I would admit that most of you tend to store some cream cheese in your kitchen, so do I. Remember when I first bought a basket full of Philadelphia cream cheese to make my blossom cheesecake and you know what? I was too busy to use all cream cheese and then it was spoiled. Sure now I have collected enough experiences to avoid this bad situation so I want to share with you to know “How long does cream cheese last” and “How to know when cream cheese is bad?” in order to let you not waste much money on spoiled cream cheese.
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How Long does Cream Cheese Last?
#1 Unopened cream cheese
Normally, cream cheese which is bought from grocery stores is all printed its expiry date on the package. If you don’t use your pack of cream cheese right away and it is still unopened, it can last about a few hours at room temperature (above 40 degrees F), from 40 degrees F to 140 degrees F is a good condition for bacteria to grow. In the refrigerator, as long as it is wrapped in plastic containers or foil and stored properly, it can last from 3 to 4 weeks after its sell-by date. However, the shelf life of reduced-fat cream cheese is lower than traditional types about 1 to 2 weeks in the fridge. For a frozen block of cream cheese, you can store it in up to 2 months past its the best-buy date.
#2 Opened cream cheese
Once you open your pack of cream cheese, its shelf life cannot last as long as that of unopened ones. I think you should consume it within 1 to 2 weeks past its sell-by date to avoid spoilage at room temperature. If you wrap your cheese in plastic containers or foil and even place it in a heavy-duty freezer bag, it can last for 7 to 10 days in the refrigerator and it remains safe in the freezer beyond 1 month. Moreover, compared to the lifetime of the sealed package at room temperature, it cannot be eaten in 2 hours if the temperature is above 40 degrees F.
I don’t highly recommend that you keep your cream cheese in the freezer even if you are too busy to head to any store and pick some packs in almost 2 months. The reason is that it may make your cream cheese crumble and lose some of its flavors. However, use this method and then defrosting in the fridge can lengthen its shelf life for an additional of 3 to 4 days before consuming.
How to Know when Cream Cheese is Bad?
The first thing you will easily see is there any mold or color spots growing on the surface of the cream cheese. If there appears some, you had better know that your cream cheese is no longer creamy and good for your health anymore. Besides, once your cheese cannot remain its original fluffy and soft texture, especially it turns hard, dries out and even begins to crack, you also should throw it away to not get food poisoning, badly affecting your food experience.
Smell is a very important indicator to know when cream cheese is bad. In the storing time, if it tastes moldy or unpleasant, do not try to keep it anymore because it may harm your health and so you need to discard your cream cheese.
After reading this short article, I really hope it might provide you some necessary information, then you will probably only know the shelf life of cream cheese but also its spoiled signs in order to use your packs of cream cheese in the best way for a variety of recipes.