The amount of time that cream cheese can be unrefrigerated depends on the room temperature. If the temperature is between 45 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it should be discarded after two hours out of the refrigerator. If above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it should be discarded after one hour.
Leaving cream cheese unrefrigerated for too long can result in bacterial infection, including salmonella. Salmonella is undetectable by sight or smell, unlike mold. If individuals consume cream cheese infected with Salmonella, they may show symptoms within six to 48 hours. Refrigerating cream cheese after it has been out for more than two hours may slow bacterial development, but it does not kill existing bacteria.