Find out how long yogurt can be kept at room temperature before it has to be refrigerated. Plus, get tips for storing yogurt properly.

For many people, yogurt is a must-buy ingredient during their weekly grocery run—and it's easy to understand why. The dairy product is creamy, tangy, versatile and packed with protein. But what happens when you get home from the store and accidentally forget to put the yogurt away? Will you have to throw it out? Luckily, yogurt is safe to eat at room temperature for a limited time. Read on for all the details, and get tips for storing yogurt properly.

How Long Can Yogurt Sit Out?

According to U.S. Dairy, yogurt can sit out for up to two hours at room temperature before it must be stored. However, that time frame is cut in half as temperatures rise. If the temperature is 90℉ or above, yogurt can only sit out for one hour. To prevent yogurt from spoiling, it should be refrigerated immediately after returning from the store. (FYI: Bacterial growth may happen more quickly in yogurt with added sugar and fruit.) Read on for tips about storing yogurt.

yogurt topped with berries on a designed background
Credit: Getty Images

How to Store Yogurt

Store yogurt on a shelf toward the back of the fridge where temperatures are cooler. Do not store yogurt on the refrigerator door, as temperatures often fluctuate there due to frequent opening and closing. Also, make sure your refrigerator is set to a proper temperature of 40℉ or below, as recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. When stored in the refrigerator, yogurt can last one to two weeks. If you're looking for a longer-term storage option, learn how to freeze yogurt. When you freeze yogurt, it can last up to two months.

For more on the dairy product, find out how long yogurt is good for after the expiration date.