Feta cheese in itself is an excellent topping that you’d never want to skip. People who enjoy feta cheese always have it handy at home. Be it for crumbling over soups, salads, pies, and pasta- feta cheese never disappoints.
But like other dairy items, it goes bad. But should you throw it right away? Can you avoid such situations in the future? Can you extend the shelf life of feta cheese?
Well, don’t worry, we’ve got your back. This article covers all your questions revolving around feta cheese’s shelf life, storage methods, and telltale signs of them going off.
How long does Feta Cheese last?
Feta cheese can last longer, depending on the way it is packed. The better the packaging, the longer it will last.
How long does Feta Cheese last unopened?
When it is kept unopened, feta cheese can last up to a week after the expiration date.
How long does Feta Cheese last open?
On the other hand, it will not last for more than five days when it is opened, and it does not matter what expiration date it shows.
There are two conditions when feta cheese arrives in a shrink-wrapped block that is not brined (water mixed with a salt solution). Opened feta cheese will last up to a week, and unopened feta cheese will last for a month.
When the feta cheese is kept unopened and submerged in brine, it can last up to six months. Whereas once opened, the shelf life of feta cheese reduces to about just a month. That is only the case if feta cheese is kept submerged in the brine.
On the contrary, the brined feta cheese will last longer than the unbrined Feta.
Eventually, opened or unopened/brined or unbrined feta cheese will slowly dry out. All these above conditions assume that you will store your Feta in the fridge.
How long does Feta Cheese last in water?
You can try submerging Feta cheese in salted water in an airtight container. Ensure that the cheese is completely submerged. Refrigerate this box and enjoy the cheese for around 3 weeks.
How long does Feta Cheese last unrefrigerated?
Storing your feta cheese in the pantry will reduce its shelf life while encouraging the harmful bacteria to take shelter in it. Therefore, it is advisable to use it within 2 hours if your feta cheese is left unrefrigerated.
How do you know if Feta Cheese is bad?
Well, if you enjoy feta cheese, the chances are that you already know that it can go bad faster than the other types of cheese. The fastest and easiest thing to do is check the expiration date to determine if feta cheese has gone wrong.
If feta cheese is not past its expiration date, but you still feel something wrong with it, check for molding. Feta cheese, just like any other type of cheese, can start to mold.
Since feta cheese belongs to a soft variety of cheese, scrapping off the mold won’t do the trick. Due to the softness of feta cheese, mold can spread all over and can affect your health.
Another factor that can determine if your cheese has gone bad or not is the texture. Any dryness followed by hardness, grittiness, and easy crumbling can distinguish a lousy feta cheese from a good one.
If the color of the cheese changes from white to a little darker can be a sign of feta cheese gone bad. As per an article, at times, brown spots and bubbles can also start appearing on the surface of your cheese, which is when you should discard it.
Another determinant of feta cheese gone bad is the smell. When you smell feta cheese, if the odor is sour or unpleasant, or vomit-like, it is sure that your cheese is not suitable for consumption.
When you can’t figure out the difference between good or lousy feta cheese by smelling it, you can always taste it. The taste of feta cheese can change due to several factors like exposure to air and growing bacteria.
Harmful bacteria can grow in cheese as it is high in protein and fats.
Can you eat Feta Cheese after the expiration date? What happens if you eat bad Feta Cheese?
Eating expired food always has its cons, and so does feta cheese. You should always check the expiration date before consuming anything. As soon as your feta cheese starts smelling or tasting funny, stop eating that batch.
Can expired Feta Cheese make you sick?
One side-effect of consuming expired feta cheese is food poisoning. You can start witnessing symptoms such as nausea, fever, chills, vomiting, and stomach cramps.
Listeria poisoning is a foodborne illness that is caused by bacteria. It can turn out to be very harmful to older people and pregnant women.
Can you Freeze Feta Cheese?
The answer to this question is yes. You can surely freeze feta cheese to increase its shelf-life, but it may not be the best cheese for freezing. After freezing feta cheese, you might notice slight changes in taste and texture.
Although, the freezing process of feta cheese varies depending upon what form of feta cheese you are using. Crumbled and block feta cheese should both be frozen differently.
Upon freezing and thawing (converting solid into a soft state), the consistency of the feta cheese might change.
|Types of changes||Changes that may occur|
|Flavor||Richness and intensity are lost.|
|Texture||The cheese becomes more crumbly.|
However, when kept in the freezer, feta cheese will hold on to good quality for at least one month. Depending on its condition, it can be kept for 2-3 months as well.
How to store Feta Cheese?
There is no rocket science when it comes to storing feta cheese. Feta cheese can be stored either in brine, olive oil, or refrigerator.
How can you store Feta Cheese in Brine?
Brine is a saltwater solution that acts as a preservative. When feta cheese is stored in brine, it can hold on to its longevity. It is the most preferred way of storing feta cheese.
How can you store Feta Cheese with Olive oil?
Since olive oil is a natural preservative, it can be used to store feta cheese. It acts similar to the brine and helps in increasing the longevity of the cheese. Feta cheese will stay in good condition for the same duration when stored in brine, however.
How long does feta cheese last in the refrigerator?
Even though refrigeration can make feta cheese a bit crumbly, opened feta cheese should be stored in the refrigerator while submerged in the brine. Otherwise, it will start getting dry.
This is the best option for storing feta cheese for up to a week.
How To Store Feta Cheese Blocks?
Feta cheese blocks must be packed in brine water. The brine should completely cover the feta cheese blocks to preserve its quality and taste. This must be refrigerated to enhance its shelf life.
How To Store Crumbled Cheese?
Crumbled or shredded cheese must be covered with plastic food wrap and placed in a sealed container. Ensure that air does not come in contact with the cheese, or else you will find your cheese to have lost its overall quality.
What are the Alternatives to Feta Cheese if it has gone bad?
Use the following alternatives if your feta cheese has gone bad:
- Queso Fresco
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)-
Q. What makes feta cheese so different from other white cheeses?
Where mostly all the different cheese types are made using cow’s milk or goats’ milk, feta cheese stands out. It is made using sheep’s milk which is entirely different from other white cheeses that claim to be similar to feta cheese.
Q. Is Feta Cheese fresh or aged?
Feta cheese is an aged cheese which is what develops its flavor palette. It is aged in a brine anywhere between 2 months to 12 months, depending on the requirements. The more it is aged, the better it is considered to be.
The tangy, rich, and salty flavor of feta cheese that gives it a peppery and intricate appearance depends on its aging process.
Q. What Causes Feta Cheese To Spoil Fast?
Improper storage techniques can cause your feta cheese to go bad easily and quickly. The best way to avoid this is by storing feta cheese in a brine solution and refrigerating it.
Q. Why does Feta Cheese taste like vomit?
The presence of short fatty acid called butyric acid is what makes Feta cheese taste like vomit.
Q. What color is mold on Feta Cheese?
You shall experience blue color spots on feta cheese. That is nothing else but mold. Such cheeses must be discarded.
The bottom line
Feta cheese has a fantastic flavor palette which is why many people prefer it. So now that you are well aware of its longevity, storage techniques, and what happens if it goes bad, you can easily store feta cheese without unnecessary trouble.
So what are you guys waiting for? Grab that pack of feta cheese and explore some fantastic feta cheese recipes to calm those cravings.
If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to let us know in the comment section below.
Milburn Adler is a food enthusiast and connoisseur of wine. His area of expertise is food fusions and gourmet foods. He lives to experiment with new recipes every day and spends most of his day looking for fresh and exotic fruits and vegetables.