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FOOD STORAGE — HOW LONG CAN YOU KEEP...

COTTAGE CHEESE — UNOPENED PACKAGE

RefrigeratorRefrigerator
Blue Arrow Blue Arrow 1 week after date on container
Freezer Freezer
Blue Arrow Blue Arrow 3 months
Tips
  • How long does an unopened package of cottage cheese last? The exact answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions — to maximize the shelf life of cottage cheese, keep it refrigerated at all times.
  • How long does unopened cottage cheese last after the “sell by” date or “best before” date? Cottage cheese will generally keep for about one week after the "sell by" or “best before” date on the package, assuming it has been continuously refrigerated.
  • How long does cottage cheese last at room temperature? If kept at temperatures above 40 °F, cottage cheese will rapidly develop signs of spoilage; cottage cheese should be discarded if left for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
  • To further extend the shelf life of opened cottage cheese, freeze it: to freeze cottage cheese, place inside covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.
  • Uncreamed (dry) cottage cheese freezes better than creamed cottage cheese, which may become too mushy after freezing.
  • Frozen cottage cheese may become crumbly and lose some of its flavor; the thawed cottage cheese will be best suited to cooked dishes, such as sauces, soups and casseroles.
  • How long does cottage cheese last in the freezer? Properly stored, it will maintain best quality for about 3 months, but will remain safe beyond that time.
  • The freezer time shown is for best quality only — cottage cheese that has been kept constantly frozen at 0° F will keep safe indefinitely.
  • How long does cottage cheese last after being frozen and thawed? Cottage cheese that has been defrosted in the fridge can be kept for an additional 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator before using; cottage cheese that was thawed in the microwave or in cold water should be used immediately.
  • When frozen cottage cheese is thawed, there may be some liquid at the top of the container; simply stir it back into the cheese.
  • How can you tell if cottage cheese is bad or spoiled? The best way is to smell and look at the cottage cheese: if cottage cheese turns yellow or develops an off odor or flavor, it should be discarded for quality purposes; if mold appears, discard the entire package.

Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here.

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