Have a tub of tart cream that"s been sitting in the refrigerator for a while and also wondering if it"s still for sure to eat? Here"s how to tell.

You are watching: How to tell when sour cream is bad


Shelf Life

According to the USDA, sour cream (opened or unopened) is an excellent for increase to 3 weeks after ~ the sell-by date, as lengthy as it"s been stored in the refrigerator. This preeminence of ignorance is donate up through the Food Marketing institute in their consumer guide to food quality and safe handling, "The Food Keeper." They provide a 7 to 21-day home window for using sour cream, presume it"s been refrigerated at 40 F.


Inspect your sour cream come make sure it hasn't occurred mold, an off-color, or an turn off smell. If nothing appears amiss, take into consideration it safe to use. One sign that isn't of worry is separation. While unsightly, it's actually normal for the liquid to different from the solid cream. Girlfriend can drainpipe it turn off or mix it back in, as lengthy as you usage a clean spoon.


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What reasons Spoiling?

Sour cream is produced from milk that has actually been pasteurized come kill most harmful bacteria. The is then fermented by healthy bacteria that produce lactic acid, offering it the sour flavor. Commercially-produced cake cream should adhere to safety standards, if homemade cake cream may introduce a wild card of other bacteria types. Think of sour cream as a life product, together it still contains live aspects that were not killed by sterile canning processes.


Bacteria and also Molds

The protein and also sugars in the milk provide a happy culture medium because that the friendly sour-producing bacteria, as well as a hold of it s not nice bacteria and also molds that could reason illness. They may gradually multiply end weeks in ~ refrigerated temperatures or even faster if you leave her sour cream the end at room temperature for any length of time. Girlfriend may likewise inadvertently introduce added bacteria and mold as soon as go to usage your sour cream, one of two people from exposure to the air or by utilizing a spoon the isn't clean.


indications of Spoilage

Even if your sour cream isn"t however at the "best by" or "use by" date, don"t eat the if girlfriend notice:


An off Smell: take a whiff of your sour cream. If that smells moldy, rancid, or stinky in any means beyond the normal sour smell, it probably has extra development in it that will impact the flavor and also safety.Mold: If you watch mold farming on the surface, the totality container requirements to go. Don't it is in tempted just to scoop the mold off the top and eat the rest. The mold may extend further 보다 you're able come see v the naked eye.

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Yellow or Discolored sour Cream: If the cream is no longer white, that's a strong sign the it has far-reaching growth of bacteria and also fungi. 

The shelf life of foods can be substantially shortened if lock aren't tackled properly. Her sour cream may have been left out at room temperature at some point, whether by the manufacturer, seller or someone who stays in her home. Or who may have actually stuck a dirty utensil right into the container. Trust your eyes and your nose as soon as they tell friend something isn't right.