Does Cottage Cheese Go Bad? What’s its Shelf Life?

Cottage cheese is made from curds obtained by separating the whey from curdled milk. It is extremely healthy, rich in proteins, and sweet.

It’s common for folks to wonder if cottage cheese can go stale. The truth is, yes, it can. The product is delicious, but only if it is in good condition and safe to eat. Anything other than this could lead to food-borne illnesses.

So, how long can you store the cheese?

We have the answers to this and also advice on how to store the cheese properly.

What is the Lifespan of Cottage Cheese?

The expiry date is not specific but rather an estimate of how long it will keep its freshness and be safe to eat. It’s difficult to determine how long your cottage cheese will be safe to eat after that date.

The longevity of the cheese is dependent on several factors. You can control some, such as the variety of cheese used, the manufacturing method and bottling date, and its thermal exposure. Others you can’t, like how the attendants handled the container in the store.

Cottage cheese stays for a few days after its expiration if it’s closed and 7 to 10 days if it’s open. It’s common for the segregation to become more noticeable after a few days of storage than when you first opened the bottle.

Some cottage cheeses, particularly flavored kinds, e.g., the raspberry, contain additives and could stay up to two days longer, although this is more of an anomaly than a norm.

How Can you Know if your Cottage Cheese is Spoiled?

Knowing whether the dairy product has spoiled isn’t rocket science as we are aware that it emits a unique odor in case milk products go bad. Usually, the scent of cottage cheese is mild and somewhat cheesy. If it has an exceedingly intense sour odor, it is advisable not to eat it.

Here are other pointers that your cottage cheese is bad.

  • Mold – If the product’s surface looks greenish to pinkish, it’s time to toss it in the trash.
  • Chunkiness – Cottage cheese, by definition, is already thick. Changes in firmness from when you initially opened the product, and if you observe chunks, means that you have to dispose of the cheese.
  • Dryness – It’s time to throw out your cottage cheese if it’s hardened into a dry paste. A puddle of water may also be visible on the top.
  • Texture – It would be best to avoid creamy, grainy cottage cheese because it is no longer fresh. It means it is past its prime when your product has dried out or is hard to extract from the bottle.
  • Taste – If it appears and smells fine and you’re still skeptical, try tasting it. Don’t panic; a small amount of off cottage cheese won’t harm you. Any changes in flavor are a solid indication that it needs to be thrown out.
  • Opened cheese – Allow the cheese to go if it has been open for a week or more or is a week past its expiration date.

How to Keep Cottage Cheese Fresh

You can extend the shelf life greatly by properly storing it. When it comes to keeping cottage cheese, temperature and moisture control are critical considerations.

The refrigerator’s chilly temperatures prevent the cheese from drying out and also inhibit bacterial growth.

Refrigerate and firmly cover the product, be it in its original package or a sealed container. The jar or container will keep moisture from infiltrating and causing bacteria to proliferate.

If you want to purchase the cheese in bulk, you should divide it into smaller portions so that you may thaw and consume minimal quantities at a time rather than having to take out the entire package.

Is Cottage Cheese Freezer-Friendly?

Yes. You can put the product inside the freezer to keep it fresh for later use. The cheese, however, will lose its natural flavor and be tasteless.

The manufacturers advise against freezing the cheese because it separates and becomes watery when it’s thawed. You can resolve the segregation by churning the product, but the texture will not be the same as before.

Consequently, frozen cottage cheese is only suitable for soups, casseroles, sauces, and other cooked foods.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What transpires if you consume spoiled cottage cheese?

Symptoms of eating bad cheese appear 4 to 36 hours after consumption. The most prevalent symptoms are abdominal pain, fever, exhaustion, vomiting, severe diarrhea, and decreased appetite.

2. Is it possible to freeze cottage cheese?

The product will keep its finest quality for around 3 months if kept properly, although it can be safe for a longer period than that.

3. What is the lifespan of cottage cheese after it has passed its expiration date?

There is no exact time frame, but a week to two weeks is a decent guess. For instance, certain cottage cheeses, e.g., the flavored ones, last longer than the rest.

If you’re not scared by the date, open it up and observe if there are any obvious signs of deterioration. If the quality appears to be acceptable, go ahead and munch it.

4. What is the best way to keep cottage cheese unspoiled in the refrigerator?

Store the package in an inverted position in your refrigerator if you want it to last a long time, even after opening it. This will keep it garden-fresh.

Conclusion

Cottage cheese is a nutritious milk product, and just like other low-fat dairy products (such as its relative greek yogurt), it degrades quickly.

The cheese should be safe until the expiration date and probably for another 5 to 10 days after that. If you open it before the expiration date, it can stay up to 2 weeks. Alternatively, it should last for 2-3 days in the fridge.

Adhering to this will ensure that you always use your cheese in its excellent form and safeguard your health.

Read further: Do you know Cottage cheese is one of the best Ricotta cheese substitutes?

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