Cream cheese is a dairy product you usually use as a sandwich spread, among its other uses. It is a soft and white cheese that is made from milk fat. An American dairyman named William Lawrence created cream cheese in 1872.
Have you discovered a jar of cream cheese just sitting in your refrigerator for a while? Are you now wondering “does cream cheese go bad?” If you are and you want to know the answer, this article is here to give you some enlightenment. We will also provide you useful information about its shelf life and how to properly store them.
If you are feeling guilty of holding onto the jar of cream cheese for too long, you can make use of it in various ways. There are a lot of recipes online, which uses cream cheese whether as frosting, or as a main ingredient. You can also think of ways using your creativity and through experimentation.
Does Cream Cheese Go Bad?
Yes – this is the answer to the question above. Cream cheese does go bad, just like every other food product. Compared to hard cheese, cream cheese is best consumed while it is still fresh. In case you forgot you still have cream cheese hidden somewhere in your refrigerator, do some inspection. If you’re in doubt, just throw it out.
There are number of ways to check if the cream cheese you have can still be used. First, you have to check the expiration date. It can be found either on the box or the wrapper of the cream cheese. It is still safe to use an unopened one until a month after its expiration date. Just make sure that once it has been opened, you have a week or two to consume it.
If you are interested to know how cream cheese is produced, you may check the below video:
What is the Shelf Life of Cream Cheese?
An unopened jar or package of cream cheese, which can either be the spreadable one or a block, can be used for three weeks up to a month after its expiration date. It should be noted though that in this situation, the cream cheese should be stored properly. In the following sections, we are going to discuss how to properly store a package of cream cheese.
Here’s the catch, once you open the package, you have to use it within a week or two. Sure, you can also use it a few days longer but the quality may not be its best compared to a freshly opened one.
In case you decide to freeze a block of cream cheese for preservation, it is recommended that you remove it from the freezer before the second month. It is because the quality may be compromised and might result to food wastage due to spoilage.
How To Properly Store Cream Cheese
Just like any other dairy product, cream cheese should always be stored inside your refrigerator. It will not matter if it is opened or still unopened. You just have to remember that you always keep it in your refrigerator. In case you have it already opened, cover it tightly if you are not using it.
In the case of block cream cheese, the proper way of storing it is to freeze it. This can be done especially if you wish to keep it for a longer period of time. Just like the jarred one, do not forget to seal the package tightly before putting it inside the freezer.
If the package is already opened, you may put it inside freezer bags or wraps. If it is still unopened, you may put it inside the freezer the way it is. One last thing to know about freezing cream cheese is that the taste may be a little different. This is the reason why block cream cheese is best used in cooked dishes.
How To Tell If Cream Cheese Has Gone Bad
There are a number of ways to tell if the cream cheese you have is already spoiled. The first thing on this list is the appearance. If ever you find any signs of mold or looks greenish and yellowish or it is slimy on top, it’s best to throw it out, as these are signs of spoilage. The foul or funny odor is an indication as well.
If you are not convinced by its appearance and smell, you can have a little taste of the cream cheese. If it tastes okay, then there is nothing to worry about. However, if the taste is slightly altered, you have to throw it away.
While other cheeses are made from mold, such as blue cheese, you have to keep in mind that cream cheese is not. To add, if you experience loss of electricity, leaving the cream cheese in high temperature, it is also best to throw it out. One last thing, it the cheese develop crusts on the outside, you have to discard it.
So, does cream cheese go bad? According to the discussions above, yes, it goes bad. To summarize, here are some of the important points you should know:
- The shelf life of an unopened package of cream cheese if up to a month after its expiration date. For block cream cheese, you may keep it as long as two months but you should remember that the quality might not be as good.
- The appearance, odor, and taste of the cream cheese will be altered if it has already gone bad. The cream cheese would appear to have molds and will look yellowish or greenish. For its odor, it may smell foul and it is best that you throw it away.
- To make cream cheese last longer, you have to always keep it refrigerated. If the package is already opened, remember to seal the package tightly to avoid spoilage.