How long can you eat expired yogurt?

In this article, we will answer the question “How long can you eat expired yogurt?”, and how to tell If the yogurt is bad?

How long can you eat expired yogurt?

Expired yogurt isn’t necessarily bad. Yogurt usually doesn’t come with an expiry date. Instead, it has a best-by date labeled on the package. If stored correctly, yogurt is safe to eat about a week past the printed date. 

Expired yogurt tastes tangier than usual. So if you do not want to use it for drinking purposes, use it for baking or cooking instead. Before consuming expired yogurt, inspect it closely to make sure it hasn’t spoiled.

How long does open yogurt last?

Opened yogurt, that lacks any preservatives,  is best consumed within 3-5 days. Dairy products including yogurt will spoil much earlier than their Best-by If they were mishandled during transport or storage. 

Therefore, read the sell-by and the best-by date before buying yogurt. The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of yogurt under different storage conditions. 

In the fridge In the freezer
Past printed date Past printed date 
Frozen yogurt (unopened)—-2-3 months 
Drinkable yogurt (unopened)7-10 days 1-2 months 
Greek yogurt (unopened)1-2 weeks 1-2 months
Reduced-fat yogurt (unopened)1-2 weeks 1-2 months
Yogurt with fruit (unopened)7-10 days 1 week1-2 months
All types of opened yogurt1 month

Like other refrigerated items, keep the yogurt at the end of the grocery list. Buy it at the last and refrigerate it immediately once you get home.

How to tell if the yogurt is bad?

  1. If you notice any discoloration or mold growth near the lid and on the surface of the yogurt, discard it immediately.
  1. If the yogurt gives off a sour smell, throw it away. If the yogurt looks fine but tastes too sour, it has started to spoil.
  1. If the smooth texture of the yogurt is lost as it becomes clumpy and the water that separates floats on the top, it is spoiled. However, some of the whey in the form of liquid also sits on top, it is natural and the yogurt can be consumed after stirring it in.

How to store yogurt to keep it fresh for longer?

Yogurt should be refrigerated at all times irrespective of its type. Do not place it in the door of the fridge to protect against temperature fluctuations.

After opening, the yogurt container must be tightly sealed to prevent spoilage. Use aluminum foil to cover the package and secure it with a rubber band.

Use clean spoons to scoop out the yogurt. Do not put the leftover yogurt portion back into the rest of the yogurt. Before buying, check the Best-by date on the label. Keep it away from foods that have a pungent smell because the yogurt will pick up odors easily.

Is freezing yogurt a bad idea?

Yogurt can be frozen but the quality won’t be the same. Just like buttermilk, the solids in yogurt will separate leaving the liquid behind. 

If the yogurt is to be used in baking and cooking, the altered texture won’t be a problem. Yogurt with a thick consistency like greek-yogurt freezes well than its plain counterparts.

What is the difference between regular and Greek yogurt?

The manufacturing process 

Regular yogurt and greek yogurt, are the result of fermentation of fresh milk, using starter cultures of Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus

The fermentation process converts the milk sugar or lactose into lactic acid. Yet the two products have different nutritional and flavor profiles. 

Regular yogurt 

Regular yogurt is made by inoculating starter culture into heated milk. The milk is allowed to ferment until an acidic ph of 4.5 is achieved. 

The final product has a sweet and sour taste. It may be fruit-flavored or include real fruit bits as well. The consistency of the final product differs. It could be runny or firm. The texture is smooth and silky.

Greek yogurt 

When the regular yogurt is drained of its liquid whey, it becomes greek yogurt. That is why Greek yogurt is often referred to as concentrated or strained yogurt. 

The yogurt can be strained using cloth bags or by using centrifuges in industrial setups. Commercially prepared Greek yogurt may also contain thickening agents or dry ingredients. 

Such a product is often labeled fortified or Greek-style yogurt. Greek yogurt is thicker, costlier, and tangier than regular milk. 


In this article, we answered the question “How long can you eat expired yogurt?”, and how to tell If the yogurt is bad?


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.