According to the FDA, cream cheese can be left out for up to two hours. In settings where the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, cream cheese can only be left out for one hour.
An unopened package of cream cheese that is processed using the cold-pack method remains fresh for one month past the sell-by date if refrigerated at or slightly below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If the cream cheese is processed using the hot-pack method, which kills more bacteria than cold packing, it lasts for three to six months, refrigerated.
There are also shelf-stable varieties of cream cheese that do not require refrigeration until opened. Shelf-stable cream cheese stays fresh for three years if the package remains unopened.