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How long can yogurt stay unrefrigerated?

I have two contexts for this question:

1) I just discovered I left a sealed small cup of Stonyfield Farms raspberry yogurt out of the fridge overnight - I bought it around 8:30 last night and it's now 6:20pm the next day. Safe to eat? I stuck it in the fridge but won't eat it until I get some feedback - I know yogurt doesn't need refrigeration as urgently as regular milk, but I'm a little skeeved to eat it. What do you think?

2) Similarly, how long do you think yogurt can stay out of the fridge in general, in the case of taking it with you to work or school, or loss of electricity? Is kefir the same in terms of how long it keeps?


EDITED TO ADD: Thanks for the responses, folks. They were helpful. Since I am prone to tummy troubles, and this isn't straight yogurt but rather has fruit and sweeteners in it that could possibly go bad even if the dairy itself didn't, I chose to throw it out. But it's good to know that if I kept a cup of yogurt out for, say, 12 hours (as opposed to 24) it should be okay to eat.


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 7th, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC)
Considering culturing milk products began as a way to preserve milk before refrigeration, I'd suppose yogurt and kefir would be fine left out of the fridge for a day.
Oct. 7th, 2008 10:45 pm (UTC)
Eh, I personally wouldn't eat it since I've seen yogurt go bad between 12-24 hours at room temperature.

I've eaten yogurt that's been out for 2-3 hours without a problem.
Oct. 7th, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC)
nnyyrrhh. I wouldn't. but then, i had a horrible, horrible turn with food poisoning over a relatively small cup of yogurt that had gone over - we're talking, like, visit to the ER, puking up intestine goo, prescription for phenergan, out of work for a week, stomach wasn't quite right for two or three months.

i wouldn't chance it. the hospital bill was quite a bit more than the $1 i paid for the cup of yogurt. :)
Oct. 7th, 2008 10:55 pm (UTC)
I'm with you. I've had this happen to me as well (though the culprit wasn't yogurt but a sandwich that was left out too long), and it's pretty miserable. I just wouldn't risk it. I never take chances with food.
Oct. 7th, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC)
For 24 hours, I don't know.

But for something like 20 years, I took a cup of yogurt to school (and then work) with me almost every day. It would be out of the fridge for 4 - 6 hours before I ate it, and I never had a problem.
Oct. 8th, 2008 01:22 pm (UTC)
Same here. I prefer cold yogurt, of course - but if there's no fridge at my work, I just keep it in my bag until lunch. Never any problems.
Oct. 7th, 2008 11:10 pm (UTC)
commercial yogurt wouldn't keep as well as homemade, since commercial didn't exist before refrigeration and sometimes they shortcut the process and it doesnt' get fully fermented...I read something lke that in a bood recently anyway.

I do not know if it'd be good, I think it'd depend upon the quality of the product, temperature of the room you left it in, etc. If your room was cool, its probably ok but if you kept it 80 degrees I wouldn't go there.

My mom packed yogurts in my school lunch, they were liquid after 5hrs but were drinkable and I never got sick. After school after 8hrs is ok too. I wouldn't have any qualms about eating something that had been out 12-14hrs, but yours was out 22hrs and that seems like a long time to me. I'd be skeeved too. As much as throwing stuff away sucks, in this case I would, but I'm a chicken with a bad gut. If you are brave with a good gut, you might be fine to eat it.
Oct. 7th, 2008 11:20 pm (UTC)
I normally eat yogurt that I pack in my bag at 6am and then eat it around 5pm (no cooler pack or anything). But that is yogurt without sugar made from goats milk. I might throw yours out to be safe, because it was longer than 12 hours.
Oct. 7th, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
I'd eat it. I'd eat yogurt left out until it started to smell bad, frankly.
Oct. 7th, 2008 11:32 pm (UTC)
Hmm, never mind...I mis-read your times. Nearly 24 hours later? Wouldn't eat it. 12 hours, yes.
Oct. 7th, 2008 11:48 pm (UTC)
I would eat it. I'm not generally fussed about things like that, and I've never gotten sick.
Oct. 8th, 2008 12:04 am (UTC)
I wouldn't worry as much about the yogurt as I would about the add-ins like fruit. Yogurt is made with bacteria and warmth, ie. being left out for a long time. Fruit additives probably go bad a lot faster.
Oct. 8th, 2008 12:30 am (UTC)
Yeah, I wouldn't worry. Yogurt is sort of inherently "bad" in that sense. Gross, but once I found a yogurt that had rolled out of my grocery bag and ended up under my seat for months during a hot summer. Out of morbid curiousity, I had to open it. It looked surprisingly normal! Now I wouldn't have eaten THAT, but it does take a lot.
Oct. 8th, 2008 01:16 am (UTC)
How does it smell? How does it look? Is it a yogurt with live cultures?
Oct. 8th, 2008 02:10 am (UTC)
I'd eat it after a few hours. Longer and I'd open it and smell it first.
Oct. 8th, 2008 02:38 am (UTC)
Whenever I bring yogurt to school, I make sure it is sitting on an ice pack so it stays cold until I'm ready to eat it.
May. 1st, 2009 05:00 pm (UTC)
Wow, old post. I was wondering the same question, minus the cup-left-out details.

I'd still have eaten it, myself. If it has remained closed, it would lead me to believe that no other cultures have been added to the acidophilus dominant one. Most people here say "not more than twelve hours", but none of them gave reasons, other than that is how far they themselves are willing to (let it) go. I bet the best answers to this question lie with traditional peoples, those without refrigerators, who make yogurt/kefir, how did they store it, and for how long? Does Sally Fallon know?
Jun. 13th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
no need to refrigerate yogurt
I generally don't refrigerate yogurt. I don't keep track, but it's safe to say I've eaten yogurt that's been out a week or more several times, and I've never encountered problems. Of course, if it's opened or not well sealed, I would certainly refrigerate it.
Jul. 22nd, 2009 02:21 pm (UTC)
Suck it you wimps! I ate some yogurt left out for 22 hours and live to tell. Granted that my house is 74 degrees and it was out of direct sunlight. Pop'd them back in the fridge for a day and all was good. My cheap ass ain't gonna throw out 99 cent cups of yogurt without given them a try first. There are starving children in________________(insert third-world country here) who would kill a family member for the crap we throw away.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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