If you have got that half-opened container of cream cheese sitting in the freezer, you know what to do with it now, how long cream cheese lasts, and how to store it correctly. The best way to prolong your cream cheeses shelf life, and ensure it stays fresh for as long as possible, is to store it correctly – and that means keeping cream cheese refrigerated. Once you have used any kind of cream cheese, be it wrapped in foil, in a plastic container, or any kind, you can store it in your refrigerator for seven to 14 days.
Unopened cream cheese is good for several weeks after its expiration date, and opened cream cheese will last 7-14 days. Unopened cream cheeses, both plastic containers and cream cheeses with flavors, last for three to four weeks in the fridge after their expiration dates. That is, nearly all types of store-bought cream cheese last about four weeks in the fridge (unopened), so it is not as though any of these different types of cream cheese has significantly shorter shelf lives. An unopened packet of cream cheese will last nearly two months past the best-by date in your fridge, and even opened packages will still be plenty longer than a typical ten days.
From the day that you open the carton of cream cheese, regardless if it is block or spread, it will still be good for consumption about 3 weeks to a month into that period. If you store the packet of spread cheese in a cool refrigerator, you can consume it for around 14 to 16 days, which is just over 2 weeks. The best way to extend cheeses shelf life is by keeping it in 40oF or lower temperatures. A good tip is to keep it in your cooler in your shopping bag until the very last minute, right before you are going to go out and buy.
|Reduced-Fat||2-3 weeks||9 months|
|Plain||1 month||2 months|
If you opened your package of cheese, then be sure to tightly seal it up when not using it. If you feel the original package is not tight enough, move the cheese to a sealed container. Once you have transferred your cheese to an airtight container or bag, mark the date on it, and try to use it ASAP, since frozen foods will lose their flavor quality over time. If you used part of your cheese, you will want to be sure you keep the rest of it covered appropriately to prevent cheese from drying out or going bad.
Always keep in mind the fact that when using cheese, you should be mindful of quality. Despite the guidelines mentioned above, test the specific cheese you are using before deciding whether or not you think it is safe for consumption. Regardless of if a cheese is unopened, your health is always the number one priority, and following the Food Safety Guidelines is essential for avoiding foodborne illnesses. As with all dairy products, expiration dates are guidelines, and the best way to know if your cheese is safe to eat is a quick visual inspection for mold.
While some molds on cheese are harmless, some may yield toxins, and mild cheeses should be tossed at the first signs of mold. Once mold is seen on a soft cheese, the whole cheese product should be thrown away (you can trim off the molds on harder cheeses). The best way to keep chucking from happening is by keeping airborne moisture from getting into your cream cheese via an airtight container; obviously, most shop-bought cream cheese comes in these containers already, but it is important to keep this in mind if you are making your own (it is also important to keep in mind with foil wrapped cream cheese once you open it).
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Because bacteria grow faster in damp environments, soft cheeses will not last as long as harder ones. Because soft cheeses deteriorate more quickly than their firmer counterparts because of their moistness, it is only a matter of time until your cheese goes bad. Softer cheeses spoil more quickly than their harder counterparts, such as popular Cheddar, because of their moisture content.
You may think a lot of cheeses would have an extremely long shelf life as it ages, but you need to be sure you eat some types of cheeses before they begin to look and taste stale in order to avoid bacteria infections. While eating cheeses that are dried out this way is not necessarily bad, it is definitely not nice. If you consume spilled Dream Cheese while it is already feeling or tasting expired, you could wind up with food poisoning soon afterwards.
According to the CDC, you can get really sick from raw milk (unpasteurized) and products made from it, including soft cheeses, ice cream, and yogurt. For dairy products such as milk, cheese, and cream, you should judge by taste and smell whether a dairy product such as milk has gone bad. Keep in mind dairy products are not known for their predictability and shelf-life longevity.
The shelf life of unopened cream cheese is affected by various factors, such as cheese type, the way that it is stored, heat exposure, handling methods, and packaging date. If you are making homemade cream cheese, you have the freedom to incorporate almost everything that you would like, but although it may give it a nice flavor, it also greatly impacts the durability of your homemade cream cheese. Reduced-fat cream cheese will last about one week less than plain cream cheese, and only needs to stay refrigerated for about two or three weeks.
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Once defrosted, the cheese may not spread as well on bagel, and it can have a mildly unappetizing taste until it is warmed through. Such events happen fairly frequently if cheese is compromised before reaching shelves. With this information, you can maximize the life span of cream cheese, as well as reducing your chances of accidentally eating contaminated food, which can cause serious health issues both for yourself and for those living with you, not to mention saving yourself even more money and energy by prolonging the life of one of your favorite foods, cutting down the frequency of having to buy it again.
Can cream cheese go bad in fridge?
According to a taste of Home, cream cheese packets remain fresh up to one month after the expiration date is printed on the box. However, it must be consumed within 10 days of being opened. According to Street Smart Kitchen, cream cheese can be stored for one to two weeks in the refrigerator and two months in the freezer after it has been opened.
How long is cream cheese good for unopened?
According to the USDA, cream cheese is good for up to two weeks unopened. Once opened, cream cheese should be used within a week for the best quality. However, cream cheese can still be safe to eat after the expiration date if it has been stored properly.
How to tell if cream cheese is bad?
Cream cheese is a dairy product that can spoil if it is not stored properly. You can tell if cream cheese is bad if it has a sour smell, if it is lumpy or watery, or if it has molded. If you see any of these signs, it is best to discard the cream cheese.