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How Long Can Yogurt Stay Out Of The Fridge

How Long Can Yogurt Stay Out Of The Fridge

How Long Can Yogurt Stay Out Of The Fridge

Yogurt can be kept out of the fridge for up to two hours, after which it should be refrigerated. Yogurt is a dairy product that is made by fermenting milk. It is a good source of calcium and protein, and it is also a probiotic food, which means that it contains live bacteria.

Knowing how long yogurt stays cold does not mean a whole lot if you are unsure about when you left it on your counter to begin with. If you accidentally left it out, remember to put it back inside of your refrigerator at least two hours after taking it out. You should also keep in mind that the shelf life of your yogurt may be reduced as well if you remove yogurt from the refrigerator, allow it to sit at room temperature for an hour, or so, and return it to the refrigerator.

Once yogurt has settled, you can allow it to cool down to room temperature and store unrefrigerated for at least one day. As the chart below shows, you should never let yogurt sit out at room temperature for more than two hours. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, you should toss yogurt out if it is been left at room temperature for longer than two hours.

Storage Shelf life
At Room TemperatureFor one day
In the Fridge For 2 weeks
How Long Can Yogurt Stay Out Of The Fridge

According to, it is not recommended that you eat yogurt after it has been kept at room temperature for more than two hours. If room temperature is less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, refrigerated yogurt should be consumed within an hour after being kept at that temperature, once it has been refrigerated. Now, you know you absolutely must consume yogurt left outside of your refrigerator within two hours, or refrigerate it. If it is warmer than 90 degrees F, then you have just an hour to consume this yogurt left out of the refrigerator.

Find out is it ok to eat expired yogurt

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture says yogurt sitting outside at temperatures of 40 degrees to 90 degrees technically could be left outside for no longer than 2 hours and would still be safe to eat. As long as yogurt does not sit out longer than 2 hours or shows any signs of spoilage, you are fine eating unrefrigerated yogurt. Yes, refrigerated yogurt is safe to eat as long as it is left out for less than 24 hours. Refrigerated plain yogurt may also preserve food safely for up to 2 weeks past its indicated shelf life.

To keep yogurt from going bad fast, and protect you from being exposed to spoiled foods, it is important to keep in mind the length of time yogurt can remain refrigerated at room temperature. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Greek yogurt can only be left for about two hours before becoming unsafe to eat, as bacteria grow exceptionally rapidly at room temperature. Because bacteria grow extremely rapidly at room temperature, leaving Greek yogurt out for an extended period of time could be hazardous, and just because it has not been opened does not change that.

Because, as we explained above, the USDA says no perishable should ever be left outside for longer than two hours, Greek yogurt certainly cannot be left outside overnight. While the already mentioned two hours might be too strict in some cases, leaving Greek yogurt out overnight is simply way too much time, so simply toss it immediately. Yes, Greek yogurt needs to be refrigerated if you want to make sure that it is safe to eat, because when left outside, it starts going bad after only something like two hours.

Yogurt is packed with good bacteria, but just like any perishable food, it can start growing bad bacteria fast when left out too long. If yogurt is left out longer than recommended, the bacteria will start really growing to a point where it could make you sick, or even cause you to get food poisoning. At home, as soon as yogurt is left out of the fridge longer than two hours, it may become acidic and even spoil. Leaving yogurt out of the refrigerator longer than that can grow bacteria and make it more acidic.

Due to the high nutritional value of yogurt, it is not suitable for leaving yogurt outdoors for longer periods as warmer temperatures may accelerate the growth of bacteria, making this dairy product spoil more quickly. Since it is made by fermenting milk, yogurt gets bad like any other dairy products such as cheese. Since yogurt is a result of the formation of milk with the help of beneficial bacteria, eating yogurt past the shelf life is not problematic.

That is about as long as yogurt can stay out of the refrigerator, at room temperature, before the bacteria within it run amok. To ensure your yogurt is always at the ideal temperature, you should keep it at the back of your refrigerator. Now, when you choose to use or consume the remaining yogurt, just defrost your remaining yogurt in the fridge, rather than keeping it out in the open.

Once you store your yogurt in the fridge, it will continue to ferment, although it is still covered. If you are making yogurt at home, be sure to refrigerate within two hours of setting and becoming firm. If you are packing yogurt to go, be sure to add an ice pack or use a baggie or an insulated container so that it is secure for longer than two hours.

Put plain yogurt in the freezer, and the shelf life is up to one month, provided that you cover your yogurt tightly. Some folks may say that they leave yogurt out of the fridge for 6-7 hours, mainly when bringing it into work, and that is fine. That is part of why unrefrigerated yogurts can go quite long without spoiling, while yogurt kept refrigerated goes longer — often months. The long incubation period makes the yogurt thicker, but it is also more acidic, and if you wait too long, yogurt will become grainy.

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Jeff Potter, an expert on food sciences, believes that yogurts may need to sit out of the fridge for up to eight hours, as temperatures are not exactly ideal where the microorganisms are growing. While this is a good rule to follow, there might still be times where you are still unsure whether your yogurt is safe to eat, even when properly stored in a fridge. Official advice from the government says yogurts, be they Greek, Natural, or other varieties, should be discarded if yogurts, whether Greek, have been sitting without refrigeration for more than two hours at 40F. Homemade yogurt is free of added ingredients, and is unlikely to go bad if yogurt is left for over two hours.

Is it OK to eat yogurt left out overnight?

Yogurt that has been left out at room temperature for longer than two hours should be thrown away, according to the United States Department of Health & Human Services. You have only one hour to eat that yogurt that’s been left out of the refrigerator if the temperature rises to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Will I get sick if I eat yogurt that was left out?

Yogurt degrades when left out for 2 hours or more at 41 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, despite its microorganisms. Even if you may have witnessed a friend or coworker consume yogurt that has been out for a while, it is always preferable to choose the side of caution because the foodborne disease has never been something to take lightly.

How to know if my unrefrigerated yogurt has gone bad?

You can easily tell if your unrefrigerated, sealed yogurt has gone bad if there is an increased amount of watery liquid in it. Other signs of spoilage include mold developing or the yogurt giving off a rotten or stale smell. If it also tastes sour, you should immediately discard it.