How Long Does Cream Cheese Last?(What You Should Know)

You’ve definitely heard of cream cheese, a versatile spread that can be used for both dips and baking! This sort of cheese is great for a variety of applications and is a family favorite! However, how long can cream cheese be left out? Cream cheese is supposed to be kept in refrigerators, but what happens if you leave an unsealed box outside?

All sorts of UNOPENED cream cheese, on average, would last for THREE to FOUR WEEKS PAST the listed expiry date. That is, assuming you left the cheese in your refrigerator. Cream cheese wrapped in foil may be stored for up to two months beyond the expiry date.

How can you extend the life of cream cheese and tell whether it’s safe to eat?

A lot of questions, but various answers if you look online, which might be confusing! Continue reading as I address all of these concerns and teach you all you need to know about cream cheese.

How Long Is Cream Cheese Good For?

I previously said that cream cheese is manufactured from fresh milk fat. And milk spoils fast, lasting just a few days to a week once opened.

Many people wonder about the longevity of cream cheese and if it can last as long as other forms of aged cheese.

The answer is, of course, no. Because cream cheese is pasteurized from fresh milk, it has a shorter shelf life than other cheeses that have been matured for months.

The expiry date of cream cheese is determined by how it is stored. But don’t worry, it lasts longer than most people imagine!

When stored in the fridge, unwrapped containers of cream cheese may remain for up to two weeks beyond the expiry date.

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Can Cream Cheese Be Left Out?

However, how long can cream cheese be left out? What if you put it out in the open, maybe on kitchen countertops or in other rooms than our fridge?

When cream cheese is left outdoors, it degrades rapidly. Because it is produced from fresh milk, it will only survive for two hours after being exposed to room temperature.

That is why many buffet restaurants have a two-hour restriction. If the cream cheese rests for more than the permitted period, it must be discarded to prevent food illness.

[Related Article: 4 Best Edam Cheese Substitutes for Any Occasion]

About Cream Cheese

What, after all, is cream cheese? You’ve undoubtedly eaten it on cheesecakes or as a spread on sandwiches. In 1872, William Lawrence invented this white cheese. It is formed of milk fat and has a soft consistency, making it suitable for a variety of meals.

It has a softer feel than hard cheeses but is thicker than butter. When consumed, it tastes salty and sour at the same time. BUT, you can now get cream cheese spreads in a variety of tastes!

Many people use this cream cheese in frostings, sweets, and even savory foods. Its a popular choice for bakers and cooks out there since there is a creamy consistency thats easy to handle and you can find it in any supermarket.

Its acidity complements cheesecake and icing. Cream cheese may also be used as a dip for other appetizers.

While cream cheese is available at nine stores or supermarkets, you may also manufacture your own and culture it at home.

In a nutshell, this fresh milk-based cheese is one of the most popular varieties used in a variety of cuisines. And, since fresh milk fat expires, does this imply that cream cheese has a limited shelf life?

How To Tell If Cream Cheese is Bad?

Now that you know how long cream cheese may be left out for, how can you tell if it’s gone bad?

Here are several signs that your cream cheese has gone bad:

  • Looks: The first time you look at the cream cheese, you’ll notice whether it’s gone bad. If it shows indications of mold, throw it out right away. If not, you’ll notice a yellow or greenish tint.
  • Consistency: If the top of a cream cheese box seems slimy or excessively soft, it is a warning that molds or germs have penetrated the cream cheese and you should discard it.
  • Smell: One of the easiest ways to tell whether cream cheese has gone bad is to smell it. It is rotten if the odor is wrong or has a distinct, more sour fragrance.
  • Taste it if it looks and smells good but has been in the fridge for more than a month beyond its expiry date. You may still use it if it tastes good. If it tastes sourer than normal, consider if you can still use it. However, if the flavor is off, discard it.
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How Long Can You Leave Cream Cheese At Room Temperature?

If there is one thing to remember, it is to always throw spill dream cheese. If you ingest it when it already feels or tastes expired, you may end up with food poisoning.

Make careful you refrigerate the cream cheese before the two-hour rule expires. If it has been more than two hours, it is recommended to discard it, regardless of how it appears or tastes.

What Happens If You Eat Cream Cheese That Has Been Left Out?

You should keep an eye out for any signs after consuming the cream cheese that was left out. It has most likely been tainted by hazardous microorganisms at this point.

According to the CDC, raw (unpasteurized) milk and goods prepared with it, such as soft cheeses, ice cream, and yogurt, may make you extremely ill.

If you observe any indications of food poisoning, see your doctor right away!

How to Prolong Cream Cheese’s Life Span?

Fortunately, there are techniques to extend the life of cream cheese and keep it edible even after it has expired. Here are some ways to consider:

  • Temperature: Do not keep cream cheese at room temperature for more than two hours since germs grow quickly between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. As soon as you finish using it, place it in the fridge or cooler.
  • When keeping cream cheese in the fridge, use an airtight container or cover it with foil to prevent germs from entering.
  • When baking or spreading cream cheese on bread, use CLEAN tools that have not been touched by the mouth or other food, particularly raw meat.
  • Buying Cream Cheese: If you intend to purchase cream cheese from the store, do it until after you have completed your other shopping. Before acquiring a container, look for the coolness of the damage surrounding it.

[Related Article: Can Ricotta Cheese Be Freezed And Will It Affect The Taste?]

Does Cream Cheese Need To Be Refrigerated?

Store cream cheese in the freezer to extend its shelf life even more.

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Wrap the cream cheese in foil or plastic freezer wrap (or a bag) to prevent it from altering consistency, then keep it in the fridge.

If you are concerned about contamination from other raw meat in the fridge, consider keeping in an airtight container.

In Conclusion

You would believe that since cheese matures, it has a lengthy shelf life, but you must eat some varieties of cheese before they start looking and smelling old to prevent bacterial infection. One of them is cream cheese!

I hope this article has answered your query, “How long can cream cheese be left out?” You now understand when to eat cream cheese and how to keep it fresh.

You may be interested in the 5 Best Cheese Slicer Reviews And Buying Guide as well as What To Eat With Cottage Cheese?


How long should cream cheese be left out to reach room temperature?

Allowing the cream cheese to come to room temperature for around 60 minutes is ideal, but if you fail to take it out of the fridge on time, here are a couple shortcuts. Spread cream cheese in tiny pieces on the container or a plate. Allow for 15-20 minutes at room temperature.

Can cream cheese be left out overnight to soften?

That is an excellent question! It is not advisable to keep cream cheese out of the refrigerator for more than two hours. Cream cheese spoils fast, and germs may start growing on soft cheese after only two hours at room temperature.

How do you know if cream cheese is room temperature?

Please keep in mind that “softened” cream cheese merely refers to cream cheese that has been brought to room temperature. Gently push into the cream cheese to see whether it has softened. It should simply give way.

Can cream cheese go bad?

Changes in look and color, such as yellowing, mold specks, slime, or dryness, indicate that your cream cheese has gone bad. If you see dried-out spots on the cream cheese with bigger pools of liquid, Lucky Belly cautions that the spoiling process has started.

Is cheese still good if left out for 6 hours?

How long can cheese be left out before it gets tainted? Cheese should not be kept out at room temperature for more than two hours for the greatest flavor and quality. Hard cheeses may be kept out for extended periods of time without becoming dangerous, although the quality and flavor may suffer.

Can you put room temperature cream cheese back in the fridge?

If cream cheese is left out of the fridge for more than two hours, it might deteriorate. Set a timer if you’re concerned about forgetting about perishable goods. If you change your mind about using room temperature cream cheese, return it to the refrigerator. Cream cheese should be stored in an airtight container.

Can I eat cream cheese left out 8 hours?

Cream cheese may be left out for up to two hours at room temperature. Cream cheese, being a dairy product, may degrade or become a breeding ground for germs such as Salmonella if left out for too long or not adequately cooled. Throw aside any cream cheese that has been out for more than two hours.

How long does it take 8 oz of cream cheese to get to room temperature?

Because cream cheese contains so much fat, it doesn’t take long to reach to room temperature if the environment is somewhat warm. It takes around thirty minutes to soften considerably on the counter, and about an hour to completely get to room temperature (depending on the temperature outdoors and in your kitchen).

How long can I leave butter out?

Butter is safe to eat at room temperature, according to the USDA. However, if kept out at ambient temperature for many days, it might get rancid, resulting in unpleasant tastes. The USDA recommends not putting it out for longer than one to two days.

How long should cream cheese sit out to soften?

Method of room temperature (cube or complete block)

On a platter, spread cream cheese. Cut the cream cheese into cubes using a sharp knife. You may leave it whole if you choose, but it will take longer to soften. Allow to soften on the counter for 30 minutes (for cubes) or up to an hour (for the whole block).

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