How Long Does Feta Last? Storage Tips to Extend Shelf-Life

Feta cheese has a rich history dating back thousands of years, its tangy flavor and crumbly texture being enjoyed across various cuisines. But how long does feta last before it goes bad? The answer depends on several factors, including storage conditions and whether it’s opened or not.

Feta blocks stored in brine can last up to a month in the refrigerator. Crumbled feta should be used within 5-7 days after it has been opened, but it can last as long as 3 or 4 weeks if it’s submerged in brine. Feta exposed to the air has a much shorter shelf-life than feta stored in brine.

Type of Feta CheeseStorage Time in Refrigerator
Unopened Feta Block (in brine)3-4 weeks after “best by” date
Unopened Crumbled Feta1 week after “best by” date
Opened Feta (not in brine)5-7 days
Opened Feta (in brine)3-4 weeks

If you’re curious about how long your favorite feta will last or want to ensure you’re storing it correctly, read on to discover everything you need to know about keeping it fresh.

Proper storage techniques for feta cheese

Keeping your feta fresh and flavorful requires attention to detail, starting with the right storage temperature. Feta cheese thrives in a cool environment, but temperature is just the beginning – read on to discover more tips and tricks for preserving your feta’s deliciousness.

Feta Blocks Submerged in Bring Have a Longer Shelf Life

Feta cheese can last quite a while when stored properly in brine. When stored in its original brine or a similar saltwater solution in an airtight container in the refrigerator, feta cheese can typically last for several weeks to a few months past its “best by” or expiration date. The exact shelf life can depend on factors such as the quality of the feta, the cleanliness of the storage container, and the temperature of your refrigerator.

Proper Storage Temperature for Feta: 35°F (1°C) to 40°F (4°C)

To keep your feta cheese fresh and delicious, storing it at the right temperature is crucial. The ideal temperature range for storing feta is between 35 and 40°F (1-4°C). This cool temperature helps slow down the growth of bacteria, preserving the quality and taste of the cheese.

Keep Feta Cheese in Original Packaging or Move to Airtight Container

You have two options. You can either leave it in its original packaging or transfer it to an airtight container. Both methods have their advantages.

Storing feta in its original packaging is convenient because it’s already sealed and designed to keep the cheese fresh. However, if you’ve opened the package and only used a portion of the feta, transferring it to an airtight container can help maintain its freshness for longer.

Regularly Check Feta Expiration Date for Freshness

Feta cheese has a limited shelf life, so it’s essential to regularly check its expiration date. This ensures that you consume it while it’s still fresh and safe to eat. Even though feta can last beyond its expiration date if stored properly, consuming it within this timeframe guarantees optimal flavor and quality.

By checking the expiration date on your feta packaging, you can avoid consuming spoiled cheese that may cause foodborne illnesses. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your health!

Proper storage techniques are vital when handling feta cheese. Here are some additional practices you should follow:

  • Store your feta in a dedicated section of your refrigerator away from other strong-smelling foods to prevent feta from absorbing other food odors.
  • Wrap any unused portions tightly with plastic wrap before placing them back into their original packaging or an airtight container.
  • Avoid storing feta cheese in the refrigerator door, as the temperature fluctuates more frequently there.
  • If you notice any signs of mold or an off smell, it’s best to discard the feta cheese.

Remember, improper storage can decrease quality and potentially make your feta cheese spoil faster. The last thing you want is to waste this delicious cheese!

Use Opened Feta Within 5-7 Days

Once you’ve opened a package of feta cheese, consuming it within 5-7 days for the best quality and taste is important. Feta is a soft cheese that can spoil relatively quickly compared to harder cheeses. To ensure you enjoy your feta while it’s still fresh, make sure to keep track of when you first opened it.

Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your leftover feta cheese:

  1. Keep Feta Submerged in Brine to Prevent Drying – Feta cheese is typically stored in brine, which helps maintain its moisture and flavor. When storing leftover feta, make sure to keep it submerged in brine or a mixture of brine and olive oil. This prevents the cheese from drying out and becoming crumbly.
  2. Wrap Feta Tightly in Plastic Wrap – If you don’t have any brine left or prefer not to use it, another option is to wrap the feta tightly in plastic wrap. This helps seal in moisture and prevent air from reaching the cheese, which can cause it to dry out faster.
  3. Store Feta Cheese in the Fridge – To extend the shelf life of your feta cheese, always store it in the refrigerator at temperatures below 40°F (4°C). The cold temperature slows down bacterial growth and helps preserve its freshness.
  4. Check Expiration Dates on Unopened Feta Cheese – Before purchasing feta cheese, check the expiration date on the packaging. Choosing fresher feta with a longer shelf life will give you more time to enjoy it before it spoils.
  5. Avoid Freezing Thawed Feta Cheese – If you’ve thawed frozen feta cheese, it’s best not to refreeze it once thawed. Freezing and thawing can affect the texture and taste of the cheese, making it less enjoyable. Instead, try to use up the thawed feta within a few days.
  6. Consider Aged Feta Cheese for Longer Shelf Life – If you’re looking for a feta cheese with a longer shelf life, consider opting for aged feta. Aged feta has been cured and stored for a longer period, which enhances its flavor and extends its freshness. This type of feta can last several weeks or even months when stored properly.

Keep in mind, while it is generally recommended to use soft cheeses within 1-3 weeks after opening, crumbled feta has a lot of surface areas and should be used within the first 5-7 after opening it.

Identifying signs of spoilage in feta cheese

Feta is a versatile cheese, but knowing when it’s gone bad is essential for both taste and safety. Look out for changes in smell, texture, or color, mold beyond the brine’s surface, and excess sliminess. These indicators can help you enjoy your feta cheese without risking your palate or health.

Changes in Smell, Texture, or Color

It’s important to know how to identify signs of spoilage. One of the first indicators is a change in smell, texture, or color. If your feta cheese starts emitting an unpleasant odor that is sour or off-putting, it may be a sign that the cheese has gone bad. If you notice any changes in texture such as excessive crumbliness or sliminess, it’s best to exercise caution and consider discarding the cheese.

Feta Mold Beyond Surface of Brine Indicates Spoilage

Another telltale sign of feta spoilage is the presence of mold growth beyond the surface of the brine. While some molds on the surface can be scraped off without affecting the rest of the cheese, mold growth throughout the entire block indicates contamination and potential spoilage. If you spot any blue-green patches or fuzzy mold on your feta cheese that extend beyond just the surface layer, it’s best to err on the side of caution and discard it.

Sliminess or Excess Moisture are Signs of Feta Spoilage

If your feta cheese feels excessively slimy or moist to the touch, this can also indicate spoilage. Feta should have a crumbly texture with a slight saltiness. However, if it becomes overly wet or slimy even after being stored properly in its brine solution, there may be bacterial growth causing spoilage. In such cases, it’s advisable not to consume the cheese as it could potentially lead to foodborne illnesses.

Spoilage Signs in Feta Include:

  • Unpleasant odor (sour smell)
  • Mold growth beyond the surface layer
  • Sliminess or excess moisture
  • Crumbly texture changes
  • Abnormal coloration

Spoiled feta cheese can pose health risks due to the growth of harmful bacteria, so it’s crucial to be vigilant and recognize these signs of spoilage. Consuming spoiled feta can result in foodborne illnesses, leading to discomfort and potential health complications.

Remember, when in doubt, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you suspect that your feta cheese has gone bad based on any of these spoilage signs, it’s best to discard it rather than risk consuming contaminated or spoiled food.

Can You Freeze Feta Cheese?

Now that you know the proper storage techniques for feta cheese, let’s talk about freezing it. Freezing can be a great way to extend the shelf life of your feta and ensure that you always have some on hand. When freezing feta, it’s important to package it correctly to maintain its quality. Wrap feta cheese tightly in plastic wrap, then place the wrapped feta in a freezer bag to provide an extra layer of protection against freezer burn.

When you’re ready to use your frozen feta, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Avoid thawing at room temperature as this can lead to moisture loss and affect the texture of the cheese. Once thawed, consume the feta within 3-5 days for optimal taste and quality. So go ahead and stock up on that delicious feta cheese without worrying about it going bad!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I freeze crumbled feta?

You can freeze crumbled feta just like whole blocks or chunks of cheese. Follow the same packaging instructions mentioned earlier – wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container before putting it into a freezer bag.

How long can I keep frozen feta?

Frozen feta can be kept for up to 6 months without significant loss of quality. However, for best results, try to consume it within 3-4 months after freezing.

Can I refreeze thawed feta?

It is generally not recommended to refreeze thawed feta. Each time you freeze and thaw cheese, its texture may change, affecting its taste and consistency.

Can I freeze marinated feta?

If your feta is marinated in oil or any other liquid, you can freeze it. Just make sure the container is airtight to prevent any leakage.

Can I freeze feta in brine?

While it is possible to freeze feta cheese in brine, it’s not the most ideal method. Freezing can cause the brine to expand and potentially break the container. It’s best to remove the feta from the brine before freezing for better results.