Does Yogurt Go Bad? (Answered 2023)

Forgot about the yogurt you had packed for last week’s lunch?

There is a chance you can still consume it without any adverse effects. A lot depends on how it is stored and its expiration date.

So, Does Yogurt go bad if not stored properly?

Yogurt will last for 3 to 5 days max. If you seal it well and store it carefully, you can expect it to last 10 days. If the expiration date has passed, it is best not to consume. But if you maintain the best storage practices, you can consume it for 2 to 3 more days.

How Long Does Yogurt Last?

How long the yogurt lasts depends on multiple factors. Whether you have opened the pack or not decides its shelf life. How you store it also makes a difference. Refrigerated yogurt will last longer than one lying on the counter. For frozen yogurt, the shelf life is even more.

1. Unopened Yogurt

Unopened yogurt lasts longer than opened yogurt, but it will surely go bad after a point. However, the chances of mold growth are slim for unopened packs. It can be separated and taste sour if you store it for more than a week after its expiration date. 

If your unopened yogurt pack has been out of the fridge for a while after expiry, throw it out. The same goes for a pack sitting in the fridge for a month after expiration.

2. Opened Yogurt

strawberry flavoured yogurt

If you have opened a pack of fage yogurt, it will last a week if sealed well. If you are lucky, it might even be okay for 10 days. But I always try to consume yogurt within 3 to 5 days of opening the pack. The date of expiry printed on the label is a good marker.  

If you push the expiry date, 2 to 3 days is the most you can expect it to last. Remember, a lot depends on the brand and how fresh it is.

Also Read: Can You Freeze Yogurt?

Does Yogurt Go Bad? 2 ways to store it

Store and thaw it properly if you want to extend yogurt’s shelf life. Not following proper storage practices can ensure it goes bad sooner than expected. Effective preservation can make a lot of difference with dairy products.

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1. Store It In The Fridge

Store your yogurt at 40 °F or below if you want to ensure it stays fresh. Refrigerate it as soon as possible after buying it. This ensures the longevity of its shelf life. You should not keep it at room temperature at any cost. 

storing yogurt in fridge

If you do not plan to consume it soon, the refrigerated pack might last 14 days. Always seal it in airtight containers to avert bacteria contamination. Usually, the foil seal that your yogurt comes in is resealable. You can reseal it after consumption and toss it back into the fridge.

If you cannot use the foil, consider using aluminum or plastic wrap. Both heavy-duty and regular aluminum foil will work well. Both will help prevent the yogurt from absorbing any smell from the fridge or drying out. If you want to keep it fresh, store it in an airtight container and note the expiry date.

2. Keep It In The Freezer

Freezing is, by far, the best way to store yogurt. It will last for upwards of 1 or 2 months if frozen. But with frozen yogurt, how you thaw it plays a crucial role. While defrosting frozen yogurt, toss it into the cooler of your fridge. Let it stay there for a few hours before using it. 

Thawed yogurt can be kept in the fridge for 3 to 4 days for safe consumption. But if you wish to thaw it faster, put it in lukewarm water or toss it into a microwave. Make sure you consume it immediately before bacteria contaminate it. If you see the yogurt texture separating after freezing and thawing it, stir it well. The quality will be just the same once stirred.

How to Tell if Yogurt Has Gone Bad?

Are you in two minds about consuming the yogurt lying in the fridge? There are a few tell-tale signs that will help you decide if you should eat it. Look for these signs and toss them out if you notice any of them:

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yogurt with fruits

1. Check for Liquid 

Often, you will see water collecting on the surface of the yogurt. But know that it’s not a bad thing. Stir it, and you are good to go. But if you notice too much liquid accumulated on the top of the creamy bottom, toss it out. 

2. Take a Whiff

Smelling your yogurt for signs of spoilage is always a good way to understand if it is still safe for consumption. But this method is not foolproof. Your sense of smell might vary from the next person. But for the most part, you should get a rancid and foul smell if the pack has been spoiled for a while.

3. Look for Curdling

Has your once creamy and smooth yogurt pack taken on a different texture after being removed from the fridge? Tossing it out is probably the best idea. Curdling can be a sign that the pack is not at its optimum quality and is best avoided.

4. Look Out for Mold

This one is quite simple. If you notice green, white, or any other color mold, it is time to toss out the yogurt. Yogurt has significant water content. When stored in the fridge for long, it will be prone to mold and make you sick.

Also Read: Can You Freeze Chicken Salad?

Why Avoid Stale Yogurt?

Has your spoiled yogurt been in an unopened container? If yes, then you might not bear the full brunt of it except an upset stomach. Eating spoiled yogurt from an open pack can give you diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps, and more. But either way, the yogurt will taste off, and you probably won’t want to consume it.

If you consume stale unpasteurized yogurt, the symptoms might be more severe. Unpasteurized yogurt can contain salmonella, listeria, E. Coli, campylobacter, and more. If you are experiencing dehydration or other symptoms after consuming yogurt, visit a doctor.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What does spoiled yogurt taste like?

Ans. Spoiled yogurt usually has a sour, stale, and unusual taste. You will detect the spoilage by its flavor immediately. The sour and unpleasant taste is hard to miss. Check by eating a spoonful; toss it out if it seems off. 

Q2. Is it OK to eat watery yogurt?

Ans. Sure, the watery stuff might not look the most appealing, but it is safe to consume. Watery yogurt is not necessarily a sign of spoilage unless there is a lot of liquid. But in general, the liquid on top is simply a byproduct of the process of yogurt making.

Q3. Does yogurt thicken in the fridge?

Ans. If your yogurt sits out in the open for 6 to 12 hours, it will turn thicker and tangier. This is not a good sign. It is best to transfer the pack into the fridge. When refrigerated, it will eventually thicken and continue to be cooled. 

Q4. Does yogurt go bad faster after opening?

Ans. Yes, yogurt goes bad after opening. It is a dairy product, so a few conditions encourage the growth of harmful bacteria. Not to mention, yogurt that has been opened will spoil much faster than when sealed.

Q5. Why does yogurt get watery?

Ans. Have you ever peeled back the lid of a yogurt container to find a watery layer? It is the whey protein that sits on the top. This is natural and a part of the process. A little whey will naturally separate from the milk curd. Don’t worry, it is still fine to consume watery yogurt.

The Bottom Line

Make sure you store your yogurt well and do not let it sit out for long. Toss it into the refrigerator when you return from the market. Refrigerate it if you plan to consume it in a few hours or days. If you are unsure when you can consume it, consider freezing it. This will ensure its quality remains unchanged. 

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Melissa Baker

Melissa Baker

I am a food lover and the founder of FoodQueries. I have years of experience when it comes to food. I have been cooking since childhood and I know a thing or two about storing, cooking and freezing food in the right way.