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I love cream cheese on bagels and crackers, and I admit that sometimes I horde packs of it whenever I make a supermarket run.
Whenever I find myself with more cream cheese than I immediately need, I always make it a point to store them properly so that I don’t find myself with packs of spoiled cream cheese in my kitchen.
If you’re wondering how long does cream cheese last, then let me help you with that. Not only will I give recommendations on how long to keep cream cheese in your fridge, I will also share a good way to store it and keep it fresh for up to two months.
Can Cream Cheese Go Bad?
Like most dairy products, cream cheese can go bad, and it’s usually easy to tell if it is still good or not. For pointers, Can It Go Bad? shares some telltale signs to help you check if a pack of cream cheese has already gone bad or if it is still edible:
Unlike hard cheeses where you can simply cut out the sections with mold and serve what’s left, molds in cream cheese is a sure sign that you need to toss it out in the trash.
Because cream cheese is a type of soft cheese, toxins from the molds can easily seep through the whole package and make it unsafe for consumption. Once you see a spot of green or brown on your cheese, I advise you to get rid of it quickly and just buy a new pack.
A fresh batch of cream cheese is smooth and even in texture. As it nears its expiration date, it starts to dry out and some sections will begin to crack and separate from each other. A liquid may also appear on the surface and in between cracks if your cream cheese is on its way to spoilage.
Dry and waxy appearance
As the cream cheese begin to dry out, its color may change to pale or medium yellow and it may attain a waxy appearance.
Unlike cream cheese that has grown molds or has cracked on the surface, you can actually still eat cream cheese that has dried out in some parts. However, it will most likely taste terrible, so I recommend cutting them out and just eating the good portions that are left behind.
Sour or moldy smell
A good indication that your cream cheese has gone bad is when it starts to give off a sour or rancid smell. Remember that cream cheese is a dairy product and hence will smell moldy once it goes bad. When this happens, don’t hesitate and throw out your cream cheese immediately!
How Long Does Cream Cheese Last?
Unopened cream cheese can last from 3 to 4 weeks past its printed date in the refrigerator and up to 2 months in the freezer, as long as it is wrapped in foil and stored properly. If you leave it at room temperature or expose it to temperatures of 40 degree F and above, you should expect to find it spoiled after only 2 hours.
Once you’ve opened your pack of cream cheese, I recommend consuming it within 1 to 2 weeks to avoid spoilage. Make sure you store it in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator to slow down the growth of bacteria.
How to Store Cream Cheese
As soon as you get home from the supermarket, store your unopened pack of cream cheese in the refrigerator to keep it fresh. Find a spot away from the door so that it won’t be affected by the temperature changes caused by the constant closing and opening of the door.
Once you open the pack, you may want to transfer your cream cheese to an airtight container to slow down bacteria growth. You can still keep the foil around it, of course, but I highly recommend that you stick it in another container afterward.
If you want to keep your cream cheese for a longer period, you may store it in the freezer for up to 2 months. Make sure that it’s wrapped well in an airtight container or zip-lock bag to slow down its oxidation process.
To soften your cream cheese after freezing, you may leave it in the refrigerator overnight to thaw. You can then transfer the cheese to a bowl and whip it with an electric or hand mixer until it becomes soft enough for your use.
With this friendly guide, you can horde your cream cheeses like I do and make sure to finish them off before they go to waste. Just remember to store them properly so that they’ll stay fresh and delicious.
And don’t forget to keep an eye out for signs of cream cheese spoilage. As soon as you spot molds or cracks on your cream cheese, don’t feel bad about tossing it out. Remember: Your safety should be your primary concern!
Is this article helpful? Do you have other tips on how to store cream cheese to make it last? Drop a line in the comments’ section below. Let’s talk about it! And as always, feel free to share this with your family and friends. Now I don’t know about you, but right now I’m craving for some bagel with cream cheese!