Don’t know how to tell if yogurt is spoiled or how long does yogurt last?
Or maybe you have a half-open container and no idea how many days it can sit in the fridge before it goes bad.
Either way, it seems like you might benefit from learning a thing or two about storage, shelf life, and going bad of yogurt. If so, you’re in the right place.
Let’s start by discussing how long, on average, yogurt lasts and how long it can sit opened in the fridge.
How Long Does Yogurt Last?
Every yogurt has a “Best By” or “Use By” date placed somewhere on the package. That’s a starting point.
That date indicates that the yogurt should be of best quality at least for that period. Assuming that you store it properly, of course.
“Best By” and “Use By” dates differ between manufacturers, but as long as the package is unopened, the yogurt should be fine for at least a few days after that date. In quite a few cases it’s okay for a week, and sometimes even a little longer, it really depends.
If your yogurt is out of date, check whether it is spoiled before eating it.
When it comes to open yogurt, it can keep quality for up to about a week. Again, it depends on many things, like storage conditions and the date one the label.
If that date is still a few weeks in the future, your yogurt should stay fresh for that whole week. But if it’s already pushing that date, don’t expect more than 3 to 4 days of good quality.
Try using yogurt leftovers within a couple of days of opening the container. The longer they stay in storage, the higher the chance they’ll go bad.
Please note that all of the above applies to all types of yogurt, including plain, Greek, non-fat, and flavored ones.
Does Yogurt Expire? How To Tell If Yogurt Is Bad?
Sooner or later, yogurt goes bad.
If you’re familiar with other dairy products, like cottage cheese, you know what to look for. If not, here’s a list:
- Mold or other changes in appearance. If something about the way the yogurt looks seems off (e.g., some colorful spots on the surface), discard it. The only exception here is separation. Yogurt (especially all-natural ones) tends to separate, and that’s normal – just stir it to fix that.
- Sour smell. Yogurt has a fresh and pleasant smell. If it starts to smell more like sour cream, it’s time for it to go.
- Off taste. If it doesn’t taste right, throw it out.
To check if yogurt is okay to eat, check its appearance, smell, and taste. And in that order.
How To Store Yogurt So It Lasts The Longest
As you surely know, you should keep yogurt in the fridge. And the faster you put it in there when you’re back from the supermarket, the better.
Avoid storing yogurt in the fridge door, where the temperature changes quite often.
Once you open the container, keep it sealed at all times. If it doesn’t come with a lid, transfer the leftovers to a plastic container. A tight seal protects your yogurt from any contaminants, odors, and from drying out.
If you don’t have a container on hand, use plastic wrap (or aluminum foil) and a rubber band for a temporary seal.
When scooping yogurt, remember to use clean utensils. I know it’s tempting to use the same spoon that you used for mayo, but it’s not a good idea.
Last but not least, freezing. Freezing yogurt is a-okay, but only if you’re going to use it in a smoothie or a cooked dish.
Freezing and thawing separates yogurt’s solids from the liquid, and the whole thing is separated. And stirring it helps only so much.
Because of that, freezing it to then eat it raw (e.g., with fresh fruit) isn’t a good idea. It’s safe to eat, but you’ll hate every second of it.
If you’ve frozen yogurt, use it in a soup, pie, smoothie, or make pancakes. This way, the change of texture is negligible.
- Unopened yogurt lasts a couple of days past its date.
- Half-open yogurt keeps for a week if it’s new, and only three to four days if it’s pushing its date.
- Always store yogurt in the refrigerator, and avoid the fridge door.
- When checking if yogurt is okay for consumption, start by checking its appreance, then smell it, and finish by tasting it. If at any point something is off, stop and discard the dairy product.