How to tell if sour cream is bad?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “how to tell if sour cream is bad?”. We will also discuss in detail, the shelf life, and storage methods of sour cream.

How to tell if sour cream is bad?

You can tell if your sour cream is bad by the following points.

• The sour cream has an unpleasant odor. It is spoiled if it smells moldy, rancid, or unpleasant.

• There are colored spots on the cream’s surface or in the container’s neck – this is mold. Mold comes in a variety of colors, including blue/green, black, and pink. Delete the entire thing.

• Mold may have infiltrated the entire container, even if only the colored spots on the surface are visible. It will not be safe to eat any of it.

• If the sour cream has changed color and is no longer white, it has been infected with harmful bacteria.

Do not be concerned if a small amount of water has separated from the sour cream. You can either drain it or stir it back in, giving the sour cream a thicker, cream cheese-like consistency.

However, if the sour cream has separated throughout the container, it has gone bad. It is better to be safe than sorry, so throw it out.

Do not taste the sour cream if you believe it has gone bad. It will probably seem fresh, but if it has been stored for a long period, then it should be discarded.

When it comes to sour cream, how long does it last?

Sour cream, like other milk-based products, has an expiration date. That is the time limit for the store to sell the package. As a result, it is safe to assume that the product will stay fresh for at least a few days longer.

It is usually 7 to 10 days past the expiration date for sour cream. Of course, as with almost all dairy products, they may spoil sooner than the expiration date on the package.

When it comes to open sour cream, it can last up to two weeks before losing its freshness. That is, assuming you store it properly. Sour cream keeps its quality for longer than other dairy products because it is already sour.

People regularly store it for a month and it is still fine, according to many online sources. Feel free to do so, but keep in mind that it is a bit risky, and it is best to discard sour cream that has been open for that long.

Also, as is customary, the longer it sits in the refrigerator, the worse the quality becomes.

Sour cream (unopened)Sell-by + 1 – 2 weeks
Sour cream (opened)2 weeks

Please note that the periods above are estimates.

Other FAQs about Sour Cream which you may be interested in.

Can you cook sour cream?

Can sour cream be frozen?

How to keep sour cream fresh?

Sour cream, like other dairy products like heavy cream or half-and-half, must be kept refrigerated. And, while the door shelves are a popular storage option for sour cream, it is far from ideal.

After you have opened the container, make sure it is always tightly sealed. Consider pouring the sour cream into a mason jar or an airtight container if it is not easily sealable.

This is especially useful if you plan on storing it in the fridge for several days. A tight seal also keeps any strong odors at bay and prevents drying out.

Because we rarely use the entire container of sour cream at once, it is critical to maintaining proper food hygiene.

That means scooping sour cream should always be done with clean utensils, and you should never double-dip. Simply grab a clean spoon or wash the one you are using if you need another teaspoon or two for a recipe.

Using “dirty” utensils will almost certainly transfer bacteria to the sour cream, causing it to spoil sooner.

Is it possible to freeze sour cream?

Sour cream should not be frozen, according to most manufacturers. Sour cream, like buttermilk and many other dairy products, separates when thawed.

While gently whipping it will restore some of the consistency, the result will not be as good as fresh sour cream.

That means you can only freeze sour cream for cooked or baked dishes.

If you are making a soup, for example, the texture of the sour cream will not matter because you will stir the dairy product in either way. Using thawed sour cream in baking is similar.

When it comes to freezing sour cream, an ice cube tray is a good option. You can thaw as much or as little as you need this way. In addition, the frozen cubes are placed in a freezer bag, which takes up far less freezer space than an airtight container.

Of course, if you do not want to bother with a tray, a freezer-safe jar or container will suffice. Just keep in mind that the sour cream expands slightly when frozen, so leave an inch of headspace.


In this brief article, we answered the question, “how to tell if sour cream is bad?”. We also discussed in detail, the shelf life and storage methods of sour cream.


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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.