Can you get sick from eating expired sour cream?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “Can you get sick from eating expired sour cream” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of eating expired sour cream. 

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Can you get sick from eating expired sour cream?

When it comes to sour cream then it can still stay good to use a few days past the printed date on it provided that it is stored properly. But once sour cream goes bad and becomes bacteria-laden then the consumption of bad sour cream can lead to many food-borne illnesses especially food poisoning.

It is worth mentioning that instead of the “expiration date”, you will find a “best by” or “best before date” written on the packet of sour cream. 

The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the pack of sour cream refers to quality rather than safety so the sour cream doesn’t necessarily go bad immediately after the best before date. 

This date refers to the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality and flavor of the sour cream but you can still eat sour cream that is past this date as long as it was stored properly.

Moreover, if we talk about the sell-by date of the sour cream then unopened sour cream is safe to use 1-2 weeks past the “sell-by” date provided that it was stored properly in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

While once opened, sour cream lasts for about 2 weeks when stored properly in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

You should do a sensory evaluation of your sour cream to reach a final verdict if it is still safe to consume or not.

Certain indicators point out the bad sour cream. You should consider the appearance, texture, smell, and taste of the sour cream to reach a final verdict whether or not it has gone bad.

Appearance

If you spot a mold in your sour cream then it means that it has gone bad and you should discard the whole sour cream in this case.

Texture

If you find that your sour cream has become all lumpy or curdled or if you find a watery layer suspended on the rest of the sour cream then it means that your sour cream is past its prime time.

Smell

If you smell an intense sour smell or something foul while taking a sniff test of your sour cream then it means that sour cream has gone bad and the best thing to do in this scenario is to get rid of it.

Taste

If you feel something funky or too sour while tasting a bit of your sour cream then it points out a bad sour cream and it is better to toss it out.

Sour cream belongs to the dairy group and has many macro and micronutrients present in its formulation. But at the same time, it is a highly perishable commodity and if it is not stored properly then there are great chances that bacteria will find their way to it and spoil it.

It is worth mentioning that whenever you consume a food that is contaminated with bacteria and other microbes, there is a deferral before symptoms of illness become clear, which may last from hours to days, contingent on how many microbes and what sort of microorganisms has been consumed by you. 

Food poisoning after the consumption of expired or bad sour cream is characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, weakness, and mild fever. 

  1. Diarrhea is an indication of the body that a certain obnoxious agent has entered it. So consumption of expired sour cream often causes diarrhea. Therefore you should drink plenty of water to compensate for the water loss that the body experiences owing to diarrhea.
  1. Food poisoning after consuming sour cream that has expired is characterized by abdominal pain. Abdominal pain and cramps may likewise take place in the wake of devouring expired sour cream. 
  1. If you have consumed sour cream that has gone bad then you will experience nausea and vomiting which is the natural defense of the body to get rid of the unwanted harmful substance that has entered the body.
  1. Consuming sour cream that has expired will also raise your body temperature and you can experience fever which is the natural defense mechanism of your body and is the indicator that something is off with your body.

Persistent vomiting and diarrhea can result in electrolyte imbalance in the body as well as it can lead to severe dehydration, dizziness, flushed skin, and weakness. It is advised to drink plenty of water to save the body from dehydration as severe dehydration can even lead to shock.

Tips to properly store sour cream

  1. Once you open the package of your sour cream, it is recommended to store the rest in an air-tight container or jar in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Or if you want to store sour cream in the original container then you should ensure to seal it properly. You can even use an aluminum foil secured with a rubber band to seal your sour cream container.
  1. You should store your sour cream container on one of the shelves of the refrigerator rather than the door as there is a lot of temperature fluctuation at the door of the fridge that can mess up the quality of the sour cream.
  1. You should always use a dry and clean spoon to scoop out the sour cream from its container.
  1. You should never double dip and in case you need another teaspoon of sour cream then it is better to grab a new spoon or wash the used one before using it again.

You can read 5 ways to use sour cream here.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “Can you get sick from eating expired sour cream” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of eating expired sour cream.

Citations

http://www.eatbydate.com/dairy/sour-cream-shelf-life-expiration-date/

https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-long-is-sour-cream-still-good-to-eat-1388306
https://www.leaf.tv/6279064/how-to-stop-stomach-pain-after-eating-spoiled-sour-cream/
https://www.kitchensanity.com/food/can-sour-cream-go-bad/
https://www.doesitgobad.com/does-sour-cream-go-bad/

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

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