Does Ricotta Cheese Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on July 28th, 2022

Quick answer: How long does ricotta cheese keep? Ricotta cheese has a shelf life of around two weeks and normally lasts a few days past the “expiration” date.

That implies an unopened jar three days over its expiration date should be acceptable. Feel free to open it up and compare it to the spoilage indications I mention later in the essay.

Fresh ricotta on plate on wooden background

After opening the container, you should consume the cheese within 3 to 5 days, while some dealers claim ricotta may be kept for up to a week after opening.

Again, if you’re going to consume ricotta that’s been open for more than a couple of days, you should know how to identify whether it’s bad.

How Long Does Ricotta Cheese Last?

Unopened ricotta cheese normally keeps for a few days after its expiration date. You should be able to finish it in less than a week once you open the container. The higher the quality, the faster you devour it.

Ricotta has a shelf life of around two weeks, which is similar to that of cottage cheese. That implies buying a dozen containers in advance isn’t a good idea unless you have particular intentions for them.

Each container is labeled with a date. It’s usually a “use-by” date and an excellent place to start.

Is the ricotta cheese bad if it has passed its expiration date? No, not always.

If you keep it chilled at all times and put it in the fridge as soon as you get home from the grocery, it should last for another 3 to 5 days. But don’t expect miracles.

If your unopened ricotta is more than a week old, throw it out.

If you store open ricotta in an airtight container in the fridge, it will keep its quality for approximately a week.

If the ricotta cheese container isn’t resealable, move the leftovers to a plastic or glass food container.

Of course, the amount of time till the date on the label also has a factor. If it has two weeks before its “use-by” date, it should survive the entire week, if not longer.

But if it’s already close to (or even past) that deadline, finish it within 2 to 3 days.

If your opened ricotta has been in the fridge for more than a week, it’s generally best to throw it out.

If those times aren’t long enough, you can freeze ricotta.

Ricotta cheese (unopened)“Use-by” date + 3 – 5 days
Ricotta cheese (opened)3 – 7 days

How Long Will Fresh Ricotta last?

Many of you have undoubtedly heard the phrase “hazardous region” about food storage.

It implies that food, and Ricotta, should only be stored at a temperature of roughly 40 degrees Fahrenheit for about 2 hours. It is the best temperature range for bacteria to develop and thrive.

This is true for unopened and previously opened Ricotta cheese because the external protective layer is insufficient to keep the cheese safe from the environment. Therefore, our advice is to use up Ricotta as soon as possible. Toss it out as soon as it starts to smell sour and loses its fresh aroma!

What Is the Shelf Life of Unopened Cheese?

The expiry date of ricotta cheese might be up to two weeks after it is opened. According to the manufacturer’s recommendations, you should also pay more attention to the opening date. If it reads best-by-date, it is the perfect time to begin using Ricotta cheese, which may last for another two weeks after that!

The expiration date means you should open the Ricotta cheese two weeks before and consume it.

Two weeks is not a lot of time. So, unless you have a lot of Ricotta cheese recipes in mind, don’t buy too much.

How Long Does Ricotta last After Being Opened?

Ricotta cheese, as you are surely aware, cannot survive in the environment for long owing to hazardous germs.

If you have already opened the product package, keep it refrigerated and consume it within 5-7 days. If you leave it at room temperature for more than 2 hours in the recipe with Ricotta cheese, you know it won’t be as tasty.

You may also extend the shelf life of Ricotta cheese by keeping the Ricotta container as bacteria-free as possible. For example, after washing your hands, use a sanitizer to open the lid, and attempt to seal the container firmly after each usage.

This decreases germs entering the product via cooking equipment, your hands, and the surrounding environment. You should also avoid placing Ricotta cheese in the refrigerator door since the temperature changes when you open it to fetch anything.

Home cooks can use freezers in addition to traditional refrigeration, as discussed in the next section.

How Long Does Ricotta Cheese Last in the Refrigerator?

Commonly, dairy products do not keep well at room temperature. However, bacteria can thrive when exposed to temperatures over 40°F for an extended period.

Both unopened and opened, Ricotta cheese should not be kept out for more than two hours. If it’s close to two hours or you’re unsure, it’s best to toss it out.

The same guideline applies if your ricotta cheese has been cooked into a dish. In addition, it should be discarded if it has been at room temperature for more than two hours.

How Long Can Ricotta Cheese Be Stored In The Fridge?

Ricotta cheese should be refrigerated since it lasts considerably longer that way. Also, keeping it cool helps to keep microorganisms at bay.

The best-by date is stamped on the carton of ricotta cheese. If the container has not been opened, it should be good for a few days after the expiration date.

If the ricotta cheese container has been opened, it is preferable to utilize it within a week. When oxygen is added, the freshness of the product begins to deteriorate gradually.

How Long Can Ricotta Cheese Be Stored in the Freezer?

If you bought more ricotta cheese than you can use or did not utilize it in time, freezing it is one of your best alternatives.

If properly kept, both opened, and unopened ricotta cheese will keep in the freezer for around three months. We’ll talk more about good storage later.

Ricotta cheese will keep its peak quality for three months if stored properly. However, it is safe to ingest it permanently if it has been frozen at 0°F.

Ricotta cheese, whether opened, unopened or cooked, should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours, as you have learned. The refrigerator and freezer are your finest storage alternatives.

How Can You Tell If Ricotta Cheese Is Bad?

Now that you’ve learned everything there is to know about storage times; it’s time to talk about indicators of spoiling.

If you’re opening ricotta close to or past its expiration date or resuming one sitting in the fridge for a few days, check it before eating.

The first thing to note is that ricotta’s components might separate somewhat. When they detect some water or a gel-like material on top, many individuals become anxious (see my photo below). Don’t be concerned; the dairy product is safe. All you have to do is mix it and use it as usual.

Let’s move on to the real indicators of rotting. These are some examples:

  • Black spots or mold. Throw away the cheese if you detect either. It doesn’t happen frequently, but you never know when it could happen to you.
  • Color change. It’s time to throw out your ricotta if it’s turning yellow or orange.
  • The cheese becomes sour. It’s not spoiled if it starts to smell or taste sour, but you won’t enjoy it. It may also spoil your recipe, so get rid of it as soon as possible.

Like most other dairy products, Ricotta cheese is usually fine if it looks, smells, and tastes. However, if something is incorrect, even if it isn’t on the list above, play it safe and reject the goods.

Why can ricotta cheese go bad in a matter of days?

So, here are a few options:

Your refrigerator is far too warm, almost at room temperature. Ricotta will deteriorate in a few days if kept out at room temperature or warmer. Have you checked the temperature of your refrigerator? Where do you keep the ricotta in the fridge?

You have a lot of germs from ruined milk in your fridge. If you’ve had dairy products go “off” in your fridge several times (or only once, but you spilled it) and haven’t cleaned it, you may have colonies of dairy-eating bacteria. Do you find that other dairy products deteriorate quickly?

Your ricotta supplier is tainted. If you’ve been purchasing all of your ricotta from the same retailer or manufacturer, it’s conceivable that their equipment/storage is contaminated. Change your source/store.

You’re purchasing ricotta that’s already gone bad. When did this ricotta get made? When you acquire it, how near is it to its expiration date?

How to buy Ricotta Cheese:

When purchasing ricotta cheese, ensure it has a constant texture and a clear, classic aroma. If the cheese is bad, ruined, or rotten, it will have a terrible odor, pockets of water, a yellowish appearance, and a sour flavor.

Check the expiration date on the dairy product and the components listed on the label.

Choose ricotta cheese with a firm but not solid consistency. It should be made up of wet, subtle, and delicate grains. It must not be ripened or salted.

Ricotta Cheese Storage

It should go without saying that ricotta should be refrigerated. Also, avoid putting it out at room temperature to let it last as long as possible. That is to say:

If you’re only using a part of the ricotta, scoop it (with a clean spoon!) into the fridge as soon as you get home. and immediately place the remainder in the refrigerator

When it comes to open ricotta, keep it sealed. This prevents it from absorbing odors, drying out, or becoming contaminated by bacteria found in other foods.

You may use the original container (if it’s resealable like mine) or a food container to take care of it. Either way, the task is done.

Last but not least, let us discuss freezing ricotta.

Most manufacturers do not advocate freezing ricotta cheese since it alters its texture. The once-smooth cheese turns crumbly, which is unsuitable for most applications. The lone exception is prepared foods when the differences don’t make much difference.

Can you freeze ricotta cheese?

Freezing ricotta cheese is a great strategy to increase its shelf life. Is it possible to freeze a block of feta cheese? Yes. However, keep in mind that the texture of the cheese will change once it has been thawed.

Water separates from the fat content during the freezing process, similar to cream cheese, resulting in a drier product with a gritty texture when defrosted.

Ricotta cheese freezes best when it is unopened. If you need to freeze ricotta cheese after it has been opened, place it in a freezer bag to avoid burn. Drain out any extra whey that may have accumulated on top of the ricotta cheese before freezing.

How to thaw Ricotta Cheese

Frozen ricotta cheese should be thawed in the refrigerator. The defrosting process takes approximately a day, but you may speed it up by running the frozen ricotta container under cold water.

Try to utilize your frozen ricotta within three months for the best quality. Food held at 0°F, on the other hand, is safe to consume permanently. Nonetheless, you may notice a big variation in the consistency after defrosting it.

Rather than consuming fresh ricotta cheese, it is recommended to utilize frozen ricotta cheese in prepared recipes. For example, if you have leftover frozen ricotta cheese, try this recipe for homemade manicotti.


Editorial Staff

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