How Long Does Feta Cheese Last? How To Tell If Feta Is Bad?
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.
Does Feta Cheese Go Bad?
Yes, similar with other cheese, feta can be bad if it is over expiration date or wrong storage conditions. If you sit out it at room temperature, it will be spoiled easily.
The shelf life of feta cheese can actually vary pretty greatly, depending on how it was packaged originally. When a bag of feta cheese unopened, the shelf life often lasts up to 6 months with proper storage method.
Wait, if I opened it, how long does feta cheese last in this sittiation? Let me show you in the next part.
How Long Does Feta Cheese Last?
Like all types of cheese, feta cheese doesn’t come with an indefinite shelf life. But the life of feta is 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 °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 than 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, freezing feta can make it last up to 6 months.
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.
In summary, the shelf life of feta cheese can describe in below table:
|Storage Conditions||Room Temperature||Fridge||Freezer|
|Unopened Packaging Feta||24 hours||a week later than the date||6 Months (With brine solution)|
|Opened Feta Cheese||24 hours||5 days||2 Months (With brine solution)|
How To Tell If Feta Is Bad?
1. Signs To Know That Feta Cheese Gone Bad
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.
2. 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 bacteria, which makes it get spoiled quickly. That’s why we should store it in brine, and keep it far from germs and air.
3. Why Does Feta Smell Like Vomit?
The essence of feta cheese is a fermented food that is purposefully left out to let bacteria growing in them. As standard, it tastes a bit natural sour, salty, tangy, and creamy.
However, it will spoil quite fast if you handle it in the wrong way. When you put your feta sit out for a long time or if you do not store it correctly, your feta will smell bad; that be precise, it is sour and rancid. It results from certain compounds produced by bacteria, mold, and yeast.
The top feta cheese often has a heavy flavor because the bacteria will grow on it, making a terrible rancid smell.
The whole process is: the bacteria will break down the protein first. Then, some chemical compounds will be released in gases and particular chemical scents, so our smell receptors will make us feel the smell so bad, even like vomit.
Can You Eat Feta Cheese After The Expiration Date?
What do you do when the expiration date shown on the feta cheese label has come or even gone? You still can eat the “expired date” cheese, regardless of the mold growing if you determine your feta cheese is still usable or needs to go to the trash following some tips below.
- Checking the appearance
Your feta cheeses have a white covering on the rind, which means that your cheese is still good; you can eat it. In contrast, if your cheese turns red, orange, blue, or green molds (any color) which means maybe your feta has spoiled, you should throw them out.
- Checking Feta texture
They must not be sticky or slimy when you try to touch on them. Feta cheese is very soft when purchased but when you store it to use for a long time, the texture will become much harder, and the taste will become stronger. In the situation, it keeps its taste as the first use; the feta cheese still is fine.
- Checking Feta cheese’s flavor
When the appearance and the texture are acceptable, but you are still not sure, take a small bite of feta cheese.
If the small bite of feta cheese makes you feel a terrible smell or burn in your tongue, lips, or feel sour (even if it passed the look and smell tests). It is time you should throw your cheese away.
About some cheese, depending on the kind of semi-cheese ( hard or soft), feta can be good for up to 4 weeks over the expiration date (Remember one more time that they must keep the smell like the normal type).
After all, the most important thing you should note down is that do not try to eat spoiled cheese when it is in lousy status; keep your health first because there are so many delicious feta cheeses waiting for you
How To Store Feta Cheese?
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 wrap 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.
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.
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 questions, feel free to leave your comment below. Thank you for reading!