How Long Does Sour Cream Last ? Answered (2023)

If you like to try different creams or spread, you must have come across sour cream. Not only does it work well as a salad dressing, but can also be added to veggies, soups, and eggs. 

But first things first: How long does sour cream last?

Sour cream (sealed or opened) is good for 2-3 weeks after its expiry date. At room temperature, the opened sour cream will last for a week at its peak flavor. If you have an opened sour cream, it will last for 2 weeks in the fridge.

The best thing about sour cream is its subtle sour taste.

But does it mean that the sour cream can not get too sour to eat? Definitely, not. A sour cream will start to taste funny once it goes bad. So how will you know the cream is no longer edible

Read along to know for sure!

Does Sour Cream Go Bad?

Yes. Like every other dairy product, sour cream also goes bad. So you must ensure that you store the cream properly. The acidity in the sour cream gives it a good shelf life. However, it does not stop it from getting moldy. A bad sour cream will have an unbearable sour taste, making it impossible to eat.

However, the good news is that sour cream can last longer than heavy cream. It can also last for a week (and more) at room temperature. After a week, though, the taste will start to alter, indicating the cream is going bad. You must store the cream properly in order to get the health benefits of eating sour cream.

sour cream with wooden spoon

How long does sour cream last?

Sour cream has a best-by date that will give you an idea of how long it will last. Sour cream is already sour; thus, it can last longer than other dairy products. An opened pack of sour cream will last about 2 weeks before it goes bad. But you must make sure to store the cream in the refrigerator.

If your sour cream is already past the expiration date, don’t worry. An expired sour cream will last for about 7 to 10 days past that date. However, the cream can go bad before the date printed on the label. If the sour cream goes bad before the label, it may be because it was not stored properly. Another reason could be that it was not handled properly. For example, the seal might be broken, or the packaging might be damaged.

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How To Store Sour Cream?

The best way to store edibles is by refrigerating them. Sour cream is no exception. A freezer is, however, not the best choice because sour creams are sensitive condiments that require a stable atmosphere and temperature. Storing at the fridge door will expose the cream to constant temperature fluctuation. Instead, you must store the cream on the bottom shelves. If you rarely use the cream, you can store it at the back of the fridge.

Tip: As soon as you bring the sour cream home, place it in the fridge. If you want the cream to last for longer, refrigerating it is the best option.

Airtight container to store the cream

Leaving the sour cream open will make it go bad faster than you expect. Therefore, make sure you seal the container after every use. If your container is not resealable, consider transferring the cream to another container. A Mason jar or an airtight container will be a perfect choice.

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Sealing the open condiments also prevents the cream from drying out. A sealed jar will also prevent strong odors that might ruin the cream. 

sour cream in a container

Alternative seals to store the sour cream

Do not have an airtight container at hand? Don’t worry. Use aluminum foil or a rubber band to make a temporary seal. Use a normal container and make a temporary lid with aluminum foil. Seal the lid shut using a rubber band. This will make the sour cream last for 2-3 weeks.

Practice proper food hygiene 

Not all of us might use the entire sour cream at once. To scoop out the cream, you must ensure using clean utensils. Make sure the spatula/spoon you use is dry and thoroughly washed. Never double-dip the spoon to scoop the cream. Using dirty or used utensils are highly likely to carry bacterias and contaminants. Once the bacteria come in contact with sour cream, it will cause it to spoil early.

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Can You Freeze Sour Cream?

Yes. You can freeze sour cream, but not many manufacturers advise it. It is because once you thaw the cream, the ingredients separate. You can retain some consistency by whipping the cream. The results, though, are not as appealing as a fresh cream’s. So, don’t freeze it unless you want to add the thawed cream to the dishes.

Cooking and baking are ideal places for you to utilize the thawed cream. The thawed texture of the sour cream will not alter the recipe.

Freezing sour cream has never been easier

To freeze sour cream, the best way is to use an ice cube tray. This way, you will only use the required amount without disturbing the rest. The cream cubes will also take up less space in the freezer. While pouring the cream into the ice tray, leave an inch of headspace. This is because sour cream expands slightly when freezing. Once done, place the tray in the freezer.

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3 Signs to Identify a Bad Sour Cream

Although sour cream lasts longer than other dairy products, it goes bad too. Look for the following signs of spoilage in the sour cream:

1. Mold, discoloration, or significant change of texture

Sour cream has a well, creamy texture. So if you see any sign of water or liquid, it’s bad. The cream also has a white color. If you see the cream developing a yellow color, throw it away. If you store the cream for a long time, it will also develop mold. And molds shout decay. Throw away the cream before you or someone else consumes it.

2. Sharp, sour, or funny smell

Yes, yes, yes!! Sour cream has a sour smell. That does not mean you can not identify a bad sour cream by its smell. A sour cream that has gone bad will have a sharp and biting smell. Once your cream starts to give off the biting smell, discard the product.

3. Off taste

Many times, the taste can be off before the texture change. So if you find the cream tasting too sour, throw it away.

sour cream with green leave

Risks Associated with consuming bad sour cream

Sour cream, like any dairy product, contains several macro and micronutrients. This means many ingredients can go bad faster than others, rendering the cream inedible. When you consume bad sour cream, you are more likely to get food poisoning. The contamination of bacteria and other microbes can seriously threaten your health. 

Symptoms of food poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and mild fever. Constant vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration, dizziness, and weakness. Therefore, it is advised to drink plenty of water to make up for the lost water content.

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Frequestly Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. How long can sour cream last once opened?

Ans. Sour cream can be fresh for up to 2 weeks once it’s opened. You can also judge the freshness of the cream by its smell, taste, and appearance.

Q2. How long can sour cream stay in the refrigerator?

Ans. The sour cream will only last for 3 weeks if it is stored in an airtight container in the fridge. An unopened/opened sour cream can last up to 3 weeks after the best-by date.

Q3. How long does sour cream last out of the fridge?

Ans. At room temperature or above 40 °F, sour cream will begin to rot faster. If you leave the sour cream out for 2 hours or more, it should be immediately discarded.

Q4. How can I tell if sour cream is bad?

Ans. The signs of spoilage can easily identify sour cream. It also indicates the presence of bacteria and contamination. A few common signs of spoilage are the appearance of molds and discoloration. Also, if you see the cream emitting an intense sour smell, it is no longer consumable.

Q5. Can you eat 10-day-old sour cream?

Ans. If you have an unopened sour cream, it can safely be consumed after 3 weeks. However, once you open the sour cream, consume it within 8-10 days.

The Bottom Line

Sour cream is one of the best additions to your dishes. Not only do they help make the recipes delicious, but give them a smooth aftertaste. So, to enjoy the recipes endlessly, you must store the cream well. The best way to store the recipes is in an airtight container. Sealing the cream will prevent bacteria from growing. Storing the condiment properly will last weeks after the expiry date has passed. It can pose a great risk to your health. Unless you want to visit a doctor, consume a good sour cream.

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Archana Bisht

Archana Bisht

A foodie with a flair for talking non-stop. You can find me hogging down food or browsing Pinterest for more recipes in my free time. My favorite cuisine is Italian. That being said, I am an excellent pasta cook and love experimenting with ingredients. You can also find me petting strays and feeding them every chance I get