Does yogurt go bad and how can you tell if it is no longer safe for consumption? These might be some of the questions going through your mind if your yogurt has been sitting in your fridge a while or gone past its sell-by date.
To answer the question, yes, yogurt can go bad if not stored properly or if it is past its use-by date. However, if you are still not sure then keep reading for tips on tell-tale signs to look out for so you don't end up with food poisoning.
Yogurt is a staple food in a lot of households for its high nutritional value and because it is a great source of probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your gut health, and yogurt is a naturally fermented food that contains them.
But like any other food, if not stored properly or past its use-by date, yogurt can go bad and cause food poisoning.
How to Tell If Yogurt Has Gone Bad
There are a few ways to tell if your creamy yogurt has gone bad.
Check the date
The first way is to look at the use by date on the container. If it has passed its expiration date, then it is probably best to discard it. Here in the UK, the storage instruction is 'best before' a certain date, however, some stores would say you should consume the product within 3 days of opening.
However, if it is 'best before' and unopened before the date stated on the label, it may be safe to still consume for up to 2 weeks. Best before only means that the quality of the product is not guaranteed after the date stated on it, but you can still taste it to check
If the yogurt has changed color, the texture has morphed or if it is very runny, it may have gone bad. It may be lumpy or slimy and might have a greenish-white film on top. or if there is any visible mold on the surface, then you should discard it immediately.
Additionally, check if the yogurt smells sour. Smelling spoiled food items before consuming is very important because you can't always see or taste when something has gone stale or gone bad. If it smells sour then toss it no matter what.
It is not worth the risk of food poisoning, and with all the different types of yogurt on the market these days, it's easy to find a replacement.
If the yogurt looks perfectly fine but has gone past its expiration date, you can do a little test before you consume it. First, take a tiny bit of the yogurt on the tip of your tongue to see if it has changed in any way. If it has a sour or bitter taste, then it is probably best to discard it.
Generally speaking, yogurt will last about 2 weeks in the fridge after the best before date has passed as long as it has been stored properly. But always remember to check if it has expired or not before eating just to be safe.
How to store yogurt
The best way to store yogurt is to keep it in the fridge at all times. Do not let it sit out on the counter for more than 2 hours to avoid harmful bacterial growth. To make sure it stays fresh, keep it in the fridge until needed.
If you have a lot of yogurts that you won't be able to eat before it goes bad, then you can also freeze yogurt to improve its shelf life. Although, it will change the texture but it will still be edible.
It is important to remember that yogurt is a dairy product and contains high levels of lactose. This means that it can spoil quickly and cause food poisoning if consumed after it has gone bad.
Symptoms of food poisoning caused by spoiled yogurt include nausea, vomiting, cramps, and diarrhea. So, if you are ever in doubt, it is always best to throw it out and not take any chances.
So now that you know how to tell if your yogurt has gone bad, make sure to store it properly and consume it within the recommended time frame. This way, you can avoid any unpleasant surprises and keep your tummy happy and healthy!
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