How Long Does Cream Cheese Last?
How long does cream cheese last? Opened cream cheese can last for two weeks while an unopened package can last up to two months in the fridge.
Cream cheese is considered one of the most versatile soft cheese. You can buy it in all groceries and supermarkets nationwide, available in different types and textures– regular, reduced-fat, whipped and flavored. One of the most popular brands is Philadelphia. Opened cream cheese can last for two weeks while an unopened one can last up to two months.
Before you purchase cream cheese, it’s best to know how much you are going to use, so you don’t buy too much of it. It’s also a good idea to know the signs of spoiled cream cheese and how to properly store it for a longer shelf life.
Shelf Life of Cream Cheese
Like other dairy products available on the market, cream cheese has a best before or sell-by date instead of an expiration date. This gives the store owners an idea of until when they can sell the cheese. After hitting the best-by date, the cheese will still be usable and safe until some time, as specified below.
Unopened Cream Cheese
- Unopened cream cheese in plastic containers and flavored cream cheese can last for three to four weeks in the refrigerator after the sell-by date.
- Reduced-fat cream cheese can last for two to three weeks in the refrigerator.
- A foil-wrapped block can last up to two months past the best-by date when kept frozen.
Opened Cream Cheese
Once opened, all types of cream cheese– in plastic containers or foil-wrapped, can last for one to two weeks in the refrigerator. In the freezer, opened foil-wrapped one can last for two months.
The shelf life of cream cheese will quickly decline if not stored properly. Spoiled cream cheese, like other spoiled food products, can result in foodborne illnesses if accidentally consumed.
Signs of Spoiled Cream Cheese
Using your senses will be the best technique to check if your cream cheese has gone bad, so you can minimize the health risks. Here are a few signs of spoiled cream cheese.
- Discoloration. Cream cheese should have a white or cream color. If your cheese has turned yellow or you notice patches of discoloration– blue or green mold formation– then it has already gone bad.
- Dry or slimy texture. Cream cheese should be smooth or creamy. If your cheese feels dry, grainy, chalky or has a slimy texture, then it is already spoiled.
- Unpleasant smell. Cream cheese should smell mild, light and pleasant. Bad one smells pungent, sour and rotten.
How to Properly Store Cream Cheese
Proper storage of cream cheese is important to make sure it lasts longer and prevent bacteria contamination. Here are some tips on how to properly store your cream cheese and cream cheese frosting for best quality.
How to Store Cream Cheese
- When grocery shopping, grab all dairy products including cream cheese last before going to the cashier to check out.
- Don’t leave cream cheese at room temperature for more than two hours.
- Keep cream cheese refrigerated. Store in refrigerator with a temperature of 40º F or lower.
- To maintain its consistency, do not freeze cream cheese packed in plastic containers which are softer than foil-wrapped blocks.
- Keep the original packaging of foil-wrapped cream cheese refrigerated if still unopened. Once opened, transfer the cream cheese to airtight containers, freezer bag or wraps.
A note on freezing cream cheese:
You might have tried freezing your cream cheese before and noticed it had become crumbly after you thawed it. This is because cream cheese has a high moisture content, it is sensitive to the formation and melting of ice crystals. Freezing then thawing it separates its water content from the cheese curds, making it crumbly.
Frozen cream cheese can not only become crumbly but also lose some of its flavors when thawed. However, you can still use thawed cream cheese for casseroles. And remember, always use clean utensils for your cream cheese to avoid contamination and mold formation.
How to Store Cream Cheese Frosting
- Keep prepared cream cheese frosting in an airtight container. Use a sealable plastic food bowl or freezer bags.
- Refrigerate for up to three days. Do not freeze: this will ruin the consistency of the cream cheese icing.
- Your icing will get stiff after refrigeration. You can use a whisk or electric beater to soften it up before using.
- If you are storing desserts like cakes or cupcakes with cream cheese icing, use an airtight container to keep the frosting fresh.
Looking for more cream cheese recipes? Here are a couple street-smart ideas that you might like.
1. Best Carrot Cake Recipe // 2. Creamed Mushroom Toast // 3. No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups // 4. Chicken Primavera // 5. Brownie Cheesecake // 6. Beef Sticky Buns // 7. Spinach Artichoke Dip Stuffed Bread // 8. Double Strawberry Toast // 9. Stuffed Jalapeños
I love cream cheese and I always use it with bread. However, preserving cream cheese is not a hard task as you just need to keep it in an air-tight container and then place it in the fridge. So thanks for sharing this information.
I’ve had four pckgs of foil wrapped unopened crm cheese in my fridge. On the door inside a covered compartment. I opened one after about a year fully expecting it to be green. To my surprise it looked like I just bought it. It smelled fresh so I tried tasting a smidge and it was great! How is this possible?? Does this mean it can be eaten??
“Wow”! Thanks for posting your comment… I too, have (2)
Unopened, Foil-wrapped blocks of Cream Cheese….They’ve been in my fridge for (a month over) a year…! Thought of making a Cheesecake but, not sure if I could still use (at least)one of these blocks of cream cheese ….? Guess I should “check them out and take a taste”, to see if they’re Still Usable…😳
Can we still use cream cheese when it becomes bitter? There are no molds or discoloration but it has a bitter aftertaste.
I would recommend you toss it due to the bitter taste, which means it’s already gone bad.
I took a chance on eating cream cheese with a tiny spot of mold. I used only the parts far from the mold figuring that would be ok.
I had the worst case of diarrhea that you can imagine. My stomach and intestines hurt for two days. The only good thing was that I lost a couple of pounds.
I am making Cream Cheese For Sale ,BUT Befor I Sale it goes Bad on Me,s