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Cream Cheese left out of fridge!

Rocky Road Nov 8, 2009 08:37 AM

I came home from shopping yesterday with the intent on making cheesecake. I got home at 4pm in the afternoon and put the cream cheese and some eggs on the counter to get to room temp. I checked on them about an hour later and they were still on the cool side, so I decided to go another hour.

Long story short, I got involved in other things, and mentally decided to make the cheesecake the next day but forgot I had left it on the counter. I ended up finally heading to the kitchen at 4am and saw them! I stuck them back in the fridge but I'm concerned now.

It's was a cool night, but they were out for 12 hours. I've Googled and most say they should only be left out for two hours or so. Obviously, there are others that have said they have left it out longer and use the "smell test" to determine if they should use it or throw it out.

Any definitive experts here? Thanks!

  1. BamiaWruz Nov 8, 2009 08:39 AM

    For the eggs, I don't know about going between cold and room temp but most people around the world believe leaving eggs at room temp is fine and they're sold/kept that way.

    1. GretchenS Nov 8, 2009 08:43 AM

      I think they're fine if you use them today.

      1. soypower Nov 8, 2009 08:44 AM

        I wouldn't even think twice about using them...But I'm no expert, I just have a constitution made of iron. :o)

        1. greygarious Nov 8, 2009 09:10 AM

          Not a problem for either the eggs or the cheese. I once forgot cream cheese in a bag of unpacked groceries for several days at room temp. Put it in the fridge and when opened days later, it was just fine. Eggs from the supermarket have been washed, which removes a natural protective coating that allows most of the world to store them without refrigeration. So while supermarket eggs should not be kept at room temp on a prolonged basis, less than a full day is fine, especially in cooler seasons.

          2 Replies
          1. re: greygarious
            BamiaWruz Nov 8, 2009 09:13 AM

            That's good to know.

            1. re: greygarious
              Full tummy Nov 8, 2009 09:27 AM

              I fully agree. Cheese is, well, cheese. It doesn't deteriorate that fast. Eggs, too. I may not use them for an uncooked mousse, but cooked will be no problem.

            2. l
              LauraGrace Nov 8, 2009 09:13 AM

              When I was in Australia, EVERY grocery store sold eggs at room temp -- I literally never saw eggs in a chill case. Makes sense: they're basically in a hermetically sealed container, right? ;)

              As for the cream cheese, it's a cultured dairy product. The culturing has to happen at room temp or warmer, and that's perfectly safe for our consumption.

              Count me as a "don't throw it out!" vote!

              8 Replies
              1. re: LauraGrace
                janetms383 Nov 10, 2009 09:57 AM

                Hermetically sealed??? Not even close! Egg shells are very porous.

                1. re: janetms383
                  LauraGrace Nov 11, 2009 05:13 AM

                  Hehe... no, that was just my attempt at being funny. I wasn't making a scientific claim or something.

                  1. re: janetms383
                    soypower Nov 12, 2009 08:57 AM

                    I thought eggs had a natural protective coating. Washing removes this protective coating, so eggs sold at grocery stores have been coated with oil to replace this protective coating. Which is why you shouldn't wash your eggs until right before you use them.

                    Here's a link that explains it....

                    1. re: soypower
                      hotoynoodle Nov 12, 2009 09:06 AM

                      you wash your eggs?

                      1. re: hotoynoodle
                        LauraGrace Nov 12, 2009 06:34 PM

                        Well... I would assume most manufacturers do, to get the... you know... poo and feathers off. ;)

                        1. re: LauraGrace
                          Full tummy Nov 12, 2009 07:52 PM

                          Hahaha, I grew up on a farm, with chickens, and we never washed the eggs. When hens lay in nests, which is not what happens with battery birds, since they don't have nests to lay their eggs in, it really was very rare to have anything on them. The hens would only ever stay in the nests long enough to lay their eggs... They were probably the cleanest part of the barn.

                        2. re: hotoynoodle
                          soypower Nov 12, 2009 07:56 PM

                          I get my eggs from a girl who raises chickens in her backyard and the eggs are always covered with...schtuff. So yes, I definitely wash before I use them.

                          1. re: soypower
                            Full tummy Nov 12, 2009 08:01 PM

                            Hahaha, I guess wash the ones covered with schtuff then.

                  2. f
                    fourunder Nov 8, 2009 09:16 AM

                    Here's my take......I would be willing to bet both cream cheese and eggs existed before the days of refrigeration. 12 hours.....no problem.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: fourunder
                      hotoynoodle Nov 8, 2009 09:43 AM

                      cheese does not need to be refrigerated. that just extends the shelf-life. same with eggs. eggs on the counter just degrade, as in age more quickly, then they would in your cooler.

                      no worries with either.

                      americans are absolute nuts about refrigeration. very few people have the space or the money to have the size of fridge and freezer most of us do. a friend in england has a freezer smaller than a shoe box, and many homes don't have room for ice cube trays.

                    2. Rocky Road Nov 8, 2009 03:08 PM

                      Thanks for all your help. I used the cream cheese, there was no weird smell anyway. BTW: It was a Sweet Potato Cheesecake I was trying out for TG. Thanks for all the input!

                      1. Olivia Nov 9, 2009 02:24 PM

                        I realize you've already made the cheesecake, but am adding my two cents in case this gets searched again.

                        I think it's important to note the difference between block-style cream cheese a la Philadelphia (with preservatives and other goodies) or a tub of deli-style cream cheese--i.e. the soft deli-style one probably wouldn't survive as well as the block-style.

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: Olivia
                          Rocky Road Nov 10, 2009 07:36 AM

                          Interesting...It was Philadelphia block-style cream cheese. I actually do not know of any other type of cream cheese? I've learned a lot from this site about certain ingredients. What is "deli-style cream cheese?"

                          1. re: Rocky Road
                            Full tummy Nov 10, 2009 07:52 AM

                            I think Olivia is referring to the cream cheese that comes in little containers. Philadelphia brand has at least one such incarnation. Have you seen them near the block cream cheese in your grocery store? They often come with flavourings, like smoked salmon, dill, chipotle, etc.

                            Edit: Two new flavours are pictured here:


                            1. re: Full tummy
                              Olivia Nov 10, 2009 08:49 AM

                              Sort of referring to that. Those are Philadelphia's verson of deli cream cheese.

                              Where I am (Toronto) most grocery store deli counters and cheese shops can slop some cream cheese into a tub for you--it's tangier, fresher tasting, softer, and spoils quicker than a slab/Philly style. I doubt it's totally preservative-free, but on account of it spoiling quicker, I imagine it has less/fewer preservatives.

                              If you've never tried it, I highly reccomend it. For YEARS I thought I hated cream cheese (on a bagel, for instance) until I had deli-style--it was a culinary revelation!!

                              There's a post I started a couple years ago about deli vs. slab cream cheese for cheesecake, and there I learned that slab style also contains vegetable gums. When I heard those words I knew exactly why I didn't like the slab style, because in comparison, it is gummy.

                              1. re: Olivia
                                Full tummy Nov 10, 2009 09:11 AM

                                Oh, that's what you mean... I think a part of why those go bad quicker is that they are not kept sterile until you open them at home. They are exposed to the air in the refrigerator case, from the point they were unpacked till who knows how many days later when they make their way home with you. A cream cheese block or container sealed and unopened will last much longer than it does once it's opened. A week or two later, and there can be evidence of spoilage while the still sealed one is pristine... Btw, I live in Toronto, too, and thanks for the info. about the gums in the slabs.

                                1. re: Full tummy
                                  Olivia Nov 11, 2009 04:46 AM

                                  That's an excellent point (re: sealed vs. open) that hadn't occurred to me!

                                  1. re: Full tummy
                                    Olivia Nov 12, 2009 04:44 PM

                                    Just remembered today that if you can find Western brand cream cheese (beside the Philadelphia in most stores), that is a terrific one too--it doesn't have gums in it, and is fresh and tangy (although does contain potassium sorbate).

                                    1. re: Olivia
                                      Full tummy Nov 12, 2009 05:56 PM

                                      Yes, have had that one before. Very yummy.

                                  2. re: Olivia
                                    Rocky Road Nov 10, 2009 11:28 AM

                                    Interesting. I've never seen a deli counter where I live have that. We don't really even have delis here. I will keep my eyes peeled though. Thanks.

                                  3. re: Full tummy
                                    Rocky Road Nov 10, 2009 11:26 AM

                                    Gotcha! I have seen those of course. I don't bake with those however.

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