I bought a new unopened package of mascarpone cheese yesterday and forgot to put it in the refrigerator overnight. Is it still good to use?


Mascarpone cheese is NOT made with a culture. It therefore needs refrigeration, sealed or unsealed. You really should throw it out.

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  • Welcome to Seasoned Advice, Klaas! – Preston Feb 17 '15 at 16:34

Any dairy product not specifically labeled as safe for room temperature storage (processed cheese, UHT milk) must be kept refrigerated. If it spends more than 4 hours in the "danger zone" (40-140F), it should be discarded.

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    That's not entirely correct. Dairy products inoculated with cultures actually need to be held at room temperature to achieve the purpose of the inoculation (yogurt, creme fraiche). Welcome to Seasoned Advice BTW, I see that you have been busy! – Jolenealaska Jun 19 '14 at 10:20
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    True; they should only be refrigerated once the culture process is complete. I stand corrected. (It is worth noting that the beneficial bacteria in such cultured dairy products usually are replicating fast enough to prevent pathogenic bacteria from growing alongside.) – DrRandy Jun 19 '14 at 10:32

That depends on how it was packaged; check the label. If it does not say something like "refrigerate after opening" or give a shelf life, assume that it must be refrigerated at all times and discard.

Note that this advise is very conservative, and you will have to evaluate your own tolerance for risk.

See also: How do I know if food left at room temperature is still safe to eat?

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