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Coffee creamers are a convenient addition to your morning cup of coffee goodness. But, how long can coffee creamer sit out safely?
You can safely let both dairy and non-dairy liquid coffee creamers sit out for two hours. After that, you run the risk of serious health problems from harmful bacteria growth.
In this article, we’ll tell you exactly how long each type of coffee creamer can sit out, what happens if you leave them out for too long, and how to tell if your coffee creamer has gone bad.
What Happens when Coffee Creamer Sits Out?
When coffee creamer is stored at a temperature over 40° F, bacteria can start to grow.
This is especially true for dairy creamers because they are made with milk. Milk is a food source that bacteria love to feed on.
Non-dairy creamers are not immune to bacteria growth. You can therefore apply the same rules to non-dairy creamers and coffee creamer substitutes. Once you’ve opened a packet or capsule, store it in the fridge within two hours to avoid possible health risks.
This goes for coffee mate creamer left out overnight too. It will last longer once refrigerated, even though it is a non-dairy creamer. The fats and oil will oxidize if left out, so storing it in the fridge in a sealed container is best.
The Three Types of Coffee Creamers
Not all coffee creamers are created equal. There are three main types of coffee creamer packaging, each with its own storage and longevity concerns.
- The first is the liquid kind that comes in a large Tetra Pak or plastic bottle.
- The second is the mini version: little sealed cups.
- The third type is powdered whitener.
Let’s talk about the best way to store each kind of creamer. The best way to store liquid creamer is in the refrigerator. This will help keep bacteria from growing.
How Long Can Coffee Creamer Sit Out at Room Temperature?
If you are using the coffee creamer within two hours, you can leave it out on the counter. But remember to put it back in the fridge when you are finished.
You should avoid storing coffee creamer in areas where the temperature gets too high. This can make the creamers spoil more quickly.
|Dairy creamer (Refrigerated)||1–2 weeks|
|Dairy creamer (refrigerated – opened)||1–2 weeks|
|Non-dairy creamer (unrefrigerated)||1 month|
|Non-dairy creamer (opened)||1–2 weeks|
|Mini-coffee creamer cups||1 month|
|Powdered coffee creamer||3–6 months|
Coffee creamer packets are a great option for those who do not use creamer often. They last much longer than liquid creamers and do not need to be refrigerated.
Does Coffee Creamer Need to be Refrigerated?
Almost all dairy creamers that come in plastic bottles or tetra packs are dairy whiteners. That’s how you’ll usually find them in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.
This means that they usually have milk, cream, sugar, and flavoring. And because they have dairy in them, they need to be refrigerated at all times.
So, just like you do with half-and-half, once you bring this creamer home, you should put it in the fridge. And remember to keep the container sealed tightly, so the creamer doesn’t spoil.
How long can coffee with creamer sit out? You shouldn’t leave it out for longer than 2 hours, although it can last for up to 4 hours if it’s not too hot inside your house.
Non-Dairy Coffee Creamers
Most of the tetra packs and plastic bottles on supermarket shelves are non-dairy products. That means that it is okay to store them at room temperature. You can store them in the pantry or in the kitchen, as long as they are not near any sources of heat.
Keep the pack or bottle refrigerated and sealed tightly when not in use. This is usually written on the product. If you found a coffee creamer in the refrigerated section, it is most likely a dairy creamer and should be refrigerated at all times.
Mini-Sealed Cups Creamers
For mini-sealed cups, things are simple. You can keep them at room temperature from the moment you buy them to the moment you open one. Just make sure the package isn’t near any heat, and that’s it!
Powdered Coffee Creamers
Finally, let’s talk about powdered coffee whiteners. They’re no different from other powdered products like powdered milk. As long as you keep the container sealed tightly and away from any moisture, you’ll be fine.
As you can see, storing coffee creamer is easy. You just need to know what type you have.
Can Coffee Creamer Be Left Out Overnight?
Leaving your liquid coffee creamer out overnight is a bad idea. For powdered coffee creamer, on the other hand, you should be fine. Liquid coffee creamers must be kept in the fridge overnight as they will reach a temperature that is ideal for bacterial growth if left out.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way let’s talk about how long coffee creamers last.
How Long Do Coffee Creamers Last?
This is a tricky question because it all depends on the type of creamer and how you store it.
The creamers that come in liquid form have a shorter shelf life. If you don’t refrigerate them, they can go bad in as little as two weeks. If you do refrigerate them, they can last up to two months.
If you store powdered coffee whiteners properly, they will last for 6-12 months. The same is true for dry powdered coffee creamer mixes, but they will last for up to 2 years. As long as you remember to keep an eye on the expiration date, you will be good to go.
How To Tell If Coffee Creamer Has Gone Bad
If you are using liquid creamers, it is important to watch out for any changes in texture, smell, or taste. If your creamer starts to clump together, has a sour or off odor, or doesn’t taste good anymore, then you should throw it out.
There are other things to consider when deciding whether or not to store a food item. For example, pay attention to the expiration date. If you have a container of food that has been opened for more than three weeks, it is probably best to throw it away.
However, this may not be the case if the producer has specified that the item can be stored for longer than three weeks.
Be careful when you choose powdered creamer. Check to make sure that the texture has not changed and that there are no signs of mold. If the package has been exposed to moisture, the powder may not be safe to use. Otherwise, it should be fine for years.
The best way to check the quality of powdered creamer is to make coffee with it. If it tastes okay, the powder is good. If the flavor is not great, do not use it.
Storage and longevity aren’t the only factors to consider with your creamer. Powdered creamers may last longer, but you can froth liquid creamers to make lattes and other espresso and coffee drinks. Creamer isn’t one of the best milk substitutes for frothing, but it does make for an incredibly flavorful foam.
Freshness is incredibly important for your coffee ingredients. That’s especially true for your coffee creamer, but even coffee grounds go bad over time. That’s why buying a coffee grinder and learning how to grind your own beans is far better than using pre-ground coffee.