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Food expiration date

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From: Linda Barnhart
Urbana, IL
HOw long is cream cheest good if not opened past the expiration date to bake with.

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This answer is from Donna Falconnier, Nutrition and Wellness educator and Registered Dietician from the Champaign County Extension Center: Cream cheese is a fresh cheese which unfortunately has one of the shortest storage lives of all cheeses. Ideally it should be consumed before the "best before" date on the package. Typically this is two or three weeks from the date of manufacture. Cream cheese can last longer if properly stored in a cold refrigerator and is unwrapped. In your question, you did not say how long after the expiration date. If it is more than a few days, my recommendation would be to error on safety and throw it out. If it is within a few days, inspect the cheese to see if there is any mold growth. Usually mold appears very quickly and is visible on soft cheeses such as cream and cottage. If no mold is present, I would think it would be safe to use in baking. Cream cheese can be frozen. Although the taste will not change, the texture is affected and will become crumbly and not as easily spread.

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