In this brief guide we will address the question, “How long does sour cream last?” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how to tell if your sour cream has gone bad and what are the ways to store sour cream.
How long does sour cream last?
For store bought sour cream, it typically lasts for about 2 weeks post its expiration date that is mentioned on the container. As per the USDA guidelines, it can be good for upto 3 weeks. The key factor that needs to be taken into consideration is whether the sour cream was properly refrigerated or not.
The duration of 2-3 weeks past its expiry date depends solely on your storage practices and how often your sour cream is taken out of the refrigerator. At a steady refrigeration temperature, the sour cream will last for 2 weeks post its best by date.
When opened, sour cream will not last for more than 10 days. Again, there is a range (7-10 days) which will depend primarily on your storage method.
A lot of people think storing sour cream in the refrigerator is a reasonable choice. However, that is not the case. The refrigerator door (which we assume is good for storing such products) is actually the worst place to store your sour cream in.
This is because the refrigerator door is opened frequently. Putting the sour cream at the door means you will continuously be exposing it to the changes in temperature and the temperature will not be maintained at a steady limit.
How to tell if your sour cream has gone bad?
There are different indicators that will help you identify whether your sour cream has gone bad or not. Some of these are given below.
Foul or mold smell
The easiest way to find out whether a food product has gone bad is by simply taking a sniff. Just inhale gently with your nose and you will be able to tell if your sour cream has gone bad or not. Typically sour cream will have a “sour” smell, but if it is anything other than that – if it is pungent and sour, you need to discard it immediately.
Moreover, mold has its own characteristic smell that separates it from the rest of the items in the kitchen. This means that you will be able to tell it instantly!
Visible mold on surface
Sour cream is actually a fermented product by lactic acid bacteria. These bacteria give it the sour flavor. Moreover, the milk used in sour cream is pasteurized and the cream is processed under very controlled circumstances.
However, when the temperature is not steady, other microorganisms like fungi and mold start to grow on it and extract nutrients from it. These fungi and mold are generally visible black or green spots/growths that can be seen with an unaided eye.
Seeing any such growth means that the sour cream has gone bad and you need to discard it immediately.
Change in color
This is an often ignored indicator. Many people tend to consume it even with an off color. However, I personally would not recommend using sour cream if there is noticeable change in the color of your sour cream.
Usually, 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.
What are the ways to store sour cream?
Like mentioned earlier, storing sour cream in the refrigerator door is not an ideal practice. You should always go with storing it at the back of the fridge where the temperature does not fluctuate so frequently.
Moreover, once opened, make sure that the sour cream is always tightly sealed when you are done using it. Fermented products are at a higher risk of getting infected because there is already presence of microbes in your sour cream.
Always use clean utensils to store and take out sour cream. As long as your sour cream is only being taken out from one spoon, you can use it as many times as you like. However, you should never use a spoon that has been used somewhere else.
This will not only compromise the taste of your sour cream. But it will also increase the risks of cross contamination..
In this brief guide we have addressed the question, “How long does sour cream last?” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how to tell if your sour cream has gone bad and what are the ways to store sour cream.