Goat cheeses are some of the most popular types of cheese around.
They’re rich, creamy, and delicious—so much so that they often come with their own cult following.
But unlike other types of cheese, there isn’t an official shelf life for goat cheese.
While most people assume that goat cheese is best eaten as soon as possible, this assumption may not be true.
If you want to make sure your goat cheese lasts as long as possible, here’s everything you need to know about its shelf life, from when to refrigerate it to how long it should stay in the freezer.
We also discuss what exactly goes wrong if you don’t follow these guidelines.
Plus, we explain how to tell if goat cheese has gone bad or spoiled.
How long does goat cheese last in the fridge?
Fresh goat cheese is usually sold in small containers or wrapped individually in plastic wrap.
If you purchase unwrapped cheese, you should expect it to last at least one week in the refrigerator.
Aged goat cheese, however, should only be consumed within six months of being made.
This is because aging allows the flavors and textures of the cheese to develop over time.
In general, aged goat cheese will last longer than fresh goat cheese, but it’s still not recommended to consume it past six months.
How long does goat cheese last in the freezer?
You should keep goat cheese in the freezer for up to three months.
The longer you wait to freeze it, the better the quality will be.
However, if you have room in your freezer, you can safely store goat cheese for as long as six months without any negative effects.
How long does goat cheese last after opening?
Once you open the container of goat cheese, you should use it within seven days.
Once opened, goat cheese becomes more susceptible to bacteria growth, which can cause food poisoning.
When storing goat cheese for longer periods of time, you must ensure that it’s kept in a cool place where it won’t warm above 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.5 degrees Celsius).
How long does goat cheese last unrefrigerated?
Unopened goat cheese should only be kept in a cool, dry place for up to three weeks.
After this period, the cheese will begin to deteriorate, resulting in moldy, smelly, and/or rancid flavors.
How long does goat cheese last before it goes bad?
While some people like to think of goat cheese as a high-quality product that doesn’t require refrigeration, others prefer to consider it an inferior option.
Regardless of your opinion, it’s important to understand how long goat cheese stays edible before it starts to spoil.
In general, fresh goat cheese will continue to remain edible for up to five days.
Aged goat cheese will keep for up to 12 months.
The length of time that aged goat cheese remains edible varies depending on the brand and the type of cheese.
For example, St.Agur is considered to be one of the longest-lasting goat cheeses available.
What is the shelf life of goat cheese?
It’s important to note that the shelf life of goat cheese is affected by a number of different variables.
One of the biggest factors is temperature.
As mentioned earlier, goat cheese should ideally be stored in a cool, dry place where it won’t warm above 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.5 degrees Celsius), otherwise it could become contaminated.
Another factor is humidity.
Humidity can affect the texture and taste of goat cheese, so keep this in mind when purchasing it.
Finally, there are some brands of goat cheese that are known to contain preservatives.
These additives can extend the shelf life of the cheese, but it’s important to remember that these ingredients aren’t necessarily good for your health.
How long can you keep goat cheese before it expires?
Unopened goat cheese should be refrigerated between 35 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit (1.6 to 2.2 degrees Celsius) to prevent bacterial growth.
It should also be stored in a cool, dark place to avoid becoming exposed to heat or sunlight.
However, once the cheese is opened, the shelf life decreases significantly.
Fresh goat cheese should be used within seven days, while aged goat cheese should be consumed within six months.
You can find out more about how to properly store goat cheese in our guide.
When does goat cheese go bad?
There are two main categories of goat cheese: fresh and aged.
Both types of cheese have different shelf lives, so it’s important to know what kind of goat cheese you’re buying.
Here are the signs that indicate when goat cheese has gone bad:
- Rancid smells
- Moldy or wet spots
- Pale color
What happens if you eat expired goat cheese?
If you buy a goat cheese that’s over its expiration date, you’ll experience a range of symptoms.
Some may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, abdominal pain, and skin rashes.
It’s important to take care to ensure that you don’t ingest any old goat cheese, especially if you’re pregnant or have a compromised immune system.
Is it safe to eat goat cheese that has been left out?
No matter how long you leave it out, goat cheese shouldn’t be kept outside of the refrigerator.
Even if you do keep it in a cool place, it shouldn’t be left out for too long.
This is because it’s easier for bacteria to grow in warm environments.
If you have room in your fridge, you can store goat cheese for up to three weeks.
Otherwise, it should be refrigerated immediately after purchase.
Is it safe to eat goat cheese that has been frozen?
Like all dairy products, goat cheese can be frozen for up to three months.
To ensure that it doesn’t go bad, it should be thawed slowly in the refrigerator.
This ensures that the cheese can reach a constant temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.5 degrees Celsius), preventing it from spoiling.
Can I eat raw goat cheese?
Raw goat cheese is very similar to raw milk cheese, though it’s not recommended to consume raw goat cheese unless you’ve previously cooked it thoroughly.
Raw goat cheese contains large amounts of lactose, which can cause digestive issues and upset stomachs in sensitive individuals.
Raw goat cheese can also contain harmful bacteria, so it’s best to cook it first.
Mushroom Pasta with Goat Cheese
- 1 saute pan or skillet
- 8 ounces bowtie pasta
- 8 ounces mushrooms such as baby bella aka cremini, button, shiitake, and oyster
- ¼ cup thyme finely chopped fresh
- ¼ cup oregano finely chopped fresh
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice fresh
- 3 cups kale or spinach
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 4 ounces goat chees soft
- Kosher salt
- Pepper Fresh ground
- Cook the pasta until al dente in salted boiling water. Set the timer for a few minutes less than the package instructions, then taste: the pasta should be just done, but still firm. The salted water should impart a salty flavor to the pasta. Save 14 cup pasta water after draining the pasta.
- Meanwhile, clean and slice the mushrooms. Prepare the herbs.
- Heat the olive oil in a saute pan or skillet over medium high heat and cook the herbs, mushrooms, and several pinches of kosher salt for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the mushrooms are tender, reduce the heat to low and add the lemon juice, greens, and a few more pinches of kosher salt. Cook for 2 minutes, or until the greens are wilted but still bright green. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and pasta water until the cheese is melted.
- Mix in the drained pasta with the mushrooms. To taste, season with freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt. Break off crumbles of goat cheese with your fingers and add them to the pasta; stir them in if desired. Serve right away.