Does Coffee Creamer Need to Be Refrigerated?

Different coffee creamer options are available for you, and they come in different sizes. However, there are some questions about what you should do with them. What are the different size options, and do coffee creamers need to be refrigerated? 

Do Coffee Creamers Need to Be Refrigerated?

Powdered coffee creamers don’t need to be refrigerated. They don’t contain any moisture, which bacteria need to spread quickly. They can last for up to two years, unrefrigerated. Liquid and nondairy creamers aren’t that stable outside of the refrigerator and need refrigeration. When opened, they may go bad within a few hours.

Silk Almond Creamer and Starbucks Caramel Creamer sitting in a green and white bowl on the kitchen counter

Liquid creamers with milk or cream have a high moisture content that can go bad quickly if not stored properly. So manufacturers put a “best by” date on the container so that consumers know when the product will taste its best.

How Can Creamer Be Stored Without Refrigeration?

Some creamers do not need to be refrigerated because it has already been pasteurized and processed. Pasteurization is a process that kills harmful bacteria that can cause disease in humans. This process takes place at high temperatures for a short period.

Some creamers are also non-dairy because they contain less than 1% milk fat, which is less than what’s required for a product to be considered a dairy product. So it has no chance of spoiling or growing mold like milk might. Since there is no chance of being unsafe to eat, you do not need to worry about refrigerating your creamer before using it or storing it in a refrigerator afterward.

The USDA recommends that consumers keep their creamers in their pantry until they are ready to use them; do not leave them out on countertops or in other areas where they might get too hot or too cold.

Which Creamers Do Not Have to Be Refrigerated?

Creamers that do not need to be refrigerated are made from powders. These products do not contain any active ingredients that would require refrigeration. For example, coffee and powdered creamers, such as vanilla and hazelnut, are usually safe to store at room temperature, but you should check their labels to be sure.

Some brands of coffee creamer contain live cultures that can grow in your refrigerator and cause food poisoning. If you plan to use your coffee creamer regularly, it’s best to buy it in smaller containers and replace it often so it doesn’t go bad before you finish using it all.

If you’re concerned about the safety of your coffee creamer, check its expiration date before purchasing and storing it in the refrigerator.

How Do You Know if Coffee Creamer Is Spoilt?

The printed expiration date on a can of creamer is just one indicator of when it might go bad. There are many other signs to look out for in a creamer that has expired:

  • Smell
  • Color
  • Texture
  • Gunk

The Smell

Some creamers have a strong odor when fresh out of the container. Therefore, if it starts to change or smell sour after opening, it’s time to toss it out. If you notice any changes in smell, then there’s a good chance that bacteria has also taken over in other areas of the product!

The Color

Coffee creamer can change color over time due to light, heat, and oxygen exposure. If it’s turning yellow or brownish, it could indicate that the product is starting to go bad.

The Texture

Sometimes you’ll notice that your creamer has begun to separate into layers—this is also a sign that it may have gone bad. You can confirm this by shaking the bottle before opening it; if there are layers after shaking, throw them away immediately.

Coffee creamer being poured into a cup of coffee in a mason jar on a quartz countertop surrounded by coffee beans and chocolate

Gunk Buildup Around the Lid Area

If you notice a white, chalky buildup around the lid, your creamer has gone bad.

Related Questions

Should You Refrigerate Coffee Mate Creamer After Opening It?

Coffee Mate creamer does not need refrigeration after opening as it is shelf-stable. This means that it will not spoil if you leave it out at room temperature. However, we recommend refrigerating Coffee Mate after opening to prolong freshness and flavor. Refrigeration will help keep the creamer fresh for up to 2 weeks after opening.

Does International Delight Coffee Creamer Need Refrigeration?

International Delight Coffee Creamer needs refrigeration after opening. The creamer will stay fresh for about a month if stored in the refrigerator. If you don’t use all of it before the expiration date, you can freeze the remainder for up to 6 months.

Do Individual Half and Half Creamers Need Refrigeration?

Individual half and half creamers do not need refrigeration. This is because they undergo pasteurization, meaning that they have been heated to kill bacteria and other contaminants.


Liquid creamers must be refrigerated once opened, or they may spoil within a few hours. Powdered creamers don’t need refrigeration and can last up to two years! Look for bad creamers’ signs, including foul odors, color and texture changes, and gunk buildup around the lid area.