cheese turns slightly yellow, it is a normal sign. Its color is cream due to the cow’s diet as well as the time of the year.
Similarly, separation on the top of old cottage cheese or else watery cottage cheese does not matter as well. This phenomenon often appears when you have opened the container for a couple of days. To fix it, you only need to stir it gently.
If you recognize that the consistency of cottage cheese changes compared to the previous batch, do not panic as it is normal. Some manufacturers do not add stabilizers as well as homogenize the cheese, leading to different textures over time.
How Long Does Cottage Cheese Last After Being Defrosted?
Once you defrost cottage cheese, the maximum period to continue using it is a further four days in the fridge. However, its time is shortened with a thawed cheese in cold water or the microwave. You have to use it immediately.
How Long Is Cottage Cheese Good For After The Expiration Date?
You can find a sell-by date on its label, which shows the suitable period of a fresh dairy product. Remember that a cottage cheese expiry date or its safety does not relate to this label.
For this reason, there is no specific answer for the question: How long does cottage cheese last after expiration date? It can be one week or a week and a half.
However, some people may wonder: Can you eat expired cheese? Then we are willing to say yes, as long as there are no signs of spoilage.
Normally, you can keep the cheese for a few more days after the sell-by date. Its period will lengthen if some flavored cottage cheeses come with preservatives.