How Long Does Opened Feta Cheese Last In The Fridge?

Feta cheese on a wooden board
Feta cheese on a wooden board - Fcafotodigital/Getty Images

Nothing is worse than excitedly unwrapping a block of cheese from your fridge only to be met with a pungent, yeasty smell. That's right — another block bites the dust; your feta has expired. In theory, it's actually quite difficult to let feta cheese go bad. When the feta is contained in liquid (like oil or brine), it can last as long as six months when kept in its original container. However, that's much longer than its dry counterparts, which head firmly downhill at the end of a single week. If you buy blocks of dry feta, you'll tend to notice a bitter taste after just a few days, with it becoming inedible after seven days.

It really makes a difference which type of feta packaging you choose. In short, if you want longer to enjoy delicious recipes like feta and orzo-stuffed peppers and baked feta dip, you should aim to extend your cheese's shelf life by packaging it in liquid. You can't freeze feta without entirely changing its texture and risking its taste profile. Similarly, it has an abysmally short existence when left dry unless you wish to use it up as a topping. It's a no-brainer: Look for feta sold in liquid or make your own brine by mixing salt with water and entirely submerging your cheese for storage. You can even reuse the leftover feta brine as a cooking ingredient for meat dishes, such as roasted chicken. It's handy to have around.

Read more: What Happens If You Accidentally Eat Mold?

Signs That Your Feta Cheese Has Gone Bad

A block of feta cheese
A block of feta cheese - larisa Stefanjuk/Shutterstock

The good news is that spoiled feta cheese is easy to spot, even to the untrained eye. If you've already tasted it, you'll notice a bitter flavor that worsens as the cheese ages. Feta should taste fairly mild with a bit of a tang, so anything harsh is an immediate sign that it's nearing expiry or has reached the end of its life. Another giveaway sign is the smell. Spoiled feta cheese has a yeasty, unpleasant odor that you'll quickly notice just by examining it. And finally, any noticeable mold on the feta is the clearest sign of all that it's past its best. If you notice mold, throw the entire cheese away immediately.

It's worth noting that cheese can go also "off" before its expected expiry date due to quality control and storage issues from you or the producers. It's wise to always inspect all cheeses, feta included, before eating them, no matter how long they've been in your fridge. Accidentally eating mold won't be dangerous for most healthy people, but it can cause unpleasant symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting. Some molds are more dangerous than others, too, so it's much better to be safe than sorry.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.