Cream cheese will generally keep for about 1 month after the "sell by" or " best before" date on the package, assuming it has been continuously refrigerated. It’s hard to waste food, but it's much worse to get food poisoning from cream cheese that’s gone bad. She’s a mom, a foodie and enjoys being active in her rural Wisconsin community. A good tip is to leave it in the grocery cooler until the last minute, just before you are about to check out. Cream cheese that has been defrosted in the fridge can be kept for an additional 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator before using; cream cheese that was thawed in the microwave or in cold water should be used immediately. Perhaps they were on sale at a bargain price you couldn't resist or maybe you bought more than you needed for a baking project. Crab Mentality: The Best Way To Reheat Crab, Kingly Tip: How To Store Royal Icing The Right Way, Heat On! To further extend the shelf life of opened cream cheese, freeze it: Unopened cream cheese sold in a foil-wrapped block may be frozen in its original packaging. A dry, chalky, grainy or slimy texture is a sign that it's going off. Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here. Let’s say you have bought a few extra tubs of cream cheese at the supermarket. Once you’ve broken the manufacturer’s seal and exposed your yummy spread to the elements, its shelf life also starts to decrease rapidly. —J.F., Erie, Pennsylvania. A cream cheese’s life is quite volatile because it has not gone through much processing or pasteurization. You must check individual sell-by dates carefully as each manufacturer’s process is different. Cream cheese in plastic containers and most of the flavored varieties can be. I worked at a grocery store and that's how it is. How Can You Make Your Cream Cheese Last Longer? Because of modern packing techniques and production standards, food products are preserved much longer. If the smell and appearance are fine, you can taste the cream cheese a little, if you must. Taste of Home is America's #1 cooking magazine. Always trust your instincts when deciding whether it had gone off or not. As a fresh dairy product, cream cheese should have a use by date. It should not be sour at all. The freezer time shown is for best quality only - cream cheese that has been kept constantly frozen at 0°F will keep safe indefinitely. PEGGY: How long after opening is it safe to consume (reduced-fat) cream cheese? © Copyright 2020 StillTasty LLC. Can You Freeze Coffee Creamer To Extend Its Shelf Life? All rights reserved. After use, the remaining cream cheese should be put back in the fridge immediately. I only use it in baked goods. It’s often tough to know how long cream cheese will last because the “expiration” dates on the packaging can be confusing. According to Philadelphia Cream Cheese, under normal refrigerator conditions of 40° at all times, an unopened package of cream cheese is good 1 month past the “Best When Purchased By” date on the carton. How can you tell if cream cheese is bad or spoiled? Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. Reduced-fat cream cheese can last for two to three weeks in the refrigerator. Once opened, cream cheese should be used within 10 days. Inspect the texture, which ideally should be smooth, creamy and spreadable. i've very probably had a jar of fluff in the past that's been expired. From appetizers to desserts, since then, I’ve always been passionate on making foods. Here, we've rounded up 20 products that are fine to eat past the package date, so long as you take the proper precautions. Peggy is a Senior Food Editor for Taste of Home. 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. If it taste alright use it. 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. The best way is to smell and look at the cream cheese: if cream cheese turns yellow or develops an off odor or flavor, it should be discarded for quality purposes; if mold appears, discard the entire package. 2 months past use date. Always store your cream cheese in a dry, airtight container as this will slow down the decay of the cheese and stop mold from growing. Think it's still OK to use? i can't see that stuff ever going "bad" since it's basically melted sugar. If it tastes, smells and looks good, then there's nothing to worry about. 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 it out. Be cautious with cream cheese after the expiry date. Despite the guidelines above, check your particular cheese before you deem it to be safe for consumption. How long does unopened cream cheese last after the "sell by" date or "best before" date? How long does cream cheese last at room temperature? Discovered an unopened 8 oz box of Philly brand cream cheese in the cheese drawer of my fridge. The Five Best Ways To Reheat Tamales. 18 Things Polite People Don’t Do on Thanksgiving, 18 Star Wars Food Creations We Absolutely Love, Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents. The best way that you can extend the cheese’s expiry date is by storing it.