how long can cream cheese sit out

How Long Can Cream Cheese Sit Out?

You don’t have to be a food connoisseur to be familiar with cream cheese, a resourceful, viscous spread used in baking. Cheese of this sort is idyllic for a vast majority of items, making it an indulgence for any foodie! Cream cheese is primarily meant to be refrigerated, however, what if you were to leave it outside?

How long can cream cheese sit out, and what happens when a scrumptious cream cheese frosting is left in the pantry for too long? Would it still be benign to consume? In this article, you will find the answers to these hectic questions!


But what is cream cheese? You may have spoilt yourself with a cheesecake or bagel at some point – the delightful frosting inside is what you call cream cheese. It is a lax, mild-tasting, and savoury fresh cheese made from a combination of milk and cream.

Cream cheese was invented by William Lawrence in 1872, a product of milk fat. Its supple consistency makes it handy in an assortment of dishes, a paradigm for bakeries. Its texture is softer than regular cheese but denser than butter. Usually, cream cheese tastes saline and tangy, albeit, there is a diversity of luscious cream cheese flavours that you can opt from.

how long can cream cheese sit out


Cream cheese is made out of milk, and milk does not last for extended periods. Since cream cheese is a product of fresh milk, it will expire quicker than other cheeses, which can be aged for months. However, the expiration of cream cheese is dependent on how it is kept.

For unopened cream cheese stored in its container, it can sit up to FOUR WEEKS beyond its expiration date, the catch being that it is refrigerated. On the contrary, foil-wrapped cream cheese can sit up to TWO MONTHS. For OPENED cream cheese, it won’t endure past TWO WEEKS on average!

But, what if you, supposedly, leave cream cheese outside – in the open air? Be it in the pantry or atop your refrigerator, cream cheese will expire rapidly. It’s pasteurized out of fresh milk, and as such, will spoil in a couple of HOURS if bare to humidity. Thus, it will become mandatory to throw it away!

how long can cream cheese sit out


So now that you have a notion of how long cream cheese can sit out, how would you know IF the cream cheese is spoiled? It is imperative to realize when cream cheese goes bad, as to avoid any food poisoning, which can be detrimental.

how long can cream cheese sit out

Below are a few ways that you can ensure if cream cheese has spoiled;

  • Appearance – you will recognize if the cream cheese has gone bad or if has any indications of mould or bacteria. This is a generic, albeit effective, method of ensuring that food goes bad or spoils. Similar to milk, if the cream cheese becomes yellowish or greenish, you will immediately know that it’s spoiled.
  • Consistency – if the packaging of cream cheese becomes mushy or sluggish, you can be certain that there is mould in the cream cheese as the cheese will become watery. It needs to be disposed of!
  • Smell – the odour that the cream cheese will discharge is a definite way of recognizing spoiled cream cheese; the smell will be pungent and nasty. Regardless of the appearance of the cream cheese, if it smells bad, it’s bad.
  • Taste – if the odour isn’t pungent and the appearance isn’t hostile, however, the cheese has been kept past its expiration date, you can taste it. If the cream cheese tastes fine, you can keep using it. But, if it’s sourer than normal or prickly, get rid of it.


You might assume that, similar to other cheeses, cream cheese would have an identical lifespan. However, unlike other cheeses, which can be aged, cream cheese expires quicker, and as so, needs to be examined wisely to avoid contamination or toxicity.

I hope this article answers your questions about the lifespan of cream cheese!

Also Read: What snack food was legally barred from calling its product “chips”?


Andrew is a professional writer with 7+ Years of experience. His style and uniqueness inspire and educate readers throughout the world.


Andrew is a professional writer with 7+ Years of experience. His style and uniqueness inspire and educate readers throughout the world.

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