How Long Does Feta Cheese Last? The Best Way To Store It
Yesterday, I was in need of some feta cheese – a tangy and salty cheese from Greece. After looking through the refrigerator, I luckily found a half-pound open container of crumbled feta cheese which I have just consumed an ounce since opening. Its smell was still like new feta cheese with no signs of mold.
I tried a small amount of it, and it tasted good. However, what makes me confused is that I bought it about 2 months ago. I know that feta cheese is aged, and I wonder “How long does feta cheese last?” To make sure, I search for information about its shelf life on the Internet and discovered lots of interesting things that I want to share with you.
How Long Does Feta Cheese Last?
Like all types of cheese, feta cheese doesn’t come with an indefinite shelf life. But it’s affected by a wide range of factors, like the way it’s processed, packaged, stored and exposes to heat. For example, when being stored below 40 degrees F, its real shelf life and expiry date are approximate.
Consumers are always recommended to use feta cheese at the best-before-date to get the full nutrients. The manufactured date is shown clearly on the label. After that time, it won’t go bad immediately, but the quality, texture and flavor won’t be as good as before.
In general, if your feta cheese is still kept in unopened packaging, you can start using it a week later the date. Once opened, it only lasts about five days in the fridge. However, the feta cheese stored with a brine solution can last longer because the high content of salt adds extra preservation.
If your feta cheese is sealed and submerged in brine, it can last up to six months in the freezer. But before using, you should check its situation to see whether it has signs of spoilage or not. When opened, its shelf life will reduce to about one to two months.
Nevertheless, when you take your feta cheese out of the fridge and defrost it, you had better consume it within 24 hours since it may spoil very fast. Moreover, you need to avoid refreezing it because the texture and flavor will be changed drastically. This may even cause danger to the consumers.
How To Know If Feta Cheese Has Spoiled?
In order to surely know whether your feta cheese has spoiled or not, a simple way is to check its best before date. However, if it’s well stored, this date doesn't mean much. At that time, you must observe it carefully.
If there are some signs of mold on the surface of your feta cheese, you should discard it. Don’t cut the mold part away and use the remaining because this method is only applied for hard cheese. Whereas, feta is soft, and the mold can spread over the whole piece, including the inside part.
When putting your feta cheese in the fridge for a long time, another thing to take into account is its dryness. If it’s not only dry but also hard and gritty, don’t hesitate to put it in the trash because its taste and texture are changed a lot.
Additionally, you shouldn’t use your feta cheese if its color changes from white to a little darker. Some brown spots and bubbles can appear on the surface. Furthermore, you can check your feta cheese’s smell and taste. If the smell is sour or not pleasant, and the taste isn’t okay, it should be thrown away.
What Causes Feta Cheese To Spoil Fast?
As mentioned above, feta cheese’s shelf life depends on its exposure to air. Moreover, it’s a factor causing feta cheese to spoil fast. When its surface is exposed to air, it will be dried out fast. As a result, the moist texture will be damaged, and the flaky crumble one will thrive.
Moreover, because of being high in protein, fat and moisture, feta cheese is a good habitat for bacteria, which makes it get spoiled quickly. That’s why we should store it in brine, and keep it far from germs and air.
How To Store Feta Cheese?
Way #1: Put In Brine Solution
The most common way to store feta cheese is using brine solution which is created by dissolving salt in cold water. Firstly, put a block of feta cheese in a plastic bag or an airtight sealable container.
Then, let’s pour the brine until the feta cheese is completely submerged. Store it in the fridge, and you can keep it for a month.
Way #2: Cover With Olive Oil
If you don’t want to use brine because of its salty flavor, you can use olive oil. However, you have to cut feta cheese into small pieces with a cheese slicer. You can also add fresh herbs like rosemary, tarragon, coriander seeds, or peppercorns to the container to increase its flavor.
This following video includes two methods above and shows you one more way to store feta cheese.
If you meet the same situation as my story, don’t need to wonder “How long does feta cheese last?” because its shelf life varies and depends on an array of factors. Some can last for only one week, but some can last up to a couple of months.
Take a careful look at the surface and color of your feta cheese. If there are some signs of mold, changes in color or the presence of bad odors, it’s time to throw it away. If you want to keep it longer, brine solution or olive oil will help you.
If you have any question, feel free to leave your comment below. Thank you for reading!