No matter if I buy my ricotta by weight or by package it goes bad (funky smell, the puddle of cheese water gets grainy, some yellow tint on the sides of the cheese, losing its mellow sweet taste) within 2-3 days. I know it could have a fridge life of 1 to 2 weeks - why is it not the case with me?

  • Most store bought ricotta is a pasteurized product, so this probably isn't a safety issue. Can you specify "goes bad?" Describe your observations.
    – moscafj
    Apr 3, 2016 at 11:40
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    why would it have a shelf life of 1 to 2 weeks?
    – rumtscho
    Apr 3, 2016 at 14:14
  • I have added my observations. @rumtscho well I find it hard to believe ricotta should go bad in 3 days?
    – Bar Akiva
    Apr 3, 2016 at 16:30
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    Fresh cheeses don't generally have much of a shelf life... my dad always freezes his extra ricotta.
    – Catija
    Apr 3, 2016 at 20:08
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    ...still think we need more info....it is not unreasonable to expect mass produced, pasteurized ricotta to last a week or two. So, what brand? What was the expiration date when purchased vs. when you noticed spoilage? ...or are we talking fresh ricotta? What is the temp of your fridge? ...notice anything else not lasting very long?
    – moscafj
    Apr 3, 2016 at 21:58

3 Answers 3


Pasteurized ricotta should last 2-4 weeks in the fridge, unpastuerized 1-2 weeks.

So, A Few Possibilities:

Your fridge is way too warm, like close to room temperature. Ricotta will spoil if left out at room temperature or warmer in a few days. Have you checked fridge temp? Where in the fridge are you storing the ricotta?

You have a lot of spoiled milk bacteria in your fridge. If you've had dairy products go "off" many times in your fridge (or only once, but you spilled it), and not cleaned it, then you may have cultures of dairy-eating bacteria living in your fridge. Do other dairy products spoil quickly for you?

Your ricotta vendor is contaminated. If you've been getting all of this ricotta from the same store or the same maker, it's possible that their equipment/storage is contaminated. Try a different source/store.

You are buying ricotta which is already old. When was this ricotta made? How close is it to the expiration date when you buy it?


In fact, the brand I buy says on the container: for maximum freshness, use entire contents with 3-5 days of opening.


Strain/drain it when you bring it home, and leave it in an airtight sealed clean container.

  • Could you add some details of why this helps it last longer? I'm curious about the science.
    – Erica
    Sep 16, 2017 at 12:55
  • You're removing excess moisture Sep 18, 2017 at 13:30

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