Does Cottage Cheese Go Bad? How Long Does Cottage Cheese Last?

Cottage cheese can be sitting in your fridge between uses and get you thinking does cottage cheese go bad? The flavors of cottage cheese can be great for cooking, but it can change the whole dish’s taste if it is off.

Quick Answer

Cottage cheese can go bad. It is a high perishable cheese and can only last 7-10 days past its printed date if unopened. If opened, it will only last 5-7 days past the printed date. This date range can change depending on how the cheese was processed and the fat level in the cheese. In the range of dates, cottage cheese can turn quickly if not stored properly.


It is easy to know when cottage cheese goes bad and how to store it. But read on to know everything you need to know about cottage cheese’s shelf life.

Does Cottage Cheese Go Bad? How Long Does Cottage Cheese Last?

Cottage cheese is an uncured cheese that is unprocessed, meaning that its ability to turn bad occurs very quickly. The best by date on the container is the best judge if the cottage cheese is still usable.

How Long Does Cottage Cheese Last Outside

Cottage cheese should never be stored outside of the fridge or freezer. If left to become warm at room temperature, the cheese will quickly curdle and become unusable. This can happen within a matter of two hours.

Even a short period of while you are grocery shopping can affect the shelf life of cottage cheese. Cottage cheese needs to be stored at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. If left in your cart for too long, the cheese can rise in temperature and curdle.

If you have placed your cottage cheese near a heat source, the cottage cheese will spoil even more quickly. You should keep the cottage cheese in your fridge and take out small amounts when you will use it.

How Long Does Cottage Cheese Last in the Fridge

Cottage cheese can last for up to 7-10 past its sell-by date if it remains unopened. A sealed package will help keep the moisture away from the cheese and help it be usable. It still needs to be stored below forty degrees to keep it from curdling.

If opened, cottage cheese can last 5-7 days past its best by date. Opening your cottage cheese will allow possible moisture and bacteria into your food, causing it to spoil.

The cottage cheese will be kept cold at a temperature of below 40 degrees and will not curdle easily. The fridge will keep it from spoiling and ensure that the cottage cheese will last up to those ten days.

How Long Does Cottage Cheese Last in the Freezer

Cottage cheese can be stored in the freezer for a more extended time. Since a freezer’s temperature is below freezing, you can keep cottage cheese there for up to three months past its best by date.

If cottage cheese is closed and unopened, it will last up to three months in the freezer. But the texture will change and lose some of its flavors due to condensation.

Suppose opened cottage cheese will last 2-3 months past its due date. It is essential to ensure that the container lid is placed tight, allowing the most negligible moisture possible into the container.


Cottage cheese should always be stored at a temperature below 40 degrees and kept cold. The soft cheese will quickly curdle if not stored correctly, and any place that is not the fridge or freezer will speed that process along.

How To Tell If Cottage Cheese Has Gone Bad / How To Know Cottage Cheese is Fresh?

The easiest way to know if cottage cheese has gone bad is to use your senses.

Appearance: If cottage cheese has gone bad, it will start to develop water pockets in the cheese and may appear yellow. Fresh cottage cheese should be creamy-white and contain tiny pearls of cheese, and be less liquidy.

Smell: Instead of the fresh smell of the cottage cheese, it will smell moldy. The smell will be mixed with a damp smell and engulf the nose quickly.

Taste: It will taste sour, and the texture will be lumpy, being a clear sign that it has gone bad. Fresh cottage cheese will taste rich and creamy with a consistent texture.

How to Store Cottage Cheese?

To store cottage cheese for a more extended period, you need to follow these simple steps.

Store in Fridge: Cottage cheese should be stored in the fridge below forty degrees when it comes home.

Keep Sealed: The lid on the cottage cheese should be kept tightly on the container. If opened, moving it to an airtight container will keep the cottage cheese from allowing moisture into the cheese.

Time: Keep the cottage cheese in the fridge or at least under 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The cottage cheese can spoil in under two hours left outside the refrigerator.

Can You Freeze Cottage Cheese? How?

Yes, you can freeze cottage cheese. Cottage cheese will lose some of its flavors, but you can keep the cottage cheese usable for a longer time when freezing.

Container: Store the cottage cheese in an airtight container or a freezer bag. This will keep it from gaining moisture and will allow it to freeze and not explode out of the container.

Freezer: Place the cottage cheese in the freezer, and it will not take long to freeze.

Time: Cottage cheese can then be used for up to three months past its best by date in the freezer before it becomes unusable.

How to Thaw Cottage Cheese?

To thaw cottage cheese, you can either do it at room temperature or in the fridge. 

Overnight: You can thaw cottage cheese in the fridge overnight. The cottage cheese will remain cold but will melt the ice crystals in it. The flavor will change, and the texture might be unable to be saved due to the moisture.

Room Temperature: You can also thaw cottage cheese at room temperature by placing the cottage cheese in a small bowl and then keep checking on it. It cannot stay out for more than two hours, or the temperature will drop drastically.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cottage Cheese’s Shelf Life

Can you get food poisoning from cottage cheese? Just like any other food, if not stored adequately, expired cottage cheese can cause food poisoning. The proteins and probiotics found in the cottage cheese can curdle and cause future health problems.

What is the liquid in cottage cheese? Cottage cheese that has not gone bad will also have liquid in it. The whey protein found in cottage cheese can help keep the cottage cheese keeps. If after some time after the best by date, that liquid may change to water and be very harmful to your health.

Wrap Up

Cottage cheese has a relatively short shelf life, which can lead to it spoiling quickly. Now that you know how to keep it from spoiling, you can enjoy cottage cheese for as long as possible.

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