How Long Can Yogurt Sit Out?

If you are wondering how long can yogurt sit out, keep on reading the rest of this post. We will be providing you with insights that can help to make sure that it will remain fresh, and best of all, that you can eat it without worries that it can lead to negative effects on your health.

To begin with, it should be noted that yogurt is one of the foods that can survive even if it is kept out of the fridge, but it should be emphasized as well that there should be a time limit for this.

How Long Can Yogurt Sit Out ? How To Maintains Its Freshness

It contains beneficial bacteria and microbes, which, even when left unrefrigerated for a couple of hours, will not cause any harm to the body within the duration that is recommended.

Keeping Yogurt Out of the Fridge

Two hours – this is the answer to the question regarding how long can yogurt sit out. This is a recommendation from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The latter is a reputable organization, which is more than enough to be convinced about what they are recommending.

One thing that should be given emphasis, however, is the fact that the two-hour rule is not absolute. It is important that it will be stored at room temperature, which means that it should be anywhere from 41 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

If it does not fall within such temperature, especially if it is too hot, there is a higher risk of spoilage, putting your yogurt into waste.

If the temperature is more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit, on the other hand, make sure to limit its exposure outside of the refrigerator for only an hour. This is the same thing that should be observed in other products with dairy, like milk.

There are, however, people who claim that in their own experiences, they are able to let the yogurt sit out for an extended period before consuming it and noted that they did not experience anything that is unfortunate.

Some people even brought it to school or work, and hence, the yogurt remains to be unrefrigerated. However, it is always better to be safe than sorry, so just follow the government recommendation that has been earlier discussed.

Risks of Keeping It Out Too Long

Some people might think that since yogurt has bacteria, there should be no problem in keeping it out of the fridge for an extended period. After all, bacteria will just grow and hence, this will not affect the body.

However, keep in mind that the bacteria found in yogurt are the ones that are beneficial and not those that breed on spoiled food.

Based on the statistical data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on average, one of out 6 people, or roughly 48 million people get sick yearly because of food-borne diseases, and one of the possible reasons for such would be eating unrefrigerated yogurt.

If yogurt has been sitting out for a long time before it is consumed, one thing that can commonly happen to you would be food poisoning.

In this case, the following are some of the symptoms that will most likely be apparent: dizziness, cramps, headache, vomiting, body pain, and blurry vision.

Knowing When Yogurt Has Spoiled

Aside from following the two-hour rule about how long can I leave yogurt out, you should also be familiar with the obvious signs that it is spoiled. When you see this, dispose the yogurt immediately to prevent negative effects.

Naturally, yogurt tastes sour. But if it is too sour, to the point that you cannot almost take it, this is one of the obvious indications of spoilage.

It is also natural for yogurt to have water on the surface. However, if the liquid is already too thick, take this as another sign that you can no longer eat it.

If there is discoloration, take this as another sign that it is already spoiled. Most yogurts, especially the plain ones, will be white. If it is already yellowish, discard it.

Tips for Proper Storage of Yogurt

The best thing that you can do is to take note of the fact that yogurt should be left outside of the fridge at room temperature only for two hours. Knowing how long can yogurt sit at room temperature before going bad is important to ensure that it will be fresh when consumed.

Also, do not open the packaging unless you are already set to eat it. Once it has been opened, air can get in and external factors will increase the likelihood that it is going to be ruined. It would be also a good idea to buy small packs so that you can finish it the soonest.

You can also keep yogurt in the freezer and store it for up to three months, but make sure that consistent temperature is retained so that it will never melt. It should also be not yet opened or should at least be kept in a container with an airtight seal.


In sum, for those who are asking how long can yogurt sit out, here is a recap of the things that have been mentioned above:

  • When it is outside the fridge, it should not be left sitting for more than two hours. During such period, it is also important to make sure that it at room temperature.
  • If you want to keep yogurt fresh for a longer time, keep it in the freezer. By doing this, it will last for up to three months.
  • Know the obvious signs of spoilage such as discoloration and extremely sour taste. This will make it easy to determine spoilage, and hence, you will know when to have it dispensed.

We hope that you had fun reading this article. If there is anything else that you would like to share, feel free to leave a comment below.

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Consumer Helping Team
Consumer Helping Team
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