Ricotta, a cheese hailing from the culinary mecca of Italy, is a delightful addition to any dish. It’s a super creamy, fresh cheese that isn’t too greasy or heavy.
But here’s the thing: Ricotta doesn’t last very long, just like other dairy products. So, how long can you actually keep Ricotta cheese before it goes bad? Let’s find out together!
Does Ricotta Cheese Go Bad?
Most consumers rely on product labels to determine if they should continue to use Ricotta cheese.
However, Ricotta cheese expiration dates may not necessarily correctly reflect whether the product is genuinely ruined or not.
So, to know the exact answer to the question of “how long is Ricotta cheese good for” and “what can you make with Ricotta cheese,” continue reading this article!
How Long Does Ricotta Cheese Last?
Before diving deeper into “how long Ricotta cheese last?“, there are a few things you should know!
Ricotta cheese won’t stay fresh long after you’ve opened the lid, only about a week. If you haven’t opened it yet, you can use it a few days after the best-by-date.
How Long Does Fresh Ricotta Last?
Many of you have probably heard of the term hazardous area in food storage.
It indicates that food in general, and Ricotta in particular, should only be kept at a temperature of approximately 40 degrees F for about 2 hours.
Nothing more, nothing less, as it is the optimal temperature range for bacteria to proliferate and thrive.
This is applicable for both unopened and previously opened Ricotta cheese since the exterior protective layer is insufficient to keep it secure from the surroundings.
Our recommendation is to use up Ricotta as quickly as possible. Once it begins to smell sour and loses its fresh flavor, tosses it out right away!
How Long Does Unopened Cheese Last
Ricotta cheese expiration date can be up to 2 weeks after you open it. According to the manufacturer’s instructions, you also need to pay a little more attention to the opening date.
If it says best-by-date, that’s the best time to start using Ricotta cheese, and it can last for another two weeks after that!
The expired by implies that you should open the Ricotta cheese two weeks ahead of time and use it up before the date.
Two weeks is not a long time to spare. So, unless you have many things to make with Ricotta cheese, don’t buy too much.
How Long Does Ricotta Last After Opening?
By now, you probably know that Ricotta cheese cannot live in the environment for long due to dangerous bacteria.
In case you have already opened the product packaging, try to keep it refrigerated and use it up within 5-7 days.
If you leave it at room temperature, you know it will hardly be delicious for more than 2 hours in the recipe with Ricotta cheese.
You can also increase the Ricotta cheese shelf life by keeping the Ricotta container bacteria-free as much as possible.
Use a sanitizer to open the lid after washing your hands, and try to close the packaging tightly after each use.
This reduces the germs that enter the product through cooking utensils, your hands, and the surrounding environment.
You should also avoid storing Ricotta cheese in the refrigerator door since the temperature varies every time you open the door to grab anything.
Home chefs can utilize freezers in addition to conventional refrigeration, which we shall discuss in the next section.
How Long Can You Keep Ricotta Cheese In The Refrigerator
Freezing Ricotta is what you should do when you intend to store it for a long time. If the container is entirely sealed and the humidity is appropriate, this substance can be good for around three months.
It could be even longer as long as the temperature is consistently below 0 degrees F.
Once you open the lid of Ricotta cheese, even the freezer won’t keep them fresh for long!
Food safety experts recommend consuming it within a week because the freshness of the cheese progressively decreases when the air goes inside.
How To Tell If Ricotta Cheese Is Bad?
So, what does Ricotta cheese look like when it goes through spoilage? You should first pay attention to the texture of Ricotta cheese, as it can get a little watery.
In addition, there are some other signs that you should look out for, such as mold or color change, which we will cover shortly below.
Originally, Ricotta cheese did not have a particularly unpleasant smell. It just has a light milky scent, fresh and extremely rich.
After a period of use, when the Ricotta cheese container cannot be sealed as when it was first produced, bacteria will penetrate inside.
At this point, they will start to work and produce sulfur gas, creating an unpleasant sour smell.
Mold or black spots
While a minor odor or water separation may still be an unclear indicator, Ricotta cheese mold or black spots clearly indicate that you should throw it out immediately. At this time, the product has gotten spoiled.
As mold bacteria have grown across the area, including the unmolested sections, you can’t simply discard the apparent mold and enjoy the rest.
Eating spoiled Ricotta cheese can cause you to have food poisoning, vomiting, diarrhea, and many other dangerous symptoms.
Change of color
If you observe a minor color shift from white to yellow or brown, your cheese has most likely gone bad. Sometimes this only happens on a tiny piece of the product, so always inspect it carefully before using it.
How To Store Ricotta Cheese?
Storing is a big problem when answering the question, “how can I use Ricotta cheese.” Here are some heads-ups that you should do:
Keep it sealed
As we mentioned above, as soon as you open the box and expose the Ricotta to the air, it is already in danger of spoiling.
When you don’t need to use them, keep them cold and leave the packaging intact, or put them in an airtight container.
Keep it airtight
The reason is the same as why you need to keep the packaging sealed.
When everything is covered, germs from the surrounding environment have a more challenging time getting in, and your Ricotta cheese will last longer.
Can You Freeze Ricotta Cheese?
You can completely freeze Ricotta to keep them fresh longer. This is perfectly OK, as the quality of the cheese does not alter significantly that can affect the dish’s flavor.
If you recently bought Ricotta, keep it in the refrigerator. As for opened ones, wrap them securely in plastic wrap or airtight containers.
Furthermore, home chefs can mix and drain leftover Ricotta to ensure that it freezes evenly.