How long does cream cheese last?

Everything You Need To Know About Cream Cheese Expiration

Cream cheese makes everything more delicious whether it’s used for spreading on crackers for a quick snack, or for making a dip extra creamy, or for baking a special cheesecake. Cheese lovers surely have a tub of this in their refrigerator and serious bakers must horde bricks of cream cheese in their pantry.

But, have you ever been craving that smooth, delicious cheese, gone through your fridge and realized that your cream cheese has gone past its expiration date? It is always such a waste to throughout good food, so here’s everything you need to know on how long cream cheese lasts – and how long you can extend its shelf life.


How Long Does Cream Cheese Last Unopened?

Let’s say you bought a few extra bricks of cream cheese at the supermarket. Perhaps they were on sale at a bargain that you couldn't resist. Maybe you bought more than you needed for a baking project. Chances are, there are one or two bricks that may be lying in your fridge unopened.

How Long Does Cream Cheese Last Unopened?

Good news is, your unopened cream cheese is probably still safe to enjoy! Because of modern packing techniques and production standards, food products are preserved much longer.

Cream cheese, unopened, in a plastic tub can last up to a month after the sell-by date that should be steamed prominently on its container. In a foil pack, cream cheese can last up to two months past the sell-by or best before date.

How Long Does Cream Cheese Last Opened?

How Long Does Cream Cheese Last Opened?

Once you’ve broken the manufacturer’s seal and exposed your yummy spread to the elements, its shelf life also starts to decrease rapidly. Cream cheese lasts for one to two weeks from the time you open it – if you do not eat it all before that! 

How Can You Make Your Cream Cheese Last Longer?

Because it is a soft cheese that has not gone through much processing and pasteurization, a cream cheese’s life is quite volatile. It is also affected by many different factors: how high the fat content is; whether it is plain or flavored with fruit, nuts, vegetables, or even fish; and of course, how it is stored.

  • The best way that you can extend the cheese’s expiration date is by storing it in a temperature of 40º F and below. A good tip is to leave it in the grocery coolers until the last minute, right before you are about to check out.
  • After use, the remaining cream cheese should be put back in the fridge immediately.
  • In the freezer, unopened foil-packaged cream cheese can last up to two months past its sell-by date. It is not recommended to store spreadable cream cheese in the freezer as it may affect the texture.
  • Cream cheese in plastic containers and most flavored varieties can be extended by three to four weeks in the refrigerator. Reduced fat cream cheese lasts two to three weeks unopened, in the refrigerator.

Another way to ensure that your cream cheese lasts long is by avoiding contamination once it is opened. Be sure you do not get and stray crumbs and moisture in your cream cheese. Store your cream cheese in a dry, airtight container. These expedite the decay of the cheese and may even cause mold to grow.

Is It Safe To Use Expired Cream Cheese?

As each manufacturer’s process is different, you must check individual sell-by dates carefully. Despite the guidelines above, check your particular cheese before you deem it safe for consumption.

Is It Safe To Use Expired Cream Cheese?

Use your senses:

  • Cream cheese should be a solid white or cream color, so if there are patches or discoloration, or even visible blue or green mold, throw your cream cheese out.
  • Inspect the texture of the cream cheese, which ideally is smooth, creamy and spreadable. Signs of expiration include a dry, chalky, or grainy texture. In other cases, the cheese might become slimy.
  • Spoiled cream cheese has a pungent odor. If it smells rotten, or even funny or off, then it most probably has gone bad.
  • If you absolutely must taste the cream cheese – given that the appearance and smell are fine – you may give it a little try. The cheese should not be sour at all. But, if the taste, smell, and appearance are all good, then there will be nothing to worry about.

Always trust your instincts when deciding whether or not your cream cheese is already spoiled. If there is any doubt, throw it out. It’s hard to waste food, but worse to get sick from food that’s gone bad.

Everything You Need To Know About Cream Cheese Expiration
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About the Author Rose

There’s nothing in this world that excites me more other than cooking. From appetizers to desserts, since then, I’ve always been passionate on making foods.

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