Feta cheese is a famous cheese in Greece. It’s made from sheep milk or sometimes from sheep and goat milk mixture. Feta cheese is a brined white cheese with a salty taste ranging from mild to sharp. It has numerous health benefits, one of which includes it being a good calcium source.
It is a soft cheese and has a smooth texture. Cheese is used in several dishes. It has a unique taste that makes it different from all other cheeses. Feta cheese is utilized as a table cheese in salads such as Greek salads and pastries. It is referred to as white cheese in different languages and is usually less expensive and easily available in the market.
How Long Can Feta Cheese Sit Out?
Feta cheese has certain requirements when it comes to storage. The better conditions are provided, the longer the cheese will last. Like other cheeses, feta cheese cannot be left at room temperature for long. It is a dairy product; it does not have a long shelf life.
Feta cheese is made in salt solution; it sits out longer than other soft cheeses. You can leave feta cheese for no more than 6 hours at room temperature. This is considered a safe zone for feta cheese; after this, it might not spoil, but it changes its texture and becomes unpleasant.
What Happens When Feta Cheese Sits Out For Too Long?
Feta cheese can easily go bad if left in the open air for too long. Since the cheese is made from milk and is a good source of nutrients, it can provide favorable ground for mold and bacterial growth. The taste and texture of the cheese will change rapidly over time. It may dry out and lose its moisture content, thus rendering it useless for any other use.
There are chances that it may start to smell bad, giving off a foul smell. If left out for more than six hours, feta cheese would not be safe to consume because it can attract bacteria.
What Should You Do If Feta Cheese Sits Out For Too Long?
Unopened packets of factory-sealed feta cheese can sit at room temperature for more than 24 hours safely. This is because there is less likelihood of bacterial attack than the one exposed to air. If feta cheese sits out in the open for too long, it will turn dry and unpleasant; it can also grow mold on the surface and begin to turn bad.
In this case, feta cheese is unsafe to consume, and even refrigeration will not save it. Discard any feta cheese that has been exposed for more than 6 hours at a high temperature to prevent food-borne illnesses.
How Long Can Feta Cheese Be In The Car For?
Store-bought feta cheese will stay safe in the car for as long as six hours if kept in a cool place, away from direct sunlight. As feta cheese contains brine solution (salt solution), the salt preserves the cheese for a longer time. Although it is a soft cheese, its shelf life is longer than other soft cheeses.
You need not have to worry about letting your packed feta cheese sit in your car until you reach home, but make sure to refrigerate it once you get home.
Does Feta Cheese Go Bad If Not Refrigerated?
Feta cheese will go bad if not refrigerated. Although it has a longer shelf life at room temperature, you cannot leave it for too long as it is a dairy product and contains perishable items. Due to this reason, the feta cheese should be kept refrigerated mostly whenever not in use.
Does Feta Cheese Go Bad If You Lose Power?
Cheese contains milk. Similarly, feta cheese is made from goat or sheep milk, including in dairy products. Hence, it should be treated the same. During a power outage, all perishable items in the refrigerator are in danger of spoiling, especially when the power is gone for several hours continuously.
Unlike other cheeses and dairy products in the refrigerator, feta cheese will stay intact and good for six hours during the power outage. After six hours, it will begin to dry out and can also go bad.
What Temperature Is Safe For Feta Cheese?
Feta cheese stays best in the refrigerator at temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This is considered as the safe temperature for feta cheese which is opened. Sealed feta cheese is safe above this temperature, but for a few hours only.
You can always freeze feta cheese if you need to store it longer. Frozen feta cheese at zero degrees Fahrenheit will keep you safe for several months.
How to store Feta Cheese
Feta cheese is characterized by being cured in brine. For this reason, it differs from other types of cheeses in taste and other aspects such as its preservation. As a general rule for cheeses and all types of dairy products, they should be stored in the refrigerator because they need low temperatures to stay in good condition. Otherwise, they will most likely spoil.
When you go to the market, you can find the feta cheese in two presentations, in whole blocks or crumbled into small pieces. Just because they are different does not mean that they need different ways to preserve them because they are technically the same. You can summarize everything you need to do to store feta cheese in these guidelines:
Feta cheese comes in packages made to open and be used immediately; they are not intended to be resealed. To keep them sealed, you must use an airtight container or a freezer bag. These will ensure that your feta cheese stays good when you refrigerate it. It should be noted that this method only preserves it for a few days.
In case you want to store your feta cheese for a longer amount of time, what you should do is immerse it in brine in an airtight container, seal it and then freeze it.
If your feta cheese becomes very salty due to the preservation method with brine, you should not despair. You should let the feta cheese soak in a little normal water so that after half an hour, it has a more pleasant flavor.
If you can keep the feta cheese in brine and freeze it when necessary, you will be able to extend the duration in which you can consume it for a couple of days, which will leave you to use it for your dishes until then.
Can You Freeze Feta Cheese?
The freezing method is the preferred way to extend the time a food can be consumed considerably. Although it is not a perfect method because it does not work with all foods, it is the most reliable you can count on.
As we mentioned earlier, freezing feta cheese is one of the most effective ways to extend its shelf life for a good couple of days where you won’t have to worry about it losing quality or spoiling.
How Long Does Feta Cheese Last
Feta cheese may differ from other cheeses due to brine, but like these, it does not usually have a very long duration. It is why you should pay attention even when the deadline is approaching.
Usually, when you go to the stores, you can get the feta cheese in a package that will have a label that will indicate the date on which it will be kept in its best condition and there at home to recommend it to be consumed. Still, due to the seal and in the brine, it will be able to stay in good condition for at least another month.
The previous situation applies only to feta cheeses sealed. Once they are opened, the protection they used to have disappears. When you have your feta cheese open in an airtight container, it will only last about a week if it does not have brine. In case it does, it can last up to a full month.
How to Tell If Feta Cheese Is Bad
Feta cheese can last a couple of weeks, so when it approaches the deadline when its quality begins to fade, you should be on the lookout because it can spoil quickly.
You should pay attention to the characteristics of feta cheese. It is generally white and smooth, salty, and has a slightly spicy scent. If you see mold on the surface of the feta cheese or some dark area in the cheese or brine, or if it also has an acid smell, then you should discard it.
In case your feta cheese does not have any of these characteristics, then everything is fine, and you can continue using it in any dish or recipe with which its flavor integrates well.
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