How Long Can Yogurt Be Left Out (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Up To 2 Weeks

Yogurt falls under the category of food products and is prepared by the bacterial fermentation of milk. Yogurt is produced in a semi-solid state and is a widely preferred food item all across the globe. Two bacteria, namely Lactobacillus Bulgaricus and Streptococcus Thermophilus, are responsible for the bacterial fermentation of milk into Yogurt. Yogurt is also spelled as Yogourt, Yoghourt, or Yoghurt in some parts of the world.

Yogurt is produced by heating milk up to a particular temperature, resulting in the denaturation of its proteins. As milk reaches the required temperature, it becomes warm enough for both the bacteria to grow, which results in the thickening of the milk and producing Yogurt.

How Long Can Yogurt Be Left Out

How Long Can Yogurt Be Left Out?

As Yogurt is a food product, it is best for consumption within a few days of its production because the quality of the Yogurt degrades as time passes by. If kept in a refrigerator, Yogurt is good for use for up to a maximum of two weeks. But in the case of fresh Yogurt production, it is advised to use Yogurt which is not more than seven days old to make a new batch. Yogurt coagulates in 2-3 hours, but it can easily curdle when it is left for a longer period of time.

The fermentation of milk by the two bacteria results in Lactic acid production, which causes the milk proteins to curdle, which gives a unique flavor and texture to the Yogurt. Yogurt is completely white, thick, and has a tangy flavor. Yogurt contains several different minerals such as Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, and Potassium. Yogurt also contains high percentages of Vitamin B, which helps in fighting against health diseases.

Types Of YogurtPercentage Of Milk Fat
Full Fat YogurtNot less than 3.25%
Low Fat YogurtNot more than 2%
Non Fat YogurtLess than 0.5%

Based on the percentage of milk fat contained in Yogurt, it is divided into three types. Full Fat Yogurt must contain more than 3.25 percent of milk fat and is made up of whole milk. Low Fat Yogurt, which is made up of skim milk, contains no more than 2 percent milk fat. Fat-free milk is used in Non-Fat Yogurt production, and it should not have more than 0.5 percent of milk fat.

Why Can Yogurt Be Left Out For That Long?

Yogurt has been identified as an excellent protein source, with around 6 grams of protein per 100 grams of Yogurt. It is advised to keep the Yogurt in refrigeration as soon as it is prepared, or else the bacteria starts growing rapidly and results in degrading the Yogurt. When Yogurt is stored at room temperature, the bacteria keep producing more and more Lactic acid, which makes the yogurt sourer. Hence its should be consumed within one to two weeks of production.

Producing Yogurt at home is better than purchasing it from the market. It has been found that many manufacturers add sugar or other artificial sweeteners that are very unhealthy and degrades the quality of Yogurt. Yogurt naturally contains some amounts of Sugar, but it is advised to go for Yogurt products that contain no more than 15 grams of sugar per 100 grams of Yogurt.

It has been found that Yogurt also helps in a few Gastrointestinal conditions such as Constipation, Diarrhea, Colon Cancer, and a few others. Yogurt can be left out for that long because different people have different tastes. Those who prefer Yogurt to be a bit sour can leave it out for a few days after production, while a person who prefers less sour Yogurt should keep it refrigerated or consume it just after it is prepared.


Thus it can be easily concluded that Yogurt is one of the most important food products used globally. It can be differentiated based on the milk fat that it contains. The basic principle in the formation of Yogurt is the conversion of the lactose present in the milk to lactic acid. Two Bacteria play a vital role in the formation of yogurt and are also responsible for giving yogurt its unique taste.

Since Yogurt comes from milk, it also contains many minerals, vitamins, and essential nutrients. Finally, Yogurt is in the best condition for consumption for up to two weeks.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.


  1. Excellent explanation of how yogurt is produced and its properties. I understand better the fermentation process.

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