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How Long Does Feta Cheese Last? (Tips for Storage)

Here’s how long feta cheese lasts, the best tips for storage, and some of our favorite recipes using feta cheese!

Wondering how long feta cheese lasts? Or, the best way to store feta cheese?

We’re sharing smart ways to preserve and use your feta cheese and how long it’s safe to eat.

Whether you have leftovers from a block of feta cheese or feta cheese crumbles, you’ll find all the information you need in this post.

Feta Cheese 101

Two large slices of feta cheese on blue and white striped kitchen towel with knife.

Feta cheese is a white, soft cheese with a crumbly texture and salty flavor that originates from Greece.

Feta was first made using sheep’s milk. But, these days, cheesemakers use a blend of sheep’s milk and goat’s milk.

U.S. manufacturers make a style of feta using cow’s milk.

It’s a popular ingredient in Greek recipes like Greek salad and pitas. You can also use it for dips and spreads.

It pairs well with meat, seafood, and even fruits like watermelon.

There’s nothing quite like the signature feta cheese taste, but if you’re in a pinch you can use a feta cheese substitute like goat cheese, or queso fresco.

You can even make vegan “feta” using firm, pressed tofu and brine.

How long does feta cheese last?

Two blocks of feta cheese on a wooden cutting board next to crumbles.

The shelf life of feta cheese depends on the type (block or crumbled), how it’s packaged, and how it’s stored.

Below, you’ll find details and instructions for each common circumstance.

NOTE: Depending on the brand, your feta may not have an expiration date, but a sell-by date instead. You can often eat cheese past the expiration date, depending on how it’s stored.

At Room Temperature

Any perishable food, left at room temperature, is susceptible to harmful bacteria growth.

And the longer food sits out, the more dangerous it becomes! Thankfully, there are clear guidelines to help keep you safe.

The danger zone for perishable foods is between 40°F and 140°F degrees. Most food, including cheese, can stay safe at room temperature for up to 2 hours.

After that, you’ll need to properly store and refrigerate or freeze your leftover cheese to avoid possible foodborne illnesses.

In the Refrigerator

1. Unopened feta

An unopened package of feta in block form stays good for up to 2-3 months in the refrigerator.

This variety of feta is packed in a brine solution which is a great preservative.

In their original packaging, feta blocks should stay good for two weeks to a month past the date on the label.

Unopened feta cheese crumbles are not packed in brine, so they do not last as long. But, they should last up to a week after the labeled date.

2. Opened Feta

Opened leftover feta, left as is, will last 5-7 days in the refrigerator in both forms.

However, if you store opened feta blocks in their brine, or add feta crumbles to a brine, they should stay good for about a month.

You can also preserve leftover feta blocks in olive oil for about 2 weeks.

Here’s a handy table to make things even easier!

Fridge
Feta block in brine (unopened)Sell-by + 2 – 4 weeks
Crumbled feta (unopened)Sell-by + 1 week
Feta leftovers (without brine)5 – 7 days
Feta leftovers (submerged in brine)4 weeks
Feta leftovers (submerged in olive oil)2 weeks

In the Freezer

If you want to preserve your feta for a longer time period, you can freeze it for up to 3 months in either form.

After 3 months, the cheese is usually still safe to eat, but the quality will suffer more and more as time goes on.

As with most dairy products freezing will change the texture and taste of your feta. But, the differences are minimal at around 3 months. If you’re not paying attention you may not even notice.

Your feta may be crumblier, a little dry, and less salty. But, it will still work well in your favorite dishes. Defrosted feta works especially well in hot dishes.

How to Store Feta Cheese

Several cubes of homemade tofu vegan feta piled on a piece of bread.

In the Refrigerator

For best quality store your leftover feta crumbles in an airtight container. Or, you can use a Ziploc bag with as much air removed as possible.

For feta blocks, you can use an airtight container or Ziploc bag. Or, you can wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Though a sealed container is the best option.

This ensures the cheese won’t dry out or absorb odors or contaminates from other foods in the refrigerator.

If you’d like to preserve leftover feta blocks or crumbles in brine, you can create your own solution. You’ll need a ratio of 2 teaspoons of salt per 2 cups of water, and just enough brine to cover the cheese.

Alternatively, you can cut feta blocks into cubes, add them to a jar, and cover them with olive oil. You can then add in your favorite herbs like rosemary, thyme, and dill for a quick marinade.

NOTE: If your brine leaves your feta too salty, you can soak it or submerge it in water for about 30 minutes before using it in your dish.

In the Freezer

You can freeze feta blocks or crumbles in a freezer bag (with air removed) or a plastic container.

Instructions for Crumbles

Add your leftover feta crumbles to a baking sheet. And spread the crumbles so they’re not touching. Pre-freeze the crumbles in a single layer.

Once the crumbles are pre-frozen, add them to a freezer bag or airtight container.

This will prevent the crumbles from sticking together.

Instructions for Blocks

For blocks, drain any brine, if necessary, and pat dry. Cut the blocks into cubes, portioned to the amount needed for a single recipe. Or, you can keep the blocks whole.

Pre-freeze the cubes on a sheet pan as you would feta crumbles. Then add the cubes or blocks to a freezer bag or airtight container.

NOTE: Once opened, use your thawed feta cheese within 24 hours!

How to Know if Feta Cheese is Bad

Bad feta cheese can make you sick. So, you should always check it for signs of spoilage before you use it in a recipe.

Here are some things to look out for:

If you notice any symptoms of food poisoning after eating your cheese, seek medical care as soon as possible.

Food poisoning symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Watery or bloody diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Fever

FAQs

Different ingredients on white table including a lemon, bowl of honey, block of feta, and container of colored cherry tomatoes.
How do you know if feta cheese has gone bad?

Your cheese has gone bad if you notice:

– Signs of mold (don’t just scrape it off!)
– Sour odor
– Color changes
– Gritty, grainy, dry, or slimy texture

How long does feta cheese last unrefrigerated?

Up to 2 hours at room temperature.

What color is mold on feta cheese?

Mold on cheese may be blue, dark green, brown, or black. If you notice mold on feta, don’t attempt to scrape it off as you would other cheese.

Mold spores spread through this type of cheese more easily. So, you should throw the entire container away.

How long does feta cheese last in the freezer?

Feta can last for up to 3 months without noticeable changes to quality and taste. It may be slightly more crumbly and a little less salty.

But, it will still work well for any dish, and especially well for hot dishes.

Is feta cheese safe for pregnant women?


Certain types of cheese aren’t safe for pregnant women.

However, most soft and hard cheeses that are made with pasteurized milk are okay to eat during pregnancy.

So, if you’re pregnant, and have a craving for feta cheese, just check the packaging to be sure!
If it says “pasteurized”, you’re good to go!

Recipes with Feta Cheese

Whipped Feta Dip with Roasted Tomatoes and Honey

Gray bowl of whipped feta dip with roasted tomatoes surrounded by crackers, slices of bread, and a gold spoon all on wood cutting board.

Cilantro Chickpea Salad With Avocado And Feta

Chickpea salad with feta in white serving bowl on wooden cutting board.

Winter Green Salad with Pomegranate, Pears, and Pecans

Close up of winter green salad with pears, bacon, and feta on white platter.

Spinach Strawberry Salad with Almonds

Large mixing bowl filled with spinach strawberry almond salad with feta cheese.

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