How Long Can Coffee Creamer Sit Out?

A splash of liquid coffee creamer on top of your morning coffee.

Does it sound good?

Well, it tastes even better!

The wide variety of coffee creamers helps kick-start your day on a different note every day. One spoonful of this delish cream makes you crave for the second if you are having a relaxed day at home!

Sometimes, though, the work rush is too much and the liquid creamer that you just used might sit on the counter for hours before you have a chance to put it back.

Can you still use it on your drink?

Or should you throw it away?

To learn all about how long can coffee creamer sit out, give this article a good read and find out!

What Is Coffee Creamer?

Coffee creamer is basically a store-bought product in powdered or liquid form that’s commonly mixed in tea/coffee/hot chocolate for flavor.

The first-ever non-dairy creamer was invented by Robert E. Rich Sr. in the year 1945. Since then the product gained much popularity and later COFFEE-MATE series was introduced in 1961 by Nestle company. COFFEE-MATE came in with 25 different flavors including peppermint, almond, gingerbread etc.  

In today’s world, most of the creamers come in the dairy-free form and are made of sugar/sugar substitute, oil, thickeners etc. You can also find sugar-free, fat-free, flavored or non-flavored varieties depending on your preference.

Types Of Coffee Creamer

1. Dairy-Based Creamer

Dairy-based creamer includes milk, half and half or cream. To give you a taste of an extra kick, sometimes flavors are also added for that purpose.

Liquid dairy-based products need to be kept inside the fridge to keep it in the best condition.

2. Non-Dairy Creamer

Non-dairy creamers come in pints and quart size packages.

They are found in different flavors to make up for the absence of milk. You will find options like dairy-free coconut, hazelnut, almond, vanilla creamers from which you can choose your favorite ones quite easily.

3. Mini-Sealed Cup

If you only need a small quantity of creamer for a particular recipe, then mini-sealed cup creamers are the best option for you.

These cups are suitable for carrying while traveling, serving in the restaurant and using it in a single serving. As they come in tiny amounts, you don't need to worry about storing any leftovers and they don’t need to be refrigerated either.

4. Powdered Coffee Creamer

Powdered coffee creamers come in dairy and non-dairy forms. One of the biggest advantages of powdered coffee creamer is that they keep fresh longer than milk or liquid.

To make powdered products last longer, keep them at room temperature and make sure they are as far away from moisture as they can be.

What Kind Of Factors Influence The Shelf Life Of The Creamer?

1. Packaging Date

Usually, each packet of coffee creamer comes with an expiration date label on top. The expiration date determines how long the product lasts well and after which it should not be used anymore.

2. Exposure To the Environment

Depending on whether or not you have exposed the liquid/powder to moisture and the outside environment, its shelf life may vary a lot.

In addition, the product should be stored in a far distance than heat or any extreme temperature to last for a long time.

3. Storage Method

The shelf life of this product also gets influenced by your storage method.

Suppose, you have stored it in a cool, dry place where there isn’t that much extreme condition, the powdered form is more likely to stay fresh in this situation.

However, for liquid substance, it’s best to refrigerate it to increase its longevity.

4. Processing Of The Creamer

How the creamer is made tells you a lot of things.

A concentrated creamer has a thickened density that allows it to last longer. Then again, powdered form tends to outlast both concentrated and liquid forms, as it's less affected by its surrounding environment.

How Long Can Coffee Creamer Sit Out?

It’s a bit tricky to answer this question in one sentence as there are different types of creamers available on the market. Each of these creamers acts differently depending on the type you are using.

How Long Do Individual Coffee Creamers Last?

Individual creamers that come in tiny sealed cups usually have an expiry date printed on their packaging. These cups actually last for a long time (more than almost 6 months).

You can even use them a month or so past the label if you want. Just make sure to take a sniff to see if it’s alright before eating.

How Long Can Coffee Creamer Stay Unrefrigerated?

Some liquid creamers are sold unrefrigerated and they last for a long time quite easily. These items are full of preservatives and remain fresh as new while unopened.

Once opened, it’s best to finish the bottle within 2 weeks. You can also check for instructions on the bottom/side of the packaging to know for sure.

How Long Can Coffee Creamer Stay In The Fridge?

Dairy creamers that are sold refrigerated usually come with an expiry date that determines how long it’s going to stay fresh.

An unopened bottle can last a week or two more than what the expiry date indicates. However, once you open this, you should finish it within the expiry date. If there’s no information or label on the packaging, it’s best to use it within the first week.

How Long Does Powdered Coffee Creamers Last?

Powdered creamers are ideal for people who want to store them for a long time. As powdered products are like spices that don’t go bad easily, you can store them for a long time and eat whenever you wish to.

How To Store Coffee Creamer for Long a Time?

For the non-dairy tetra packs and bottles that are found on the supermarket shelves, they can be kept at any place while unopened. Just make sure not to put them around direct heat i.e. stove and keep them in a cold place to store.

For dairy packs, most of them come with the labeling “Refrigerate after opening” and that’s what you should do. Take the amount of liquid you need and put the rest back to the fridge as soon as possible.

How Do You Tell If The Creamer Has Gone Bad?

If you notice the following characteristics in your creamer, chances are, it’s already ruined.

Sour Taste

If the product you are using has changed its flavor and turned itself into a sour mixture, then it’s a sure sign that the creamer has gone bad.

Altered Texture

Has your creamer changed its texture a bit?

Instead of the smooth liquid form, do you think the texture is a bit chunky and uneven?

It means, the product has gone bad or at least starting to get worse day by day!

Bad Odor

You will notice a sour, weird smell in the creamer if it goes bad. Along with the clumpy creams, there will be a detectable bad smell coming off from the product.

Molds

For powdered creamer, you need to search for molds as well as the change in texture and odor. The easiest way of knowing whether or not your creamer has gone bad is to taste it a little bit before adding into the mix. If it tastes good, the product is okay. If not, then it’s probably a good idea to dispose of it in the bin.

Does Coffee Creamer Become More Acidic As It Sits?

Yes, if the coffee creamer is just starting to go south, you will see the cream curdling a little bit after adding it to a hot beverage. And that’s the time you know it’s getting more acidic and sourer.

However, coffee itself is acidic. As the heat rises, it begins to curdle the mixture even a little bit more. So, if it doesn’t curdle too much, then that particular creamer is still okay.

Can Expired Coffee Creamer Make You Sick?

A lot of coffee creamer contains lactose that causes it to go sour as time passes.

The bacteria that are responsible for causing the sourness starts multiplying and encourage more fungi bacteria to grow in large quantities. This incident poses health risks and can cause serious health issues like bloated stomach, headache, vomiting, diarrhea etc.

How To Extend Its Shelf Life?

Refrigerate The Liquid In Proper Place

Liquid creamers that are not dairy-based should be stored in a cold place in your refrigerator. The fridge door, for instance, is not a good option as the temperature isn’t that much cold there.

Try storing the food in its original package and inside the main body of the refrigerator instead.

Store Them Just Like The Supermarket Does

The bottle or tetra-packet that you purchased should be stored like it was originally stored in the supermarket. Some need to be kept on the fridge all the time, while others only need to be refrigerated upon opening.

So, read and follow the instruction on the package for the best result.

Use Air-Tight Containers

If you have purchased the powdered form, then it’s necessary to keep the packet away from air and moisture. To do that, air-tight containers work the best!

An airtight container helps keep the moisture and contaminant away from the powder and keep it fresh for a long time.

Discard If Necessary

If the creamer pack has been left open for a long time or has gone past the expiry date, discard immediately.

You don’t need to have a taste or risk your health just to maximize the creamer’s full potential as that might lead to food poisoning and other health diseases. Plus, the creamer won’t taste good anyway so there’s really no valid point to keep it if it’s spoiled even a bit.

Some Quick Tips On Storing Coffee Creamer

  • Are you allergic to certain ingredients? Watch out for non-dairy creamers as they might contain a lot of allergic ingredients like soy, lactose, corn syrup etc.
  • If the liquid creamer has been sitting out for more than 3 weeks, throw it away as it’s probably spoiled already.
  • It’s best to store the dairy creamer in the refrigerator at 40-Degree Fahrenheit temperature.
  • If you want to store creamer for a long time, it’s a good idea to go with the powdered form. Powdered creamers last up to 2 years if left unopened.  
  • Whenever in a doubt, drink a teaspoon to check the taste. If it smells and tastes fine, the creamer is good to put on top of your coffee.

Wrapping It Up

It’s better to be safe than sorry.

When it comes to coffee creamers, you should always watch out for its smell and appearance to know if it’s okay to put on your beverage. These two things are your first clues to tell if it should be consumed or not.

As there’s a multitude of creamers available on the market, it's easy to get confused about how long can coffee creamer sit out for each kind.

Hopefully, our article has helped clear out your confusion and gave you enough ideas to store it properly so you can use it for the longest time possible.

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