Philly cream cheese "best by Jan 27" - - safe to eat?

Found in the back of my fridge. Obviously left there by elves. Package hasn’t been opened. Do y’all think it’s okay to eat?


Agreed. But give it a good sniff after you open it, just to be sure.

Yeah, your nose is better than a label.

“Best by” doesn’t mean “deadly after” y’know!

And look to see if it has any mold, of course. But if it’s never been opened, it almost certainly doesn’t.

Concur. Most likely, it is perfectly okay if it hasn’t been opened before.

Philly Blue Cream Cheese isn’t a thing?


I’ve eaten cream cheese much older than that and survived. Almost certainly good.

Yes, examine for discoloration or degradation. If in the least bit concerned, pitch it.

Cream cheese is different from hard cheese; if you have a piece of hard cheese with a little mold on it, you can cut that off and the rest of the cheese is fine. Cream cheese is so spongy and soft that if it has anything wrong with it, even a tiny corner, it’s all gonna be bad.

When in doubt, throw it out.

What you found, chug it down.

Given the actual incredibly low rate of food-borne illness from products being past their “best before” date (as opposed to due to poor hygiene in food preparation), that advice is not really very good. Especially since there’s very, very little science to support the dates so placed.

Probably not—that was 91 years ago.

“Best before” and “use by” are oft confused. “Best before” is concerned with quality, “use by” with safety…though I routinely disregard either if the food in question is obviously fine.

IME cream cheese will pretty reliably develop green fluffy spots when it goes bad. There are several pounds of it in our fridge right now which will probably outlast this presidency.

Granted, the “best before” dates are there to protect the company more than any thing else. But, the OP was concerned enough to ask a bunch of random people on the internet, and a new brick of the stuff is, what, $2? Just throw it out and get a fresh one that is not almost 2 months past it’s prime.

I’m a believer in the sniff test as well as looking for furry spots. My nose has never let me down.

I agree with you - but that is the same confirmation bias that leads people like me to say I never wore seatbelts/bike helmets/etc and I’m still alive - the ones who died of course aren’t here to say so.

In my experience, cream cheese gets green mold. Very easy to see.

I’ve cut the bad spots off and eaten it when necessary. Never had a problem.