How long does feta cheese last in the fridge once opened?

Answered by Dustin Gorski

Shelf Life of Opened Feta Cheese: A Sommelier's Perspective

As a sommelier and brewer, I have had the pleasure of indulging in a variety of cheeses throughout my career. Feta cheese, with its tangy and salty flavor profile, is a personal favorite of mine. However, like any perishable food item, it is important to be aware of its shelf life once it has been opened to ensure its freshness and quality.

Typically, once you have opened a package of feta cheese, it can last for about 1 to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. This timeframe may vary slightly depending on factors such as the quality of the cheese, storage conditions, and any preservatives that may have been added. It is worth noting that feta cheese is a soft cheese and tends to spoil more quickly than harder cheeses.

To maximize the shelf life of your opened feta cheese, it is crucial to store it properly. Here are some tips to help you keep your feta cheese fresh for as long as possible:

1. Optimal Storage: Store your opened feta cheese in an airtight container or tightly wrap it in plastic wrap. This will help prevent air exposure, which can accelerate spoilage. Avoid leaving the cheese exposed to the air as it can lead to drying out and loss of flavor.

2. Temperature Control: Keep your feta cheese refrigerated at all times. The ideal temperature for storing feta cheese is around 35 to 40°F (1 to 4°C). Ensure that your refrigerator is set to the appropriate temperature to maintain the freshness and quality of the cheese.

3. Cheese Paper: If available, consider wrapping your opened feta cheese in cheese paper. This specialized paper allows the cheese to breathe while providing a barrier against moisture, which can contribute to spoilage.

4. Avoid Cross-Contamination: Keep your feta cheese away from other strong-smelling foods in the refrigerator. Feta cheese, with its distinctive aroma, can easily absorb odors from other foods, affecting its taste and quality.

5. Visual and Sensory Checks: Regularly inspect your opened feta cheese for any signs of mold, discoloration, or off-putting odors. If you notice any of these signs, it is best to discard the cheese to avoid any potential health risks.

Personal experience has taught me the importance of being mindful of the shelf life of opened feta cheese. I once found myself eagerly reaching for a block of feta cheese, only to discover that it had surpassed its prime. The cheese had developed an unpleasant odor and had turned a shade of green, indicating the presence of mold. Needless to say, it was a disappointing experience, and I had to bid farewell to what could have been a delightful addition to my meal.

To avoid such situations, it is crucial to adhere to the recommended storage guidelines and be aware of the freshness of your opened feta cheese. By being vigilant and taking proper care, you can enjoy the delicious flavors of feta cheese for an extended period.

Opened feta cheese can last for about 1 to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. However, it is important to remember that this is a general guideline and various factors can affect the shelf life of the cheese. By storing it properly, keeping an eye out for any signs of spoilage, and trusting your senses, you can savor the tangy goodness of feta cheese for as long as possible.