If you opened cream cheese a few days ago and you’re wondering if it’s still correct, you’re in the right place. We bring you everything you need to know about the durability and perishability of cream cheese.
Mostly breakfast is unthinkable without some kind of cream cheese. It goes well with bread or as a base for a sandwich, and children, as well as adults, eat it equally. This is why often we have five or ten boxes of cream cheese in the fridge. And now comes the question, how long does cream cheese last? Do you necessarily have to throw it in the trash if it has expired? How long does it last after you open it, and how do you even recognize that the cheese is spoiled?
The great thing is that dairy products generally give pretty clear signs of spoilage, so you can hardly be confused. The bad thing is that most dairy products can cause indigestion, so be especially careful if you suspect spoilage. Here’s what you need to know.
How Long Does Cream Cheese Last?
Like all other dairy products, cream cheese will spoil over time. The rule regarding cheeses is that the harder they are, the longer they last. Thus creamy versions and soft cheeses last significantly shorter than hard, compact cheeses. Still, you don’t have to rush to throw cheese in the trash the same day it expires.
Unopened cream cheese
If the cream cheese is originally factory packaged and you haven’t opened it yet, chances are it will last at least a week, and maybe two to three, after the expiration date. So if you have relatively recently expired cream cheese in the fridge, open it and check the quality. If everything is fine, feel free to consume it without fear.
Opened cream cheese
Once you have opened the cream cheese packaging, the decay process begins. Regardless of the shelf life written on the box, open cheese will probably last up to a week, a maximum of ten days. Provided, of course, you keep it in the fridge and not in the warm.
Can Cream Cheese Go Bad?
Cream cheese will certainly spoil within a while. You will notice that different types have different expiration dates. This is because they are treated differently, so some may last a little shorter than others.
Here are the most common indicators and how to tell if cream cheese is bad.
Sign 1: Smell is wrong
The smell can be an indicator of spoiled cream cheese when the spoilage process has already progressed. You will hardly notice it early, so focus on the fragrance. So if you sense a sour and strange smell, you will know that the product is spoiled.
Sign 2: Mold is present
Mold can appear on open cream cheese, especially if you accidentally insert foreign substances into it with a knife. Dairy products do not tolerate other foods or dirt well because bacteria grow very quickly. You may also notice yellowish stains that may not look like an alarm right away but are definitely a sign to throw cheese in the trash.
Sign 3: Taste is unusual
The last test is always the taste. If you are not sure about the look or smell and if everything is okay, try a small amount and taste it. If it doesn’t seem okay, spit it out and throw it all away.
What Is The Best Way To Store Cream Cheese?
It is very important that you do not expose the cheese to unfavorable conditions because the bacteria in dairy products grow much faster than in other food. So be careful not to make a purchase and then drive for a few hours keeping the cream cheese in the warm car, for example.
Tip 1: Keep in the fridge
Cream cheese must be refrigerated whether it is open or not, and there is no exception. In the heat, the cheese will spoil very quickly. Therefore, be careful when carrying cream cheese to warm picnics.
Tip 2: Avoid keeping it open
Try to keep the box of cream cheese without the lid as short as possible. Take the amount you need and cover. The cheese will surely dry out sooner in the air, and an environment for negative bacteria will be created.
Tip 3: Use a clean knife
Always use a clean knife or other cutlery that you use. The spoilage will start quickly if other foods get into the cream cheese.
When you open the box, you will probably first notice if there is discoloration, yellowish spots, or even mold. Other indicators may be bad smell and sour taste.
If the expiration date passed only a week or two ago, and there are no other indications that the cheese is spoiled, nothing will happen to you. But if you consume visibly rotten cheese or one that expired more than three weeks ago, you can get indigestion.
The spoiled cream cheese will likely have a slightly astringent sour taste. Fresh and correct cream cheese has a nice texture and mild taste. The spoiled one may even have lumps or be a bit slimy.
If you bought more boxes of cream cheese than you need, you would most likely be able to consume it for another week or two after the expiration date. Some say that cheese can be good, in the right conditions, even three weeks after expiration, but we would be careful with that prognosis and certainly pay extra attention to the signs of spoilage.
When more time has passed, be sure to toss the cream cheese in the trash regardless of whether you notice signs of spoilage. Dairy products can cause digestive and health problems, so it is better to be safe than sorry.