By in Food

Cottage Cheese: How Long Past the Sale Date is it Safe to Consume?

I keep forgetting that I purchased a container of cottage cheese a few weeks ago. I checked the date to make sure I could still eat it and I realized that like many types of foods in grocery stores, this says when the last sale date is rather than the last day it should be consumed. With that said, how do you all determine how long things like that are still save to eat?

I did taste a little bit and it seems to be fine, so I'm having a small bowl with diced onions and a bit of pepper before heading off to work tonight. Milk is another dairy item that is dated with the sell by date rather than the last day it should be consumed, but in our household we don't have any problems drinking it before that date arrives. In fact, we almost go through a gallon of milk daily and that is only with my husband and my daughter drinking the milk. I will have it in cereal or when I have instant breakfast, but otherwise I don't drink much of it.

Have any of you figured out the best time-table for eating foods such as this? I know with meats that you have waiting to cook but that are in the refrigerator rather than the freezer, usually you can tell by the smell. If it's beginning to smell rancid, then it's a safe bet that it's best not to eat it. Cottage cheese, though, has to be older to have a nasty smell.

Image Credit » Marsha Musselman (taken with my camera)

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Ravenmount wrote on July 7, 2014, 9:48 PM

It depends a lot on how long that particular container was not refrigerated, and how much airspace it has had, for how long, etc., as well as what bacteria it came in contact with and a lot of other factors. Generally if it tastes fine, smells fine, and has the right color and texture, it is fine. Milk products really do change appearance, texture, taste and smell when they spoil, and most humans are well adapted to picking up these changes.

MarshaMusselman wrote on July 8, 2014, 5:10 AM

Thanks for your input, Ravenmount . A customer in the grocery store where I work told me that generally cottage cheese lasts a long time. I think it was just not refrigerated in the time it took for me to take it off the shelf, buy it and then drive home with it.

LadyDuck wrote on July 9, 2014, 1:49 AM

The cottage cheese tastes bitter when it's no more good. You cannot always say by the smell, but when you taste it you can easily feel the bitterness.

DorothyGale wrote on July 10, 2014, 1:24 PM

I've read and heard it's only good for about a week past date. Better to be safe than sorry, I guess. A bout of food poisoning would not be a good time.

MarshaMusselman wrote on July 10, 2014, 7:37 PM

Thanks, Anna. I'll keep that in mind. It's been good so far, but I may not eat it much longer.

MarshaMusselman wrote on July 10, 2014, 7:38 PM

You are right, food poisoning wouldn't be too much fun at all, ever.

JanetJenson wrote on July 31, 2014, 3:08 PM

Hi Marsha, this is Ann (drann) whom you know from Bubblews. Glad to see you here. I sure wouldn't worry about the expiration date of cottage cheese if it looks, smells, and tastes OK. It is not like some other foods where bad crawlies are likely to go undetected. If in doubt you can always use it up in lasagna or some other well-cooked dish.