How Long Can Yogurt Sit Out? [Soy, Almond, & More]

Yogurt has been a popular snack for a long time. In fact, Turkish shepherds turned milk into yogurt as early as 3000 BCE!

Now, it’s a staple of American households, who eat more than 30,000 tons of yogurt every year.

This versatile ingredient can be used as the base for delicious dips for BBQs or marinades for meat.

But you have to be careful: yogurt is a perishable food item, so it can’t be out of the fridge for too long, or else you risk getting sick from it.

Milk-based yogurt needs to be refrigerated as soon as you bring it home from the store. Yogurt can sit out of the fridge for two hours and still be safe to eat as long as the temperature is below 90℉. But if the temperature is 90℉ or hotter, yogurt can only be kept out of the fridge for an hour. Yogurt that is left out for more than an hour in a setting 90℉ and higher will accumulate bacteria. Refrigerated yogurt lasts between 1-2 weeks while frozen yogurt lasts between 1-2 months.

Keep reading to learn more about different types of yogurt and how long they can sit out of the fridge.

How Long Can Yogurt Sit Out Unopened

Because you can get sick from spoiled yogurt, it’s not a type of food you want to eat if you are concerned it sat out for too long.

Unopened yogurt has the same rules as opened yogurt: it can sit out of the fridge for two hours if the temperature is under 90℉. If it’s a hot day out and it’s over 90℉, then your unopened yogurt is only good outside the fridge for an hour.

When storing your unopened yogurt, you want to make sure your fridge is set to 39℉ or colder. At 39℉, your yogurt will stay good for at least 7-14 days.

You can also go by the expiration date on your yogurt container for how long it is safe to eat. Yogurt is often good for an additional 3-5 days after the expiration date on the container.

Look for the following signs to know if your yogurt has gone bad and you need to throw it out:

  • If your yogurt smells bad, throw it out. A big tell is if it starts to smell more like sour cream than yogurt.
  • When you take a bite and it tastes bad, don’t eat anymore and throw it away.
  • A little separation is normal, but if the liquid has completely separated from the solid, don’t eat it.
  • Sometimes mold will grow and look like little green and black spots on the surface. If mold is present, your yogurt belongs in the garbage.

How Long Can Greek Yogurt Sit Out

Similar to regular yogurt in taste, Greek yogurt is much thicker because it is not strained in the preparation process.

But Greek yogurt is still a milk product, so follow the same rules for refrigeration as you do with regular yogurt.

Greek yogurt can stay out of the fridge for two hours at room temperature (40℉ and above) and only stay out for one hour at 90℉ or higher.

If you think I’m being too strict about the two-hour rule, this is standard food safety guidelines.

The FDA has this nice saying that you can tell your kids, “When in doubt, throw it out!”

This website is great because there’s even a downloadable food safety guide that you can print out and pin to your fridge to refer to any time you’re worried that your refrigerated foods have been sitting out for too long.

How Long Can Traditional Yogurt Sit Out

Traditional yogurt is any yogurt like Yoplait, Dannon, or Stonyfield (but these brands also make Greek varieties).

Yoghurt in cups

Because traditional yogurt is milk-based, it can only be out of the fridge for two hours, and only one hour if the weather is hotter than 90℉.

If you eat traditional yogurt that has been sitting out for more than two hours, it can become contaminated.

Traditional yogurt is full of good bacteria called probiotics.

These probiotics can help maintain gut health in your body to help with digestion.

But yogurt goes bad when bad bacteria develop and outnumber good bacteria. Once this happens, the yogurt is unsafe to eat and if you do, it can cause cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting.

If you eat really bad yogurt, you can get food poisoning, which includes all of these symptoms and sometimes you get so sick you have to go to the hospital.

Expired yogurt can be particularly dangerous for pregnant women, children, the elderly, and anyone with a compromised immune system.

If this is you, don’t even risk eating the yogurt a day past the expiration date. Just throw the yogurt away to be safe.

If your yogurt is past the expiration date and you’re not in any of the categories above, you can risk eating it.

As long as it doesn’t smell bad or taste bad, have any mold on it, or have complete separation of the liquid and solid, it should be okay to eat as long as it’s only a or two weeks past the expiration date.

But when yogurt is two weeks past its expiration date, throw it away because it’s not safe to consume.

How Long Can Soy Yogurt Sit Out

Soy yogurt is a popular alternative to regular yogurt for vegans and people who are lactose intolerant because it’s made with soy milk instead of regular milk.

Even though soy yogurt is not a dairy milk-based product, you still have to follow the same food safety guidelines.

Don’t keep soy yogurt out of the fridge for more than two hours at room temperature or more than one hour if it’s hotter than 90℉.

A good rule of thumb with refrigerated food is that if it’s the refrigerated section in the grocery store, it needs to be refrigerated when you get home.

However, after you open any food, check the label to see if needs to be refrigerated after opening.

I will say that some vegan websites say that soy yogurt lasts longer outside of the fridge than regular yogurt.

For example, someone left their soy yogurt out and it got to room temperature and puffed up.

She put it back in the fridge, the yogurt was no longer puffy, and she considered it safe to eat.

That may be true for her circumstance, but you just never know if the yogurt is good or not.

Even if it smells good, if it has sat out for more than two hours at room temperature it might contain bacteria that will make you sick if you eat it.

It’s better to not take the risk and throw the yogurt away.

How Long Can Almond Yogurt Sit Out

Almond yogurt is another popular alternative to regular yogurt that is made with almond milk.

Even though it’s made with an alternative milk, it still needs to be refrigerated.

Almond yogurt stays good outside the fridge for two hours at room temperature, and only one hour if it’s over 90℉.

You might assume that because certain types of almond milk don’t have to be refrigerated before they are opened, you assume the same thing about almond yogurt.

This is not true, and all almond milk has to be refrigerated once it is opened. Almond yogurt can always be found in the refrigerated section, so it needs to be refrigerated once you’re home.

How Long Can Frozen Yogurt Sit Out

Frozen yogurt is a great tasty treat on a hot day. But even though it is frozen, it still has the same rules as regular yogurt when it comes to food safety: it can sit out at room temperature (40°F or higher) for two hours and at 90°F for one hour.

You must store your frozen yogurt at 0°F for it to last two to four months in your freezer.

If you leave your frozen yogurt out of the freezer and it has completely thawed, throw it away.

Do not re-freeze it, because it is highly likely that bacteria has grown in it and it’s no longer safe to eat.

Signs your frozen yogurt has gone bad include ice crystals on the surface of the yogurt and that the texture is no longer creamy.

If your frozen yogurt either smells off or develops a foul odor, you must throw it away.

Type of YogurtHow Long It Can Sit Out at Room Temperature (40℉ or higher)How Long It Can Sit Out at 90℉ or higher
Greek Yogurt2 hours1 hour
Regular Yogurt2 hours1 hour
Soy Yogurt2 hours1 hour
Almond Yogurt2 hours1 hour
Frozen Yogurt2 hours1 hour

How Long Can Yogurt Sit Out at 40°F

You might be tempted to keep yogurt that has been sitting out for too long at 40℉ but do not risk this.

Yoghurt in a bowl

Yogurt must be refrigerated at 39℉ or lower. Yogurt can be kept out on the counter at 40℉ for two hours.

If your yogurt has been out on the counter for longer than two hours, just throw it away so that you don’t risk getting sick from it.

How Long Can Yogurt Sit Out at 50°F

Even though 50°F is a cool temperature, it’s still not safe to leave any yogurt out for too long. When it’s 50°F out, yogurt can last on the counter for two hours.

Any longer than that, unhealthy bacteria can grow and start to outnumber the good bacteria in your yogurt.

Eating yogurt that’s gone bad can make you sick, giving you painful stomach cramps and diarrhea.

How Long Can Yogurt Sit Out at 60°F

60℉ is the temperature of a perfect crisp spring or fall day. You might have people over and plan to serve some yogurt-based dishes.

Any type of yogurt can sit out for two hours at 60℉.

What I like to do is separate my yogurt-based dips into two separate containers.

Once the timer goes off, I can put the one that’s been sitting out away and I have another container that’s ready to go for my guests.

How Long Can Yogurt Sit Out at 70°F

When it’s 70℉, I want to throw a barbeque for all my friends and family.

But if you’re serving them any yogurt or yogurt-based dishes, make sure it doesn’t stay out of the fridge for more than two hours at 70℉.

If your dish stays out longer than that, be sure to throw it away immediately so that no one gets sick from eating it.

How Long Can Yogurt Sit Out at 90°F

Yogurt already has a short life left out on the counter, but it can spend even less time out on the counter on a hot day.

If the temperature is 90°F or hotter out, your yogurt only lasts on the counter for an hour.

When you go grocery shopping on a hot day, be sure to put all of your cold groceries in the fridge right away so that you don’t forget and then have to throw away spoiled food.

TemperatureHow Long Can Yogurt Sit Out
40°F2 hours
50°F2 hours
60°F2 hours
70°F2 hours
90°F1 hour

How Long Can You Leave Yogurt Out Before It Goes Bad

It’s easy to lose track of time on a busy day and accidentally forget to finish putting your groceries away.

If you’re in this predicament, think about what time you got home from the store.

If your yogurt has been sitting on the counter for more than two hours, it might have gone bad and you need to throw it away to be safe.

And if it’s a warm day over 90℉, you need to throw the yogurt away if you have left it on the counter for more than an hour.

What Happens If You Eat Yogurt That Was Left Out

Maybe you’ve eaten expired yogurt once and nothing bad happened, so you don’t think it’s that big of a deal.

Just because you’ve gotten away with it once doesn’t mean you should tempt fate.

If you eat yogurt that was left out, you can get dangerously ill with food poisoning and risk having to go to the hospital.

The USDA calls temperatures over 40℉ the “danger zone.” Leaving perishable food out at this temperature can cause dangerous bacteria like Salmonella to grow to such high levels that it will make you sick.

If you need to leave your yogurt out of the fridge, like if you are bringing it to a picnic, be sure to put it in a cooler with an icepack so it remains below 40℉.

Final Thoughts

Yogurt is a delicious snack that is vegetarian and high in protein. It can also make a great base for a marinade, so it’s a good choice to keep in your fridge.

However, it is perishable so you should never leave it on the counter for longer than two hours, and never longer than one hour if it’s hotter than 90℉.

If you aren’t sure your yogurt is bad or not, when in doubt, throw it out.

Eating expired yogurt can cause vomiting or diarrhea, or something even worse like food poisoning.

It’s better to not risk your or your family’s health and throw the yogurt away if it has been left out for too long.

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