How Long Can Yogurt Sit Out?

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How Long Can Yogurt Sit Out?

Yogurt is dairy-based food that can only last for a short amount of time when it is sitting out. It is a good idea to keep it refrigerated when not in use. Learn all about how long can yogurt sit out, as well as storage tips to keep your yogurt fresh the longest, and much more! 

yogurt in a glass

Does Yogurt Go Bad

To first understand if yogurt goes bad, it is important to understand what yogurt is made from. Yogurt is a milk-based food, made primarily of whole milk, heavy cream, and active cultures. Because yogurt is made primarily from milk products, it does go bad quite easily.

Because yogurt goes bad easily, it’s important to know how to properly store yogurt for the best results long-term. Both regular yogurt and Greek yogurt can go bad. 

How Long Can Yogurt Be Left out of the Fridge

Because yogurt is a dairy product and has an average short shelf life, yogurt should not be kept out of the fridge for any longer than two hours before it goes bad. Yogurt can be kept at room temperature when the temperature is between 40°F and 90°F. 

However, if your room temperature is warmer than 90°F, yogurt should only be left out of the fridge for one hour before it goes bad. 

When yogurt is left at room temperature too long, it grows unwanted bacteria and may run the risk of giving you food poisoning if it is eaten. This is why it is so important to know how long yogurt can sit out. 

Does Yogurt Need to be Refrigerated

Yes, for yogurt to last for a while, yogurt must be refrigerated for your yogurt to last any longer than two hours. Once refrigerated at 40°F or below your yogurt is likely to last between one and two weeks when stored in the fridge at 40°F or below, and when stored in a proper storage container.  

Keep Yogurt Fresh: Storage & Handling

No, let’s turn our attention to the best storage and handling for yogurt. In the details that follow, we will look at how to tell if your yogurt is bad, as well as the best practices for storing yogurt to receive the best results. 

Yogurt top down

How to tell if Yogurt is Bad

There are a few different ways you can tell if regular yogurt and Greek yogurt have gone bad. Below ways to tell if yogurt is bad applies both to Greek and regular types of yogurt. 

Look At The Liquid Whey

Whey is the liquid that sits on top of your yogurt when it is open. If there is an excess amount of this liquid, this is a sign that your yogurt has gone bad. 

Change in Texture

Look for signs of curdling or change in texture in your yogurt from what you expect. If your yogurt is not the creamy smooth texture that it should be, or if you see signs of curdling in your yogurt, these are both changes and textures, they are signs your yogurt has spoiled. 

Take A Good Sniff

Another way to tell if your yogurt is spoiled is to smell your yogurt. If it smells at all rotten, sour, or strong, this likely means that your yogurt has spoiled. Do not eat it if you smell your yogurt and it has soured. 

Examine for Mold

Examine your yogurt container, you also want to look at the yogurt over thoroughly and examine it to see if there is any sign of mold growing inside of your container, or on the yogurt. If there is any sign of mold growth, throw away the yogurt. 

Container is Bloated

Another sign to tell if your yogurt is gone bad, is to see if the container is bloated. If there is any sign that your container looks like it’s about to burst, then your yogurt has probably gone bad. 

Odd Color

Finally, look at the color of your yogurt. If the color seems off, then your yogurt has likely gone bad. 

If your yogurt shows any sign that it has spoiled, then do not risk eating yogurt. Rather, throw it away and do not risk the possibility of getting sick. 

How to Store Yogurt

In order to store your yogurt for the best possible results, we have a few tips and tricks for you below that will help your yogurt last the best possible. 

Keep it Chilled

Store your yogurt no matter if it is opened or not in the refrigerator. Store your yogurt close to the back of the fridge, and keep it sealed tightly. 

Avoid Cross-Contamination

When dishing up your yogurt, be sure to avoid cross contamination into your yogurt container. This will help your yogurt stay fresh longer if there is no other contamination inside your container. 

Make Sure It’s Sealed Tightly

It is also a good idea to make sure that your yogurt container is sealed tightly. Sealing your container tightly will help to prevent unwanted bacteria from entering into your yogurt container. 

Freeze It

Finally, if you wish to keep your yogurt for longer amounts of time, you can always freeze it if desired. To freeze your regular or Greek yogurt, be sure it is sealed securely in an airtight container, or in the original packaging. Place in your freezer at 0°F or below for up to two months.

Then when you are ready to thaw, transfer it to your refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, vigorously stir your thawed yogurt to mix anything that may have separated. Then serve and enjoy. 

yogurt in a glass from the side ish

How Long is Yogurt Good After Opening

Open yogurt that has been stored in your fridge in an airtight container, at 40°F or below, and kept near the back of your fridge is likely to last between one and two weeks in the fridge. 

Yogurt Sitting Out Vs. Refrigerated

How long is yogurt good for out of the fridge?

Yogurt should never be kept out of the fridge for any longer than two hours. When stored at room temperature which is between 40°F and 90°F your yogurt is usually safe for up to two hours after that your yogurt should be thrown away.

For room temperatures that are 90°F or above, the time your yogurt is good for drops to one hour. After that amount of time, your yogurt should be thrown away. 

How long is yogurt good for in the fridge?

On the other hand, yogurt that is stored in the fridge at 40°F or below, kept near the back of the fridge, and sealed in an airtight container is typically good between one and two weeks in the fridge.

As always it is a good idea to keep an eye on the yogurt to make sure it is good before eating, however, if stored properly it will typically last for one to two weeks no matter if it is Greek yogurt or regular yogurt. 

The Best Yogurt Storage Tips

Keep your yogurt good for as long as possible? Follow the simple tips below. 

Keep Yogurt Cold. Make sure your yogurt stays cold. To do this, store in the fridge at 40°F or below. 

Defrost Frozen Yogurt Before Eating. If you choose to freeze your yogurt, defrost the frozen yogurt before it is eaten. To do this you can simply store in the fridge overnight. Stir the yogurt thoroughly before eating. 

Don’t Eat Expired Yogurt. If your yogurt looks odd, is expired, or has separated, and has an unusual amount of liquid on the top, don’t eat the yogurt throw it away instead. 

Use Lids Properly. Make sure to seal your yogurt securely with the lid on your container. 

Store In the Right Container. When you are storing your yogurt in the fridge, you can use the container that it came in, or you can transfer the yogurt to another airtight container then seal it tightly before refrigerating. 

blueberry yogurt

FAQs

Is Greek yogurt supposed to be sour?

Plain Greek yogurt may be slightly sour when tasted. However, if your yogurt smells sour, or off, then it has likely expired and should not be eaten. In general, plain Greek yogurt is not sweetened and may be slightly sour. Other types of Greek yogurt should not be sour in taste. If you are in doubt, be sure to check other signs that your yogurt may be bad, outlined in detail above. 

What if you left yogurt out overnight?

Your yogurt has been left at room temperature for an entire night, do not eat it. Throw your yogurt away and do not risk getting sick. 

What is the liquid on top of yogurt?

The liquid on top of yogurt is called whey. Typically, this liquid can simply be stirred into your yogurt and it is good to go. However, if there is an excessive amount of liquid, this could be a sign that your yogurt has gone bad. 

What happens when you eat bad yogurt?

Do not risk eating yogurt that has gone bad. Yogurt that has gone bad contains unwanted bacteria and has the possibility of making you very sick. Sickness can range from giving you vomiting and diarrhea all the way to land you in the hospital. It’s not worth eating the yogurt, simply throw it away and air on the side of caution. 

When In Doubt, Throw It Out

A good rule of thumb is that if you are afraid your yogurt has sat out too long, throw it away. It’s not worth eating yogurt that has sat out too long, has gone bad, or is expired, and can possibly make you sick. Therefore, when in doubt, throw it out. 

How Long Can Yogurt Sit Out? 

Greek yogurt and regular yogurt can sit at room temperature when the temperature is between 40°F and 90°F for up to two hours, if your room temperature is 90°F or above, then it can only sit out for one hour before it goes bad.

How long can yogurt sit out? For best results, store your yogurt whether opened or not in the refrigerator at 40°F or below to keep it cool and help it last longer. 

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