Does Yogurt go bad? (+3 ways to tell)

In this brief guide, we will address the question, “does yoghurt go bad” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how much time does yoghurt take to go bad or how to maintain the freshness of yoghurt by different preservation methods. We will also discuss some of the storage practices that aid in prolonging the shelf life of yoghurt.

Does yoghurt go bad?

Yes, yoghurt does go bad. It is among one of the most rapidly deteriorating dairy products owing to the presence of bacterial culture in it. 

The most noticeable aspect in the spoilage of yogurt is the change in pH. Fresh yogurt has a pH of about 4.3 – 4.4 that decreases with increasing time. This pH change imparts a strong, soury taste that is not very pleasing to the taste buds. 

How long does yoghurt last?

Fresh homemade yoghurt does not last for long (about 1 or 2 days). However, Commercial or store bought yoghurt cups last for about a week or so if unopened at refrigeration temperature. This is because they contain some amount of preservatives and acidity regulators that aid in enhancing the shelf life.

Yoghurt is a fermented dairy product produced by the fermentation of milk sugar – Lactose, by bacteria. Yoghurt often goes bad. It lasts for a short period of time because it contains the live culture which makes the yoghurt an easy target for microbial growth.

The taste of fresh yoghurt changes due to changes in pH over time. This change is caused by the bacteria that is used for its fermentation. 

Microbiological aspect

Yoghurt is a dairy product enriched with nutrients, therefore it is susceptible to microbial growth particularly molds and bacteria.

Molds can easily grow in yoghurt due to poor manufacturing or handling practices and if not stored properly at ideal conditions. Whereas, bacterial growth greatly reduces the pH of yoghurt which causes proteins to form lumps and have compromised texture.

The slimy and sluggish texture in the yoghurt indicates the molds growth and it should be discarded as spoiled yoghurt may cause foodborne illness and you may experience uncomfortable digestive issues along with nausea and vomiting upon its consumption

Other FAQs about Yogurt which you may be interested in.

Can you get sick from eating expired yogurt?

3 different ways to tell if your yoghurt has gone bad.

Yoghurt eventually does deteriorate in its quality. Besides its unpleasant taste and odour, it is not safe to consume the spoiled yoghurt – it can cause severe health concerns such as food borne illnesses and other digestive issues.

To check if your yoghurt has gone bad or not. First, visualize its appearance. Then, try smelling it for any off or sour odor and at last, taste it if required. So, here we will be discussing different ways and signs that help you to identify the expiration of yoghurt:

  • The water of Yogurt gets separated and appears on the top of the container but it is normal if in less amount, it is known as whey water and is highly nutritious it should be mixed prior to eating but if yoghurt has released excess amount of liquid surface. It can be a sign that yoghurt is near to expiry.
  • If the excess surface liquid is followed by lump formation and a noticeable curdling texture, it is a high chance that your yoghurt has gone bad and it is time to invest in a new pack.
  • Final sign to check if your yoghurt has spoiled or rotten is by checking the mold growth. A growth would give the yoghurt an unpleasant foul or rancid smell.

How to extend the shelf life of yoghurt?

Yoghurt is a perishable commodity, therefore it is more susceptible to spoilage. Its shelf life depends on how well you keep or store it. Homemade yoghurt only lasts for about 3 days before developing a sour smell. Whereas, opened yoghurt pack can retain its best of its freshness up to 5-7 days if stored at refrigeration temperature due to the added preservatives.  

If you want to prolong the shelf life of yoghurt, freezing is the best option. Frozen yoghurt has a longer lifespan than the yoghurts stored by other preserving or storage techniques. Frozen yoghurt last long for about 2 months if handled and stored appropriately according to the protocols.

Maintaining storage is of utmost importance to extend the shelf life of yoghurt.

How to thaw frozen yoghurt?

The best way to thaw the frozen yoghurt is by refrigerating it for several hours before you plan to use it.


In this brief guide, we have addressed the question, “does yoghurt go bad” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how much time does yoghurt take to go bad or how to maintain the freshness of yoghurt by different preservation methods. 


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.