I guess you usually ask someone, “Does yogurt go bad?” to decide whether you should eat some leftover yogurt or not. While you find the yogurt still in good condition, you do not dare to consume it due to being afraid of spoiled yogurt.
Sometimes, you see an expired yogurt package in your fridge, and you plan to throw it away. However, you have heard someone say that it is OK to eat expired yogurt, and then you are so confused about this issue.
Do not worry! In this article, I will provide you with a clear conclusion of whether yogurt goes bad or not, along with advice on yogurt consumption and preservation.
Does Yogurt Go Bad?
Yes, it does. Yogurt is made from fermented milk. And while yogurt has some differences from sour cream and other dairy products, it can get spoiled over time like them.
However, yogurt contains good bacteria that are beneficial for human health and especially enforce your digestion. These live organisms play the important role of a natural preservative that prevents bad bacteria and mold infection in yogurt.
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“Does yogurt contain gluten” is a popular question for many people. Since yogurt’s main ingredients (milk and live culture) are gluten-free, most yogurt are safe for gluten sensitive people.
If you store the yogurt properly, it can last for a longer time.
However, when yogurt is kept at a room or warm temperature, it will get spoiled faster because this is an ideal environment for bad bacteria and mold to develop and spoil the yogurt.
Can Yogurt Be Consumed After Its Expiration Date?
It seems to be a nonsense question when you think about how food can be eaten after it expires. However, it is so interesting that yogurt is on the list of products that can be consumed after its expiration date.
In fact, the day you see in yogurt’s package is just the timeline for the retailers to know which old and new products to sell first or later. With consumers, manufacturers also recommend they eat yogurt before this day for the best quality of the product.
Actually, it is safe for you to eat yogurt past its expiration date if the yogurt is still in good condition.
Yogurt Expiration Dates Comparison Chart
You can check out the following table to know roughly how long different kinds of yogurt can last after its expiration date
The estimated numbers in the table just apply with the yogurt preserved well in the fridge and freezer.
|Types of Yogurt||Store in Refrigerator||Store in Freezer|
|Unopened||Frozen Yogurt||Cannot be stored||2-3 Months|
|Drinkable Yogurt||7-10 Days||1-2 Months|
|Greek Yogurt||1-2 Weeks||1-2 Months|
|Reduced-Fat Yogurt||1-2 Weeks||1-2 Months|
|Yogurt||2-3 Weeks||1-2 Months|
|Yogurt With Fruit||7-10 Days||1-2 Months|
|Opened||All Kinds of Yogurt||1 Week||1 Month|
It can be seen that sealed yogurt packages stored well in the fridge and freezer can last longer than opened ones, so you should be careful with the unsealed yogurt that may not meet the food safety requirements. Just remember that you can eat expired yogurt, not spoiled one, that is surely harmful to your health.
With the opened yogurt having fruit inside, the fruit can be spoiled with mold and yeast after the yogurt expiration date. Therefore, you should check it well before consuming this kind of expired yogurt to avoid eating spoiled one.
Just watch this video to gain more information about yogurt pasting its expiration date.
How Long Does Yogurt Last?
The shelf-life of yogurt refers to the period of time the yogurt is stored before it starts deteriorating and can not be consumed. You can not say exactly how long yogurt can last for safety use.
It is because whether you make your own with some efficient yogurt makers or buy a pack at a grocery, there are some other factors affecting its shelf-life: Its type, the ingredients you use (and the preservatives), and your storage methods.
If yogurt can not meet these factors’ standard requirement, it can go bad faster than you think it does and even before its expiration day.
For example, if you leave some yogurt outside for more than two hours, it will surely go bad. In contrast, when you preserve it properly, the yogurt can last longer.
Signs Of Spoiled Yogurt
When you eat this food starting with “Y”, especially those leftover or expired ones, you should also notice some appearance signs that can point out the product goes bad, and you should discard it.
Water Content: It is normal if you see a thin layer of water on the yogurt’s top. This water contains nutrients from the yogurt, so you just need to stir it up with a spoon and then consume your yummy yogurt.
However, if there is too much water that sometimes turns to yellow or turbid brown color on the yogurt surface, this is a sign of spoilage. Therefore, you should not consume it.
Unpleasant Smell: The next step to check whether the yogurt is spoiled or not is to sniff it. If you find the weird or rancid smell of milk, it means that you can not eat the yogurt anymore.
Yogurt Texture: The yogurt always comes with a smooth and creamy texture. If you notice that its texture becomes lumpy, you should discard it and invest money in new yogurt at stores.
Curdling Texture: If you see some extra lump formation on the top or bottom of the yogurt package, it is the curdling texture that is another sign of spoiled yogurt. Hence, you should toss the yogurt.
Mold: The mold in yogurt can come in white, green, or even other colors. Therefore, when seeing this sign on the surface of the yogurt, just say goodbye to it because it may have been preserved improperly, which leads to mold development.
Taste: This is the final way to check whether yogurt goes bad or not. Just taste a little bit of yogurt, and of course, this tiny amount can not make you ill if it is spoiled. If it tastes too sour or bitter, it means the yogurt goes bad.
How To Prolong Yogurt’s Shelf-Life?
To maximize yogurt’s shelf life, you need to store and thaw it in proper ways.
Preserve it Properly
Effective preservation plays a crucial role in maintaining yogurt’s original quality.
1. Store It In The Fridge
In order to ensure a suitable condition for storing yogurt, your fridge’s temperature needs to be at 40 °F or below. In addition, you need to place the yogurt into the refrigerator as soon as possible after purchasing it from stores to make sure the yogurt quality is not damaged by room temperature.
You just open the yogurt package when you need to use it. Otherwise, keep it with the sealed cover on your fridge. Normally, the opened yogurt is in good use about 14 days after the date it is opened if the yogurt is stored in the fridge.
After consuming the yogurt, you should seal it airtightly to avoid the infection of bad bacteria that can spoil the yogurt content. Fortunately, the foil seal accompanying yogurt packages is specialized to re-seal and store yogurt in the fridge.
Moreover, you can use plastic wrap or aluminum foil to cover them before refrigerating them. Don’t worry about whether regular or heavy duty aluminum foil works better. Both can help prevent the yogurt from drying out or absorbing other strong smells from the fridge.
If you want to keep the optimal freshness of yogurt in order that it can be ready for good use in the next few days, you can transfer the yogurt to an airtight container and note the expiration date on it before leaving it in the refrigerator.
2. Keep It In The Freezer
Also, while some are still concerned about how many carbs yogurt has once frozen, freezing is the best way to preserve yogurt. If you have so many yogurt packages not in use now, you can put all of them in the freezer for the best preservation from one to two months.
Thaw Frozen Yogurt Effectively
To defrost the frozen yogurt, you should put it in the fridge’s cooler several hours before you want to use it. This defrosting method helps keep the fresh taste of yogurt before it comes to your mouth.
You can store the thawed yogurt in the fridge within 3-4 days for safe consumption. However, if you want to thaw the frozen yogurt faster, you can put it in lukewarm water or a microwave and consume it immediately before the bad bacteria have a chance to spoil the yogurt.
Although the yogurt texture can be separated a little bit when you freeze and then thaw it, you can use a spoon to mix it well without affecting its creamy taste at all.
What Happens If You Eat Spoiled Yogurt?
When yogurt gets spoiled, it comes with different signs, as I mentioned above. However, if you do not realize them and consume poor-quality yogurt, you may suffer from some symptoms such as stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever within a few or up to 24 hours after the consumption.
Moreover, if the yogurt you eat is made from raw milk containing bad germs, your situation can be more serious with risks of food poisoning(1). Then, you need the intervention of medical treatment as soon as possible.
Normally, these sufferings will last within several days, but it may be longer if you get severe food poisoning. Therefore, you should be careful before consuming any yogurt that is suspected to be spoiled already.
You should throw it away for the best safety. Do not think that it is wasteful, but just remember to store new yogurt better.
How To Do With Extra Yogurt Before It Goes Bad?
There is no doubt that yogurt is an extremely nutritious food that is beneficial for your digestion (2), heart health (3), and immune system (4). For this reason, you should not spare some extra yogurt that can be discarded in case you store it improperly.
Instead, just enjoy it alone or you can combine yogurt with some cakes for a nice breakfast in summer, especially coffee or chocolate cake. In addition, you can put it in a blender to make a nutritious cold drink with some ice, bananas, strawberries, or other fruits you love.
You can also choose yogurt as an alternative to mayonnaise in your favorite salads or just enjoy the yogurt with some strawberry topping. Moreover, yogurt can be a healthy dessert after meals.
Extra Tips And Advice
To enjoy creamy and healthy yogurt, you should keep in mind the below tips and advice:
- Minimize leaving yogurt outside the fridge or freezer: Some may wonder if they should freeze their Greek yogurt. Well, the refrigerator or freezer can provide a great condition for the yogurt to last well, even Greek yogurt.
- Always spoon out when eating yogurt: Do not be lazy to hold a whole yogurt package and eat because it can spoil the leftovers. Instead, you should spoon out the amount of yogurt you want, put it in a separate dish or bowl, and enjoy.
- Use pasteurized milk (5) to prepare homemade yogurt: This kind of milk is processed to eliminate bad germs completely, so it is safe to eat yogurt made from it. After the yogurt meets the desired consistency and acidity, you should put it in the fridge, which lets the yogurt last up to 2 weeks for consumption.
Enjoy Creamy Yogurt Before It goes Bad!
As a dairy product, yogurt will go bad eventually. However, if you apply proper methods to store it, the yogurt can last as long as you desire. In contrast, leaving it in unsuitable conditions will make it spoiled sooner.
Do you have any experience or advice on yogurt consumption and preservation? Just feel free to leave your comments below. If the information I bring you is useful, share this post with everyone!
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, March 9). Food Poisoning Symptoms. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Guarner F;Perdigon G;Corthier G;Salminen S;Koletzko B;Morelli L; (n.d.). Should yoghurt cultures be considered probiotic? The British journal of nutrition.
- Rice, Beth H. “Dairy and Cardiovascular Disease: A Review of Recent Observational Research.” Current Nutrition Reports, Springer US, 15 Mar. 2014
- Haywood BA;Black KE;Baker D;McGarvey J;Healey P;Brown RC;. (n.d.). Probiotic supplementation reduces the duration and incidence of infections but not severity in elite rugby union players.
- Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “Unpasteurized Milk Can Pose a Serious Health Risk.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA.
Table of Contents
- Does Yogurt Go Bad?
- Can Yogurt Be Consumed After Its Expiration Date?
- Yogurt Expiration Dates Comparison Chart
- How Long Does Yogurt Last?
- Signs Of Spoiled Yogurt
- How To Prolong Yogurt’s Shelf-Life?
- What Happens If You Eat Spoiled Yogurt?
- How To Do With Extra Yogurt Before It Goes Bad?
- Extra Tips And Advice
- Enjoy Creamy Yogurt Before It goes Bad!