How to tell if the cream cheese is bad?

In this article, we will answer the question “How to tell if the cream cheese is bad?”, how to store cream cheese, can you freeze cream cheese, how long does cream cheese last, and what happens if you eat expired cream cheese.

How to tell if the cream cheese is bad?

Mold: Mold can be seen growing in the form of green or yellow fuzzy spots or patches on the surface of spoiled food. If you notice your cram cheese is moldy, throw it out. A slimy surface is also a telltale sign of spoilage. 

If your cream cheese dries up and loses its creamy texture and spreadability, you can discard it for quality reasons. 

Off-smell: Take a whiff to see if the cream cheese still smells fresh. If it gives off a weird smell, discard it. 

Sour taste: This is the last piece of the puzzle. If all else clears the quality and safety check, the taste of the cream cheese would pass it too. Taste-check a bit of cream cheese to confirm. If the taste is sour, get rid of the cream cheese. 

Note that some changes in the appearance of the cream cheese may not necessarily indicate spoilage. One such false alarm is when the liquid separates from the solid contents of the cream cheese and accumulates on top of the container.

This usually happens due to prolonged storage and is a quality issue. Phase separation does not threaten the safety of the cream cheese unless it is accompanied by spoilage signs as discussed above.

How to store cream cheese?

All other dairy products such as milk and yogurt, Cream cheese is highly perishable and must always be refrigerated. But where do you put it in a fridge? The trick is to place the cream cheese near the back of the fridge or wherever the ice tray is located, where it is the coldest.

If the original container of the cream cheese fails to provide protection, transfer the cream cheese to an air-tight container with a sound seal. Make sure the container remains tightly sealed in between uses so as to minimize the entry of contaminants. 

When using cream cheese spreads, it is super important that you use clean spoons for scooping it out and refrain from double-dipping. These pointers may seem small but they can quickly spoil your cream cheese if not followed.

Can you freeze cream cheese?

Yes, you can freeze cream cheese. Some types of cream cheese freeze better than others due to their composition, quality, and initial freshness. But all types of cream cheese will undergo an irreversible change in their taste and texture after being frozen and thawed. 

Frozen and thawed cream cheese works well in recipes where it is not the main ingredient. If you are making a cream cheese sandwich, we recommend using fresh cream cheese. 

If it is important, you can try to restore the texture of the crumbly cream cheese to some extent by blending it. But this does not fix the quality of the thawed cream cheese entirely. 

To prevent freezer burn, make sure to wrap your cream cheese thoroughly in foil. Put the foil-wrapped cream cheese in an air-tight container or a freezer bag for bonus protection.

How long does cream cheese last?

(Unopened)In the fridge In the freezer 
Past printed date Past printed date 
Cream cheese (foil wrapped)3-4 weeks 2 months 
Cream cheese (plastic container) 3-4 weeks
Flavored cream cheese 3-4 weeks
Reduced-fat cream cheese 2-3 weeks 
Neufchatel Cheese2-3 weeks 
(Opened)In the fridge In the freezer 
All cream cheese 1-2 weeks 

What happens if you eat expired cream cheese?

If the cream cheese was unopened, eating it past its expiry won’t hurt you unless it was stored correctly. If the cream cheese was opened and expired during refrigeration, it should not be consumed. 

Eating expired cream cheese can lead to food poisoning. Most of the time, expired cream cheese would undergo changes that are hard to go unnoticed. Such changes are undesirable so you won’t be able to eat the cream cheese for it to cause you any harm. 

If you did eat the expired cream cheese, be prepared to experience symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache, and stomach ache. The intensity of the symptoms may vary depending on your immunity, and the amount of cream cheese consumed.

The symptoms of food poisoning should be on within 3 days. If they persist or get progressively worse, get medical help.


In this article, we answered the question “How to tell if the cream cheese is bad?”, how to store cream cheese, can you freeze cream cheese, how long does cream cheese last, and what happens if you eat expired cream cheese.


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