How long can yogurt stay out of the fridge?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “How long can yogurt stay out of the fridge?”, discuss how to store the yogurt, and what can happen if you eat bad yogurt.

How long can yogurt stay out of the fridge?

Yogurt can stay out of the fridge for 2 hours only. If the yogurt is placed at room temperature, then after 2 hours it will not remain worth eating. If the outside temperature is higher than 90 Fahrenheit, then after 1 hour its quality has deteriorated enough that you better discard that cup of yogurt rather than consume such a cup of yogurt.

The shelf life of yogurt

Packed yogurt can last 1-3 weeks beyond its best by date but the shelf life of yogurt depends on the method of preparation, storing conditions, the best by date, and the type of yogurt. 

Yogurt is made by the fermentation of milk by certain bacteria. Many yogurts contain live cultures of bacteria that also determine the shelf life of yogurt. If kept on the countertop of your kitchen, it stays fresh only for 2 hours as it is more vulnerable to be attacked by environmental bacteria. When unopened, yogurt can be kept fresh for weeks in the refrigerator and months in the freezer. Opened yogurt can only last for a week in the refrigerator and a month in the freezer. Yogurts can stay good even after their best-by dates but their safety is not assured after that time frame. For a quick review of the shelf life of different varieties of yogurt kept properly in the refrigerator or freezer, you can go through the table given below:

         Type of yogurt 
        The shelf life of yogurt (post expiration date)
          In refrigerator             In freezer 
Frozen yogurt (unopened)2-3 months
Drinkable yogurt (unopened)7-10 days 1-2 months
Greek yogurt (unopened)1-2 weeks 1-2 months
Reduced-fat yogurt (unopened)1-2 weeks 1-2 months
Simple yogurt (unopened)2-3 weeks1-2 months
Yogurt with fruits (unopened)7-10 days1-2 months
Opened yogurts (All types)1 week1 month

How to store the yogurt?

Storing yogurt the right way can help you keep it fresh for a longer period. As synthesized basically from the milk, it is never a good thing to discard the yogurt upon spoiling. So it is always better to choose the right storage conditions to keep yogurt fresh than to throw it away when it has gone bad due to improper storage conditions. To properly store the yogurt, consider the following:

  • Prevent cross-contamination

Preventing cross-contamination of yogurt can help you store it fresh for a longer time frame. This cross-contamination may occur when you mix fresh and used yogurt or you do not use a separate bowl to take some yogurt that you need so that the remaining yogurt does not come in contact with the used spoon.

So whenever you need to take some yogurt from the full bowl, it’s better to take a scoop of it in a separate pot.

  • Seal it tightly 

Sealing your container of yogurt well will keep it away from getting the odors of other food items that are stored along with it in the freezer or refrigerator.

  • Do not store yogurt in the door of the fridge

To maintain the temperature conditions cold and consistent, it is important to keep the container or cup of the yogurt at the back of the fridge rather than to keep it in the door. 

  • Freeze it

Freezing the yogurt will also help you store it for a longer time frame.

Other FAQs about Yogurt which you may be interested in.

Can yogurt go bad?

How long is yogurt good for?

Can yogurt go bad?

Yogurt can go bad if its best-by date is long past or if it was not stored properly. The unopened package of yogurt can stay good for a healthy time frame but the opened package of yogurt being more vulnerable to be attacked by bacteria and moisture from the environment can go bad in only a few days.

Signs that yogurt has gone bad

The most important indicator if the yogurt has gone bad is the excess amount of liquid on the surface of the yogurt. If this water is not too much then it can be mixed in the yogurt as it is the whey, but more water on the yogurt surface is a telltale sign that it has gone bad. The bad odor of the sourness of yogurt is also a telltale sign of the fact that yogurt has gone bad. The final signal that indicates that the yogurt has gone bad is the formation of mold. It is advised to throw away the yogurt with mold without even giving a single thought to use it.

What can happen if you eat bad yogurt?

Eating bad yogurt can cause you to be the victim of food poisoning with symptoms of nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, high fever, and diarrhea.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “How long can yogurt stay out of the fridge?”, discussed how to store the yogurt, and what can happen if you eat bad yogurt.