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Cream cheese can last for up to a month past the printed expiration date if unopened. However, when opened it has to be consumed within a week.
Experts from Luckybelly shared some tips to make cream cheese last longer and started by saying the utensils people use to serve the cheese are crucial.
They explained: “You should use clean utensils each time you bake or spread your cream cheese. Never touch the spoon or knife with your mouth or place cream cheese next to raw meat.
“The only way to prolong this product’s life is to use separate utensils for it, no matter how impractical it is during a meal.”
Food experts at Doesitgobad agreed saying: “If you’re using cream cheese as a spread, as many people do with for example Philadelphia cream cheese, remember to practice proper food hygiene.
“That means always use clean cutlery when scooping the cheese and never double-dip. I know it’s much more convenient to use a single butter knife for everything, but it’s not a good idea.”
But where should cream cheese be stored?
From Luckybelly, they explained the dairy product “should never be left on the kitchen cabinet at room temperature or even in the pantry for more than two hours”.
“Since bacteria grow at a temperature of 4.5 – 60 C, the only way to protect your food is to store it in the fridge as soon as possible,” they said.
Therefore, the best place to keep the cream cheese is inside the fridge, but the location in the refrigerator can make a difference too.
The food experts explained: “Always store cream cheese in the fridge, away from the door, to keep it fresh for a long time.”
The door compartment of the fridge is the warmest part because “when you open the door the warmer air hits the front first,” said Chris Beasley, expert from Smart Cover.
“Door compartments are actually warmer than the rest of the fridge,” he explained and suggested “try storing it in the main storage area instead”.
Once a new package is opened, “the best solution is to protect it by keeping it in an airtight container,” the food expert said.
“Another option is to wrap your food in foil to prevent bacteria contamination. Once you open the foil-wrapped cream cheese, you should put it into the airtight container because re-sealing the foil won’t make the package airtightly sealed.
“It is crucial to keep your cream cheese away from moisture to protect it from mould growth,” they warned.
Experts at Doesitgobad backed this up: “Like other dairy products, such as buttermilk or yoghurt, you should store cream cheese in the fridge. Once you open the package, make sure it’s well covered when not in use. If the original package isn’t resealable, consider putting it in a freezer bag for additional protection against microbial contamination. Or transfer the leftovers into an airtight container.
“If you don’t have either on hand, take plastic or aluminium wrap and a rubber band and turn them into a makeshift seal.”
Food storage expert Agirlworthsaving added: “Most people don’t follow the correct process of storing cream cheese properly. Resulting in spoilage of cream cheese long before the expiry date.
“If you haven’t opened up the packet, you don’t need to be concerned about it going bad. Just keep it at one corner in the refrigerator.
“However, if you have opened it and thinking of not using it soon, we suggest you cover it well. For covering, use the packet. But if the package is not reusable, use a freezer bag or aluminium foil.
“If you want to use cream cheese as a spread, use clean cutlery and scoop once. Always avoid double-dipping. Otherwise, cream cheese will become watery on the surface and expedite decomposition.”
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