A Guide To How Long Your Yogurt Should Last And How You Can Tell If It Has Gone Bad? - The Rusty Spoon (2023)

Quick Answer: How Long Does Yogurt Last? Yogurts usually keep for about three to five days after opening, but they can last for up to seven days if kept cold. If you buy yogurt that says “sells by” then it will expire when the sell-by date comes around.

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Yogurts that say “best before” may not taste great, but they won’t spoil. You can also freeze yogurt, although it doesn’t keep as long.

A Guide To How Long Your Yogurt Should Last And How You Can Tell If It Has Gone Bad? - The Rusty Spoon (1)

What Types Of Yogurt Are There?

Yogurt is a great source of protein, calcium, vitamin D, probiotics, and other nutrients. But did you know that some brands of yogurt can expire within weeks or even days? What should you look out for?

Yogurt has become a staple food item in our daily diet. There are two main types of yogurt: natural and cultured. Natural yogurt contains live cultures (probiotics) whereas cultured yogurt is made from pasteurized milk.

Both are good sources of nutrition, but the latter also provides additional benefits, such as improved digestion.

Yogurt is a dairy product made from milk fermented with cultures of bacteria and yeast. Yogurt contains both protein and carbohydrates.

Some brands contain added sugar or sweeteners. Most yogurt sold today comes in plastic containers. Many varieties of yogurt are available, including plain, flavored, Greek-style, fruit, cottage cheese, dessert, low fat, and frozen.

Yogurt is often served cold, but it may also be eaten warm.

What Are The Storage Dates And Times After Opening?

Open yogurts tend to spoil quickly when exposed to air. That’s why we recommend buying them in resealable containers like plastic bags or jars.

If you’re not going to consume your yogurt right away, then store it in the refrigerator. Yogurt will last longer if kept cold.

You can also freeze yogurt. Just remember to leave an inch of space at the top of the container before sealing it.

If you buy yogurt in bulk, you can keep it for weeks. Just store it in the fridge, and it will last until its expiration date. If you’re buying individual containers, you should use them right away.

Don’t forget about the expiration date! You might not get any more than two or three days out of the product after it expires.

After That “Expiration” Time

It’s true that the date on the label doesn’t indicate when something goes bad. However, it does give an indication of how long the product will last before it starts losing its freshness and quality.

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So, if you’re going to buy your yogurt at the store, you might want to read the label carefully before buying it.

Regular VS Greek Yogurt

Yogurt is made from milk. When we drink milk, we get calcium, protein, and other nutrients.

Yogurt is just like milk, except that it does not contain any fat. Instead, it contains bacteria called Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.

These two bacteria convert milk sugars into lactic acid, which gives yogurt its tangy flavor. Bacteria also produce enzymes that break down lactose, making it easier for us to digest.

So when you buy yogurt, you’re buying something that will last for months if stored properly.

Of course, you shouldn’t buy yogurt with preservatives. But that doesn’t mean you should never buy any kind of yogurt at all. Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium and protein, and there are many varieties available.

You just need to read the labels carefully. If you’re looking for low-fat options, try Greek-style yogurt. It’s lower in fat and calories than regular yogurt. Or, if you prefer non-dairy options, try soy milk or almond milk.

Yogurt is a great source of protein, calcium, vitamin D, probiotics, and other nutrients. But did you know that some brands of yogurt can expire within weeks or even days? What should you look out for?

Yogurt has become a staple food item in our daily diet. The average person consumes around 2 liters of milk per day. This means that they consume at least 4 liters of yogurt every week.

There are two main types of yogurt: natural and cultured. Natural yogurt contains live cultures (probiotics) whereas cultured yogurt is made from pasteurized milk.

Both are good sources of nutrition, but the latter also provides additional benefits, such as improved digestion.

How Can We Know If Yogurt Has Gone Bad?

In order to check if your yogurt is safe, first, check its appearance. If something about the way the package looks seems off, like it has mold or black spots on the top, throw it out.

Next, check the smell. Yogurts normally have an aroma similar to milk or cream, but if it smells sour instead, toss it out.

Finally, try tasting it. If it tastes sour, then it might not be safe to eat. But if it tastes sweet, then it should be fine.

Off taste? If it doesn’t taste right, then throw it out. Simple as that. You can see that the list is very similar to other dairy products like cottage cheese or heavy cream.


If you see a bit of liquid (or whey) on the surface, that’s fine. You can leave it there or mix it in. If you’re not sure if it’s okay to consume, try stirring it around and see what happens. If you like the taste, then it’s probably safe.

But if you don’t, then throw it out. Whey separation is common in natural yogurts, but much less so in those with added ingredients. We’ve also had yogurt that separates like that. But if you’re not sure if it’s safe to eat, throw it away.

The Appearance Of Mildew Or Mold

Yogurts usually last for at least a few weeks after their expiration date. If you’re not sure about the freshness of your yogurt, here are some telltale signs of spoiled yogurt.

Mold, a strong sour odor, or a slimy texture may indicate an expired yogurt. Yogurts with these signs should be thrown out.

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So, if you’re not sure whether your yogurt is safe to eat or not, check the expiration date first. If it’s past its expiration date, throw it away.

A Guide To How Long Your Yogurt Should Last And How You Can Tell If It Has Gone Bad? - The Rusty Spoon (2)

Can An Unopened Pot Of Yogurt Go Bad?

Yogurt is a dairy product made from milk fermented with bacteria. Yogurt needs time to ferment, which means it will get thicker and stickier as it ages.

Once the fermentation process is complete, you’ll notice that the consistency of your yogurt changes. You may see clumps of curds or large lumps of thickened whey.

These are both normal signs that your yogurt is ready. However, if it looks spoiled or smells funky, you might consider throwing it away.

Even though there’s a chance that your yogurt could spoil, it’s unlikely that it will become moldy. Mold grows best at warm temperatures, but yogurt will stay safe when stored in the refrigerator.

How Should Yogurt Be Stored?

Yogurt doesn’t need to be refrigerated until you open it. You can even leave it out on the counter for a few hours if you’d like. Yogurt will start to go bad after about two weeks, though.

If you’d like to extend its shelf life, freeze it before opening it. Be sure to remove the lid once frozen, however, to prevent freezer burn.

Sealed Containers

Yogurt is good for you, but if you’re going to store it, then it needs to be sealed tight. If you put it in the fridge, it will naturally go bad after a few days. When you leave the yogurt out at room temperature, it starts to ferment.

You can stop this fermentation process by putting the yogurt in the freezer. Once it’s frozen solid, you can transfer it into an airtight jar and keep it there indefinitely.

In other words, the longer you leave your opened yogurt in the refrigerator, the more important it is to close the door tightly. If you don’t already have a lid on hand, use a plastic bag and a rubber band for an easy seal.

Clean Spoons

It’s best to use separate spoons for different ingredients. If you’re making a dressing, don’t use the same spoon you’ve already used for mayonnaise. You might think you’ll get away with it, but it’s not worth the risk.

Yogurt doesn’t behave like other sauces, because it’s thickened with bacteria. That means it will grow back if you leave it around long enough. So, it’s best to keep your yogurt containers closed until you’re ready to use them.

How Long Should Yogurt Be Left Out Of the Fridge?

Perishables like milk and other dairy products can spoil quickly if not stored properly. When refrigerated, perishable items will last longer when kept below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you’re going to leave milk out for extended periods of time, check its expiration date first to ensure it hasn’t spoiled.

You can also freeze milk for long-term storage. Milk doesn’t need to be defrosted before consumption, but it may separate if left standing at room temperature for too long.

For best results, store milk in the refrigerator until ready to serve. The same goes for yogurt too, so treat them with similar preferences.

Can Yogurt Be Frozen?

Yogurt is made by adding milk to bacteria cultures. The bacteria grow and multiply, producing lactic acid and making the yogurt thicker.

Afterward, the mixture is heated until all the water evaporates, leaving just the thickened yogurt. Then it’s cooled down again and packaged.

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Freezing yogurt doesn’t change the taste or texture, but it does affect the consistency. When frozen yogurt is defrosted, it separates into layers of ice crystals and liquid.

You can stir it back together, but the result won’t be very pleasant. Yogurt also tends to get grainier when frozen.

There are two types of frozen yogurt: regular and Greek style. Both are delicious, but each has its own unique flavor. Regular frozen yogurt is made with milk, sugar, stabilizers, and vanilla extract.

To create Greek-style frozen yogurt, you add additional flavors like honey, lemon juice, and cinnamon. You also add different fruits like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

When making Greek-style frozen yogurt, the fruit adds extra sweetness and tanginess. And when adding yogurt to a dish, the texture changes aren’t a problem because you’re mixing it with other ingredients.

What Happens If You Consume Yogurt That Has Gone Off?

Yogurts that are passed their sell-by date are not always safe to consume. If you see any signs of mold growth, smell anything strange, or notice that the yogurt looks or smells spoiled, throw it out immediately.

Yogurt should never be left at room temperature for longer than two or three days.

How Can We Keep Yogurt As Fresh As Possible?

To keep yogurt fresh longer, you’ll need to store it properly. Refrigerators are the best place to store yogurt, but you can also freeze it. If you’re freezing it, make sure to put it in an airtight container and label it clearly.

Don’t leave the yogurt out at room temperature for more than two days. If you don’t plan to consume it within that time frame, throw it away. You can also try storing it in the pantry, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Fun Fact: Yogurt may be frozen for up to 2 months without affecting the taste. From there, defrosts and spoons away.

The bottom line is that you can usually eat yogurt past its best date, but be wary if it smells or tastes different. Fruit-on-top yogurts have a much shorter shelf life.

A Guide To How Long Your Yogurt Should Last And How You Can Tell If It Has Gone Bad? - The Rusty Spoon (3)

How To Make Your Yogurt Last Longer

The creamy texture of yogurt is what makes this sweet treat so special but to make your yogurt for longer ensure that it is stored in a sealed container in the fridge.


  • Yogurt
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  • Airtight storage container
  • Clean spoon
  • Fridge


  1. Store the yogurt in a sealed container: As most yogurt contains milk, it can go off very quickly. Make sure that you store it in an airtight container.
  2. Store yogurt in the fridge: Yogurt needs to be stored in a cool and dry place, so it's best to keep your yogurt in the refrigerator.
  3. Use clean spoons: The milk in yogurt is a natural product and it reacts with any kind of bacteria that come into contact with it. That's why, ensure that you use a clean spoon each time you get some yogurt out.
  4. Don't store yogurt for too long: As a natural product, the milk in yogurt doesn't last for too long, so make sure that you eat your yogurt within a few days.

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Jess Smith

Hi, my name is Jess Smith, and I love cooking in my spare time. Around three years ago, I decided to give up my day job as a teacher to pursue my passion for food. While I have enjoyed sharing tips and tricks on Social Media, I have decided to expand my horizons through this blog.

Through this blog I hope to help others learn the basics and more intricate details of cooking. I know from personal experience how frustrating it can be to cook a meal, only to realize you are missing one ingredient from your list. This is why I love to write articles chatting readers through some great substitutes that can be used in an emergency.

I hope you will find this blog useful, and that it will help you to develop your culinary skills, to help you cook up a storm!

Latest posts by Jess Smith (see all)

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How can you tell if yogurt has gone bad? ›

Excessive clumping or curdling: yogurt should have a smooth texture, so a clumpy or curdled consistency is a sign of spoilage and a tip-off to throw the yogurt away. Excessive liquid: Yogurt typically has a small amount of liquid on its surface (which can be poured off if preferred).

How long does it take for yogurt to go bad? ›

Yogurt should be stored in the refrigerator below 40 degrees F. When stored properly, the shelf-life of yogurt is seven to 14 days. Storing longer than that allows molds, yeast and slow-growing bacteria to grow and spoil your yogurt.

What happens if you eat old yogurt? ›

That said, if you eat yogurt that's been opened and gone bad, it could cause a foodborne illness and leave you with diarrhea, stomach cramps, and vomiting, Gans adds. Again, though, it will taste bad.

What happens if you eat spoiled yogurt? ›

What happens if you eat spoiled yogurt? You may experience symptoms of food poisoning if you eat spoiled yogurt. Mild symptoms include stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Typically, if you're going to develop symptoms at all (some people don't), they'll begin within a few hours of eating the spoiled food.

Can you get food poisoning from yogurt? ›

You can get very sick from raw (unpasteurized) milk and products made with it, including soft cheeses (such as queso fresco, blue-veined, feta, brie and camembert), ice cream, and yogurt. That's because raw milk can carry harmful germs, including Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella.

Does yogurt go bad in the fridge? ›

While conventional yogurt isn't going to last in your fridge for a year, yogurt is generally safe to eat for up to two weeks after you bought it, according to the USDA's FreshKeeper app. That holds true even if the date range extends past the listed sell-by date.

Can you eat yogurt 3 weeks after expiration? ›

Most sources say 3-10 days past expiration seems to be the limit. USDA food safety specialist says they recommend eating yogurt within 1-2 weeks of purchase. [4] FYI: Per USDA food safety expert, it is safe to cut off mold and healthy margin from cheese, but they say you should not consume bread with mold on it.

Can I drink yogurt at night? ›

Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, is also rich in protein, particularly casein. Preliminary studies suggest that consuming casein protein at night may help reduce hunger the next morning ( 4 , 37 ).

What is the best time to eat yogurt? ›

With the four recommended times mentioned above, the best options to consume yogurt are in the morning or on an empty stomach. This is because the good bacteria or probiotics in yogurt must reach the large intestine alive to maintain digestive efficiency and health.

How long does yogurt last in the fridge after opening? ›

All kinds of yogurt last for up to a week past the date on the label. After opening, you should finish any leftovers within five to maybe seven days. If your yogurt is past its date, it's best to finish it soon after opening.

Can Salmonella grow in yogurt? ›

It was found that yoghurt inhibited the growth of Salmonella and Shigella very effectively even when the yoghurt had been heated to 100 degrees C for 15 minutes, whereas milk and the other fermented milk products showed a lower ability to inhibit the growth of pathogens.

Why do I feel sick after eating yogurt? ›

When you don't have enough of this enzyme to digest lactose, you can experience abdominal discomfort and digestive issues after eating dairy products like milk, ice cream, yogurt, and cheese. This is known as lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is not the same as a lactose allergy.

Can you get botulism from yogurt? ›

Discussion: Dairy products are a relatively uncommon source of FB. However, home-prepared cheese, and rarely yogurt, could bear contamination with clostridium botulinum, leading to intoxication due to improper refrigeration or incomplete heating.

Can you eat 2 month expired yogurt? ›

The Bottom Line. While it is safe to eat yogurt after its "Best if Used By/Before" or "Use-By" date, be sure to check that it's still fresh before consuming it. If your container of yogurt has any signs of spoilage, like a rancid smell or curdled texture, it's best to toss it out.

How long can you keep unopened yogurt in the refrigerator? ›

The EatByDate and Food University blogs explain unopened Greek yogurt is safe to eat one to two weeks after the sell-by date, as long as it has been in the refrigerator. Regular yogurt is safe even longer -- up to two to three weeks. The older it gets, the more sour it will taste.

What is the liquid on top of yogurt? ›

The liquid you are seeing is known as “whey” and contains protein and calcium, both essential nutrients. Also, stirring the whey gives the snack a creamier consistency (I know right, an added bonus).

Can yogurt be frozen? ›

Fresh yoghurt freezes remarkably well for up to two months. Note that upon thawing, the texture may change slightly and appear to be more liquid or grainy than it originally was. Stir vigorously for 30 seconds before using to even out the texture.

Can unopened yogurt go bad? ›

Unopened yogurt can go bad. While the chances of it growing mold are rather small because it shouldn't be infected with mold spores, and mold doesn't grow from thin air, it can still go bad. What you should expect from yogurt that's, say, more than a week past its date, is that it's heavily separated and probably sour.

Can I use expired yogurt on my face? ›

The short answer to this common beauty question is yes.

Expired yogurt makes an excellent skin moisturizer, and it is also a natural exfoliant.

How long does yogurt last in the fridge? ›

The United States Food and Drug Administration inspects other foods. Yogurt can be stored in the refrigerator (40 ºF) one to two weeks or frozen (0 ºF) for one to two months. Soft cheeses such as cottage cheese, ricotta or Brie can be refrigerated one week but they don't freeze well.

How long does Greek yogurt last in the fridge once opened? ›

Shelf Life

Greek yogurt can last up to two weeks in the fridge, but it can last up to two months in the freezer.

How long can unopened yogurt stay in the fridge? ›

The EatByDate and Food University blogs explain unopened Greek yogurt is safe to eat one to two weeks after the sell-by date, as long as it has been in the refrigerator. Regular yogurt is safe even longer -- up to two to three weeks. The older it gets, the more sour it will taste.

How do you increase the shelf life of yogurt? ›

  1. The shelf-life of yoghurts can be increased from the average 45 days to 180 days by adding Carbon Dioxide.
  2. Adding Carbon Dioxide to yoghurt beverages during processing also;
24 Jul 2019

How do you make yogurt last longer? ›

Refrigerate yogurt immediately after you buy it and store it on the colder shelves rather than in the door. Do not eat yogurt after the best before date. Once the package is opened, eat the yogurt within 3 days. Protect yogurt from other foods with strong odours by sealing it tightly.

Can you scrape mold off yogurt? ›

If these items, which are moisture-rich, like yogurt, sour cream and produce, have mold on them, they should be discarded as the mold may also be below the surface.

Can I eat yogurt 10 days after opening? ›

Opened yogurt will typically stay at peak quality for 5 to 7 days after opening, but will generally remain safe to consume for at least 1 to 2 weeks after the "sell by" date on the package, provided it has been properly stored- discard entire package if any sign of mold appears.

Can you eat Greek yogurt 2 weeks after opening? ›

A good rule of thumb is two weeks, according to Kostro Miller — and that's the outer limit. “Even if there's no mold that you can see or smell, you should consume Greek yogurt within 1 to 2 weeks of opening it,” she says.

When should you throw out Greek yogurt? ›

If Greek yogurt is properly sealed and refrigerated at the right temperature, it can be safe to eat yogurt 14 to 24 days after the sell-by date, but the taste will become more sour as the product gets older. The longer the yogurt sits in the fridge, the more watery substance forms on top of the yogurt.

How long does it take for Greek yogurt to go bad unrefrigerated? ›

According to the US Department of Health & Human Services, you should throw out yogurt if it's been out at room temperature for more than two hours. If the temperature is higher than 90 degrees Fahrenheit, you only have one hour to eat that yogurt sitting out of the refrigerator.


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