How long does soft cheese last once opened? 

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “How long does soft cheese last once opened?” methods to store soft cheese and detect spoilage in soft cheese.

How long does soft cheese last once opened?

Soft cheese can last for 1-2 weeks after it is opened. Soft cheese does not have a longer shelf-life than hard cheese because of its high moisture content. In the freezer, soft cheese can last for up to 2 months.

Cottage cheese, Brie, mozzarella, ricotta cheese, cream cheese, camembert, gorgonzola, Neufchâtel, and feta are some of the types of soft cheese.

Type of cheeseApproximate shelf-life once opened in the fridge
Cottage cheese5-7 days
Ricotta cheese5-7 days
Brie2-3 weeks
Mozzarella7-10 days
Cream cheese7-10 days
Camembert1-2 weeks
Feta4-5 days
Neufchâtel2-3 weeks
Gorgonzola4-5 days

How to detect spoilt cheese?

  • If you observe mold growth of any color black, white, grey, or pink it is better to discard the cheese. Mold can be scraped off from hard cheeses like parmesan but it is not recommended for soft cheeses as the mold can spread all over the cheese.
  • If the cheese has a putrid smell or a rancid odor, it is better to throw it away. Certain soft cheeses can keep an ammonia-like smell if kept in the fridge for a long time. 

This does not necessarily mean that the cheese is bad to consume but it would alter the smell of the cheese. 

  • If the cheese becomes hard or gritty, it is better to avoid consuming them. It might still be safe to consume the cheese but the flavor and texture of cheese might not be desirable.
  • If the cheese smells very sour or unpleasant, you can avoid consuming it.
  • Slimy or wet cheeses can be thrown away.
  • Cheese can come past the expiry date. It is better to not consume the cheese past its expiry. You can smell, touch, or taste the cheese to detect if it has gone bad.

Other FAQs about cheese that you may be interested in.

How to store soft cheese?

Soft cheese has a shorter shelf-life than hard cheese. As a result, if it is not stored properly it could get spoilt quickly. Below are the methods listed to store soft cheese properly.

  • Avoid wrapping the soft cheese too tightly. Cheeses need to be wrapped to prevent their exposure to excess air or moisture but wrapping them too tightly can give very little space for the cheese to breathe and the cheese would emit a pungent, ammonia-like odor.

Also, avoid wrapping the soft cheese very loosely as the pieces of cheese can harden and would no longer be desirable to consume.

  • Avoid using plastic wrap to wrap the cheese. Cheese can absorb the smell of plastic and start tasting like plastic itself! You can instead use aluminum foil.
  • You can use cheese paper or cheese bags to store the cheese. These are specifically designed to store the cheese and can help in allowing the cheese to breathe.
  • If you are unable to find cheese paper, you can instead use parchment paper or wax paper to wrap the cheese. You can also wrap the cheese in paper and place it in its original package to store it.
  • Replace the parchment or wax paper every time you take out the cheese and avoid reusing them. This is because the reused paper would not provide the same breathability as before.
  • You can also store soft cheeses in a glass or plastic airtight container. Store the cheese in the refrigerator at a temperature between 35 to 45℉.
  • If you have smaller chunks of soft cheese like a mozzarella you can brine them to prolong its shelf-life.
  • If the solution containing cheese gets contaminated or smells bad, you can replace it. 
  • Avoid touching brine with hands or a dirty utensil. If the brine is contaminated, you can drain it and replace it with a new brine solution. You can prepare brine at home by mixing 1 tbsp of salt in 3 cups (710 ml) of water.
  • Label the cheese before storing them in the fridge. This can help you in reminding how long the cheese had stayed in the fridge.
  • Avoid buying soft cheeses in bulk as it spoils faster. Fresh cheese tastes well and instead of buying in bulk, it would be better to buy more often.
  • Freezing soft cheese can prolong its shelf-life but spoil the texture of cheese. You can instead store cheese in a fridge.

Conclusion

In this brief article, we have answered the question, “How long does soft cheese last once opened?” methods to store soft cheese and detect spoilage in soft cheese.

References

https://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/expiration-dates-different-types-of-cheese
https://www.doesitgobad.com/how-long-does-cheese-last/
https://food-hacks.wonderhowto.com/how-to/11-ways-keep-cheese-fresh-mold-free-for-as-long-as-possible-your-fridge-0151179