How Long Does Refrigerated Cottage Cheese Last


How Long Does Cottage Cheese Last After Opening

Knowing how long does your fresh cottage cheese last after opening is important to maintain your health and your family’s health. We are going to take a deep dive into does cottage cheese go bad, as well as ways to tell if it is bad, or still safe to eat.

Fresh cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is a type of dairy product. This type of cheese has a creamy texture, containing soft cheeses in the form of large curds. Because it’s a type of dairy product, it does go bad, but how long cottage cheese lasts after opening is always a good thing to note.

Shelf Life of Cottage Cheese

At Room Temperature

Because cottage cheese is a dairy product, and very perishable food, the warm temperatures outside of the fridge can cause bacteria to grow at a rapid rate, and make the cottage cheese spoil much faster than when it is kept in the fridge. 

Due to the rapid growth rate of unwanted bacteria at room temperature, cottage cheese should be kept at room temperature for no more than two hours no matter if it is opened or unopened. 

This two-hour rule is best applied when the room temperature is between 40°F (4.4°C) and 90°F (32.22°C).

However, if the room temperature is 90°F (32.22°C) or above, then cottage cheese is only safe to be kept at room temperature for one hour or less. To be safe, it’s best to store the cottage cheese in the fridge when you are not serving it.

In the Fridge

The cool temperatures inside the fridge will help your cottage cheese last longer. For the best quality cottage cheese, it is best to store it in an airtight container, such as a plastic container that seals with a lid.

Storing it in an airtight container will help to minimize the amount of bacteria it is exposed to, and help it to last longer.

In Original Packaging Unopened

Unopened cottage cheese should also be kept in the fridge. In order to tell how long it lasts, it’s best to reference the best-by date on the cottage cheese packaging.

Because it’s an unopened container of cottage cheese, it will likely last until the sell-by date listed on the packaging. In some cases, it may even last longer than the reference date, but it’s a good rule of thumb to go by.

cottage cheese in a brown bowl

Other Storage Methods for Opened Cottage Cheese in the Fridge

Once your cottage cheese is opened, there are a few different ways you can store it. Let’s start by looking at the best ways, as well as other storage methods that are able to be used. 

Cottage Cheese Container

As long as the cottage cheese container that it came in, is sealed securely, there is no reason why you can’t store it in the original container in the fridge.

When the original packaging sealed securely, it’s safe to store the cottage cheese is in the packaging, in the fridge.

Airtight Container

Storing your cottage cheese in an airtight container is the ideal way to keep it fresh longer. An airtight container will block any unwanted bacteria and help keep it nice and cool in the fridge.

Storing your opened cottage cheese in an airtight container is an ideal way to store it in the fridge.

Cover with Plastic Wrap

Another way to store your cottage cheese in the fridge, once it is opened, is to cover the container with plastic wrap. This is helpful if you have lost the lid, or if the lid doesn’t seal anymore. 

Cover with Aluminum Foil

Covering your container of cottage cheese with aluminum foil is another way you can help make it last for a couple of days in the fridge after it is opened. Although covering it with aluminum foil is less desirable, it can help it last for a few days in the fridge. 

Seal in a Plastic Bag

Sealing your opened cottage cheese in a plastic bag is another good way to store your opened food item. You can use a plastic storage bag, or a plastic freezer bag, for a good storage method.

cottage cheese in a wooden bowl

How long does cottage cheese last after opening?

Once your cottage cheese is opened, and stored in the fridge, in an airtight container, or sealed in a plastic storage bag, the opened cottage cheese will likely last between one and two weeks after opening.

Frozen Cottage Cheese

To store your open cottage cheese for a longer amount of time, it can be frozen if desired. Please note that freezing cottage cheese may change its overall texture of it, but it can be done if desired.

To freeze cottage cheese, you will either want to use a plastic freezer bag, or freeze it first in an ice cube tray, then transfer the frozen cottage cheese cubes to a plastic freezer bag.

How to Freeze Cottage Cheese

Due to the short shelf life of cottage cheese in the fridge, a great option to expand the storage time of cottage cheese is to freeze it. There are a few different ways you can go about the freezing process of cottage cheese. 

The first way is to transfer the open cottage cheese into freezer-safe bags, preferably heavy-duty freezer bags, to prevent freezer burn. You can also freeze cottage cheese in ice cube trays, then transfer the cubes to a freezer bag, after they are frozen. 

Cottage cheese can last up to three months in the freezer at 0°F or below. 

How to Thaw Frozen Cottage Cheese

There are two main ways to thaw frozen cottage cheese. These two ways are to thaw frozen cottage cheese in the fridge overnight, or in a bowl of cold water. 

In the fridge. To thaw frozen cottage cheese is in the fridge, the best way to do this is to simply pull the frozen cottage cheese out of the freezer and place it in the fridge overnight. Usually, by the next day, it will be thawed and ready to use. This is the best and safest way to thaw frozen cottage cheese. 

In cold water. The other way you can thaw frozen cottage cheese is in cold water. Although, the traditional way to do this is to set a bowl of cold water on the counter, with the frozen cottage cheese. Change the water every 30 minutes so that it stays cold. 

Although this is the traditional way to do it, we recommend putting a bowl of cold water, containing the frozen cottage cheese, in the fridge. The cold water will allow the cottage cheese to thaw faster, but doing it in the fridge will keep your cottage cheese safe to eat. This way you also don’t have to worry about changing the water every 30 minutes.

Thawed cottage cheese can be used in pasta, casseroles, or other recipes where it will likely be cooked. After cottage cheese has been frozen, you will not want to eat it just thawed. 

To learn more about how to freeze cottage cheese, and other uses of it, check out “Can You Freeze Cottage Cheese”.  

cottage cheese on blue table cloth

The Best Way To Store Cottage Cheese

What is the best way to store cottage cheese, to get the best results? The best way to store cottage cheese, is in the fridge, sealed in an airtight container. Once cottage cheese is opened, it should be used within 7 to 14 days for the best results overall.

How to Tell if Cottage Cheese has Gone Bad

As sometimes happens to all of us, your cottage cheese has been pushed to the back of the fridge. How do you tell if it is still good, or if the cottage cheese has gone bad and needs to be thrown away?

Let’s explore the different signs of spoilage, to help you tell if your cottage cheese is still safe to eat, or if it has gone bad.

Signs of Spoilage

Expiration Date. The first indicator you can check is the expiration date on your cottage cheese package. This is especially helpful for unopened packages of cottage cheese.

If the sell-by date has passed, then your cottage cheese is much less likely to be safe to eat. However, if the expiry date has not passed, but your cottage cheese is opened, it still may not be safe to eat depending on how long it has been opened. 

Sour Smell. Next, smell the cottage cheese, if there is an off odor, or it just smells bad in general, these are good signs that the cottage cheese has spoiled.

The Texture of Cottage Cheese. You can also examine the texture of your cottage cheese. If it is separated, or what liquid has curdled, or it just seems off in general, these are all signs that your cottage cheese has spoiled. 

Odd Colors. Finally, examine the cottage cheese for odd colors, such as green, gray, or mold growth. If you see any odd colors or signs of mold growing in the cottage cheese, it needs to be thrown away.

If any of these signs of spoilage are present, it likely means that there is unwanted bacterial growth in the food, which could cause serious sickness or food poisoning if consumed.

If you see any of these signs of spoilage, do not risk eating the cottage cheese, but instead throw away the cottage cheese that has gone bad.

cottage cheese on a wooden spoon

How Long Does Cottage Cheese Last After Opening

Once cottage cheese is opened, it needs to be stored in the fridge, preferably sealed in an airtight container. As long as the open cottage cheese is stored properly, it will likely last between 7 and 14 days in the fridge. However, if you see any signs of spoilage in the cottage cheese, do not risk eating it, instead throw it away. 

Now that you know how long cottage cheese is likely to last in the fridge after opening, it’s time to go through your fridge, and make sure your cottage cheese is still safe to consume.

For more posts like this one, follow us on PinterestFacebookInstagram and YouTube.

PIN for Later!

How Long Does Refrigerated Cottage Cheese Last Pinterest pin
Photo of author
Faith Has been cooking and baking for many years! she loves to share her recipes with the world, and hopes you will enjoy them too!

Leave a Comment