Can you eat warm yogurt?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat warm yogurt?” and discuss what are the risks of eating warm yogurt.

Can you eat warm yogurt?

Yes, you can eat warm yogurt. Yogurt can be safely consumed if not contaminated. However, the physicochemical properties of yogurt change with the temperature, which significantly influence the sensory perceptions of eating yogurt (6). 

In addition, the storage of yogurt at warm temperatures for long periods can lead to the growth of pathogenic bacteria as well as to the death of probiotic bacteria, thus both posing a risk to health and reducing the possible health benefits provided by the consumption of yogurt (1,2). 

Yogurt or any refrigerated food item should not be stored at room temperature for more than two hours, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services (4). 

What are the risks of eating warm yogurt?

The risks of eating warm yogurt are of consuming a contaminated product. Some pathogenic bacteria, as well as yeasts and molds, are able to survive from pasteurization and then growth in the temperature of refrigeration, for example strains of Mycobacterium, Micrococcus, Clostridium and Streptococcus (2).

At higher temperatures, these bacteria can grow faster. Thus, keeping yogurt at a warm temperature for a long period, may result in the proliferation of such pathogens, which may cause foodborne diseases.

On the other hand, psychrotrophic bacteria, including Bacillus, Staphylococcus, and Pseudomonas find their best temperature for growth at refrigeration temperatures. 

Therefore, it is important to be able to identify spoiled yogurt prior to its consumption. By any signs of alterations of color, taste, odor and bloating, yogurt should be discarded (4).

What are the benefits of eating warm yogurt?

Consuming warm yogurt can be beneficial and have similar benefits to cold yogurt. Yogurt contains probiotic bacteria, which consumption helps maintain a healthy digestive system. 

Probiotics are live bacteria which possess favorable impacts on the human host mainly via maintaining and/or improving microbial balance between harmful and beneficial microflora, especially in the intestine (7).

However, studies show that there is remarkable death of probiotic bacteria when yogurt is stored at room temperature compared to refrigerated storage (7).

Studies have shown that yogurt can alleviate diarrhea and shorten colonic transit time. Probiotics are reported to have anti-cholesterol activity, and its consumption may alleviate lactose intolerance symptoms (1,7).

In addition, yogurt contains liposoluble vitamins, such as vitamin D, vitamin A, and vitamin E, and hydrosoluble vitamins such as B2, B3, and B12. It is also rich in calcium.

How should you store yogurt?

Store yogurt in the refrigerator at or below 40°F. Yogurt’s shelf life is between seven and 14 days if it is kept correctly (3). 

Yogurt may be stored in the refrigerator for up to two hours if it is left out of the fridge (4). However, this will reduce the product’s total shelf-life.

Studies reported that manufacturers indicate an average of 40 d as shelf life for yogurt. However, some deterioration of the product during its shelf life due to bacterial action is inevitable.

These changes on the properties of the yogurt, such as increase in acidity, change in the texture, occurring syneresis (separation of solids and liquids) and the development of an acid/ yeasty flavor are due to the continuing action of the yogurt culture bacteria and due to spore-forming bacteria that survive the heat treatment, as the milk used to produce yogurt is not sterilized (6). 

The normal result is the slow development of a cheesy flavor (5).

How to identify spoiled Yogurt?

The following signs may indicate that yogurt is spoiled:

  • Formation of gas, which is noticed by the bloating of the package
  • Development of off-odors and off-flavors
  • Development of a yeasty/ cheesy taste
  • Increased acidity
  • The formation of visible mold or slimy surface on the product

. If you notice any of these signs, do not consume the yogurt, as it may present a risk to health by leading to a foodborne disease (6).

Other FAQs about Yogurt that you may be interested in.

How long is yogurt good?

Can you eat old yogurt?

Can you eat yogurt that has been frozen?

Can you freeze yogurt and eat it like ice cream?


In this article, we answered the question “Can you eat warm yogurt?” and we discussed what are the risks of eating warm yogurt.


  1. Aryana, Kayanush J., and Douglas W. Olson. A 100-Year Review: Yogurt and other cultured dairy products. J dairy sci, 2017, 100, 9987-10013.
  2. Jiang, Yueyue. The Health Effects of Yogurt and Its Safety Hazards. Highlights Sci Engineer Technol, 2022, 19, 119-124..
  3. Boyer, Renee R., and Julie Michelle McKinney. Food storage guidelines for consumers. 2018. Virginia State University.
  4. Refrigeration and Food Safety. United States Department of Agriculture.
  5. MacBean, Roger D. Packaging and the shelf life of yogurt. Food packaging and shelf life 2010, 143-156.
  6. Al-Kadamany, Elie, et al. Estimation of shelf-life of concentrated yogurt by monitoring selected microbiological and physicochemical changes during storage. LWT-Food Sci Technol, 2003, 36, 407-414.  
  7. Ferdousi, Rohollah, et al. Evaluation of probiotic survivability in yogurt exposed to cold chain interruption. Ir j pharmaceut res, 2013, 139.