How Long Can Yogurt Sit Out: What You Need To Know


Do you love eating yogurt? If yes, then you might also be wondering if how long can yogurt sit out. There is a need to learn the answer as for avoiding eating a bad yogurt that might be dangerous to your health. You don’t want this to happen, right?

I am one of those who love eating yogurt, but in some cases, I have some leftovers. What should I do with the leftover? Since yogurt is a dairy product, it could definitely go bad a lot faster. So, there are certain things that we should figure out on whether how long we could allow the yogurt to sit out without having spoiled.


What Is Yogurt?

From among the dairy products, yogurt is a favorite by many. It is milk that is made from bacterial fermentation of the milk. Lactose is converted to simple sugars during the lactic fermentation and then to lactic acid.

Acidity is provided by the development of the lactic acid that produces the thick texture of the yogurt.

How Long Can Yogurt Sit Out

Knowing that yogurt comes from milk, it is indeed rich in protein and some other milk nutrients including vitamin B12, potassium, and magnesium. For lactose intolerants, your daily needs of calcium could be supplied by yogurt.

And other health benefits could be provided by the probiotics found in yogurt like healthy digestion, boost immune system and reduction to the risk of type 2 diabetes.

How Long Can Yogurt Sit Out?


As for buying yogurt, I used to watch out for the expiration date of the product. There are numbers of manufacturers that would print a “use by” or “best by” date on the container.

The said date would mean as the projected date wherein the yogurt would begin to lose its taste quality but will not mean that it has expired already.

Once unopened, yogurt has this ability to stay fresh for about 10-14 days past the printed “best by” date in general. But only a week beyond the printed date is the life of the yogurt once it is opened.


In addition to whether how long can yogurt sit out, there is a fact that this dairy product must not remain at a room temperature more than two hours. The same with other dairy products such as evaporated milk, cream, and milk, this rule is also applied.

Once the yogurt sits out above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for more than two hours, it is indeed advisable that you discard it.

On the other hand, let’s say you have a home temperature that is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, only an hour is advised for the yogurt to sit out.

If you will choose to leave the yogurt out the refrigerator for more than eight hours then expect that the yogurt might have its warm taste.

Signs of Spoiled Yogurt

I do love the natural sour taste of yogurt. And once it ages, it also becomes a bit sourer but still acceptable for one’s taste. But if the sour taste is too strong, this might mean that the yogurt is soon to expire or might already be spoiled.

In addition, unnatural taste or smell could also be a sign that it has reached its expiration date.


Discoloration is another key sign that a yogurt has gone bad. For me, pure white is the color of a plain yogurt and so any other color might also be a sign to be aware of. Once there is a discoloration or mold, discard the yogurt immediately.

Yogurt will also pool a small quantity of liquid on the surface as it sits out. Well, this is a normal separation of its whey liquid and so considered as not harmful. I would choose to stir it back to the product in order to maintain nutrients.

But others might drain away the liquid as for creating a thicker yogurt.


However, if the liquid is in large quantity, it could be a signal of spoilage. You should be very cautious about an expired yogurt at this point particularly if you notice curdling.

If ever you are still in doubt about these signs, the best thing to do is to get rid of the yogurt as for avoiding possible serious illness.

Freezing Yogurt is a Great Choice

I would recommend that you consider freezing yogurt in order to avoid spoilage. If you freeze yogurt, it would last up to three months in the original or same airtight container.


But this process might not be ideal for some since it could change the texture of the yogurt. The taste will remain the same once not kept in the freezer for more than three months but the separation, as well as watery texture, once thawed.

Essential Tips

Here are some tips on how you could keep a yogurt fresh:

  • The yogurt must be stored in the refrigerator below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Once properly stored, the shelf life of this dairy product is 7 to 14 days. If you store longer than that, it would allow yeast, mold and some slow-growing bacteria to grow then spoil the yogurt.
  • Planning to eat only a part of the product? What you need to know is to spoon out only what you intend to eat in a separate dish and then return the carton back to the refrigerator.
  • Once left out of the refrigerator for two hours or less, the yogurt might be put back in the refrigerator to eat later. But, this would also shorten the overall shelf-life.
  • The bacteria in the unrefrigerated yogurt might grow a lot more readily in yogurts along with added fruit and sugar.
  • You might as well want to make your own yogurt then why not use a pasteurized milk. After that, cover and refrigerate the yogurt if it has already thickened and reached the desired amount of acidity. And it would be fresh for about two weeks.

If you are interested in other smart tips, refer here: Smart Tips

Final Thought


Now, have you already figured out how long can yogurt sit out? Though some people believe that it could sit out for more than eight hours, you must not take chances so consider sticking the basic rule of not more than an hour or two.

The dangers of consuming spoiled yogurt might pose serious risks which are too high to be ignored that’s why you have to refrigerate the yogurt at all times.

If you have something to add about the topic then please leave your comments below. Share the article to help others learn about how long a yogurt can sit out.


    Hi There! Welcome to Cooking Is Passio where I can tell you the things I love. My name is Vivian Carpenter. I am not only a foodie at heart but also passionate about cooking. I rely on the support of other cooking blogs like me to get new cooking tips as well as new recipes. This blog is the great way to share my experience and my love cooking with others. And I hope this blog can help you - the cooking lovers like me - cook your favorite dishes.