The Last Day You Can Still Eat Cottage Cheese After Opening It

Many types of cheese can last for months in the refrigerator, especially hard cheeses like cheddar and parmesan. You have to be a bit more careful with soft cheeses, however, because they tend to go bad much more quickly. This is largely due to their high moisture content. If you're buying cottage cheese to make a light alfredo sauce or to liven up your scrambled eggs, you'll have about a week to use it once you purchase it. According to the USDA's FoodKeeper app, cottage cheese stays good for two weeks after the date of purchase and one week after opening it. The specific manufacturer of your cottage cheese may also have different recommendations. For example, Friendship Dairies recommends consuming their cheese within three to five days of opening.


Even though you'll have up to one week after opening your cottage cheese to use it, it's still important to use your senses to ensure it's good before consuming it. There aren't any federal regulations on expiration dates or food product dating. According to the USDA, the dates on packages reflect when food is the best quality and may not actually reflect whether food is safe or not. For this reason, you may want to rely on your own inspection of the product while keeping that one-week-after-opening date in mind.

How to tell if your cottage cheese has gone bad

If you aren't sure when you first opened your cottage cheese, there are some other signs to look out for to determine if it's still good. First, take a look at your cottage cheese. If it appears watery or grainy, that's a sign that it may have gone bad. Another fairly obvious visible sign is mold. If you notice any mold on your cheese, it's best not to use it.


You can also use your sense of smell to determine if your cottage cheese is safe to eat. You might notice a sour or overly tangy smell. If this is the case, it likely isn't good anymore. When in doubt, it's best to throw away cottage cheese that you suspect has gone bad. You may also be tempted to freeze your cottage cheese to make it last longer — but the USDA does not recommend that because it does not freeze well. Just make sure to keep your cottage cheese in a refrigerator set to 40 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure that it stays fresh for as long as possible.