In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How long does sour cream last in the fridge?”, discuss answers to other related questions like how long does sour cream last at room temperature, and how to tell if sour cream has gone bad.
How long does sour cream last in the fridge?
Store-bought sour cream can last for 3 to 4 weeks post best-by date in the fridge provided the temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit. However, this time duration is just estimated under ideal storage conditions because the shelf life of sour cream in the fridge is not only determined by the temperature under which it is kept but also by the methods by which it is prepared such as the pasteurization process.
How long does sour cream last at room temperature?
It is not good to leave sour cream at room temperature at all, otherwise, its quality will be compromised. At the least, it is okay to leave sour cream at room temperature for only 2 hours. This is because, at room temperature, bacteria survive and multiply rapidly. These bacteria can easily harbor the sour cream that you kept at room temperature and forgot about. After 2 hours, the quality of the cream will be far gone, and there is nothing better than discarding such a sour cream.
Also, if the room temperature is not ambient but warmer, you can only leave sour cream for one hour.
How long does sour cream last in the freezer?
You might think that storing sour cream in the freezer will help you increase its shelf life. This statement is right up to some extent but not in all aspects. Sour cream can last for 6 months in the freezer but freezing affects the texture and might even change the flavor to some extent.
Therefore, it is important to know that freezing sour cream will only end up separating the components of the cream, and after thawing, whisking sour cream will not help you regain the original texture and consistency of the sour cream.
How to store sour cream in a better way?
To store sour cream such that its shelf life is not compromised, make sure that you have not kept it at room temperature for more than 2 hours. This duration holds much importance because, at a temperature range of 40 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, bacteria replicate exponentially and can easily contaminate the products.
Therefore, it is important to keep the sour cream at a temperature equal to or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the refrigerator. Make sure that the cream is stored in its original container or air-tight container so that it can not absorb the aroma of the other food items that are refrigerated along with the cream, and also to keep a limit on the moisture content.
Make sure to keep the container of sour cream in the top corner of the fridge’s shelf. Keeping the container of sour cream in the door of the refrigerator is not recommended as, in the door, the temperature fluctuates more rapidly.
Always try to take out only the required portion of the cream with a clean scoop or spoon to avoid cross-contamination.
How to tell if sour cream has gone bad?
While sour cream has a relatively longer shelf life than other dairy products, but over time, it will separate, develop an unpleasant flavor, and ultimately break down. Also, all through the aging process, it will be susceptible to molds that will happily take root in the soft, wet surface.
Therefore, it is not a wise idea to rely on the printed dates alone and assume your product will be good up until then. Be sure to check it before consumption, and look at the following aspects:
If you see the color of your sour cream going yellow, you should probably just discard it and buy a new pack from the market. Many people tend to consume it even with an off-color. However, it is not generally recommended to use sour cream if there is a noticeable change in the color of your sour cream.
If you observe any mold formation inside of the lid and on the surface of the sour cream, this means that your sour cream has been contaminated. Don’t assume that you can scrape any mold off the top and use the rest, it may have spread throughout the whole tub without being visible. Discard the pack and buy a new one.
Although sour cream has a slightly sour aroma. but it will be very clear when it is going or gone bad. The smell will be foul, rancid, and unpleasant, indicating the sour cream is unsafe to eat.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “How long does sour cream last in the fridge?”, discussed answers to other related questions like how long does sour cream last at room temperature, and how to tell if sour cream has gone bad.