Do Probiotic Foods Need to Be Refrigerated?

How long can yogurt stay without refrigeration? Nutrition Diva explains.

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
1-minute read

Q. "How long can yogurt and yogurt drinks be out of the fridge? I'd like to take yogurt to with me for lunch but don't have access to a fridge all day."

A. You're in luck! Yogurt with live and active cultures is more stable at room temperature than uncultured dairy products because the friendly bacteria inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. In fact, I've heard it said that making yogurt and cheese is really just a form of controlled spoilage. I prefer to think of it as natural method of preserving food!

Yogurt keeps in the fridge much longer than fresh milk and will also tolerate 4-5 hours at room temperature.  But for all of you brown-baggers without access to refrigeration, consider investing in one of the clever new insulated lunchbags with a pocket for a reusable ice pack! With all you're saving by packing your own lunch, it'll pay for itself in a week or two, and also keep all of your lunch items fresh and foodsafe.

For more quick and easy tips from the Nutrition DIva, check out quickanddirtytips.com/nutrition-diva.

About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.