I have had a container of off-brand sour-cream I bought from the grocery store in my refrigerator for almost two months. When will it go bad or will is ever go bad?


Eventually, yes... but it does have a fairly long shelf life.

According to Eat by date, you should expect 1 to 2 weeks after the date on the package. They say:

You can tell if sour cream has gone bad if you notice dark mold on its surface, bright bacterial marks, pockets of watery liquid and a sharp, bitter flavor. First the liquid will begin to separate, at which point it can still be used but within a week you will need to throw it out when you notice mold on the inside of the lid and then in the product.

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  • The one week shelf life is presumably after opening - it'll last a really long time unopened. (Maybe that's why the OP's made it two months. If opened it'd probably be horribly gross and moldy after that long.) – Cascabel Jan 31 '14 at 7:22
  • In my experience, you will still see some of these signs--especially the separation--even if you never open the container. I am terrible at buying this stuff to bake with and then forgetting about it.... – SAJ14SAJ Jan 31 '14 at 8:20
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    The good thing about dairy is that it almost never spoils in a stealthy way. If it looks and smells all right, it almost certainly is. – Satanicpuppy Jan 31 '14 at 17:23
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    Green or orange spots are a frequent clue that the stuff has gone off. – Wayfaring Stranger Nov 12 '18 at 1:08
  • I think if it separates, you can just mix it back together right? In my opinion, yogurt and sour cream can stay good for a really long time provided it doesn't get colonized by harmful mold or bacteria. Just pulled mine out of the fridge, it's previously opened and ~5 months past sell by date, and smells and looks completely normal. – Willdorf Feb 16 at 20:32

Yes. Foods are specially designed for sale. Soured cream has been artificially soured for sale. After that is just goes off. It is like blue cheese, the 'blue' is artificially injected into the cheese. You could personally scrape off the mould but it is not the sort of thing you can/should serve to someone else.

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It lasts a really long time. I bought a tub two months ago and used two table spoons. The expiry date was 1 1/2 month ago. I opened it and there was no mold, no variation in colour and very little liquid separation. I smelled and and tasted it and it was fine. I used it in mash potato. Yum!! And, no, we did not get sick. They key is to use clean utensils, not your fingers, to prevent contamination. Same goes with yogurt. Don't worry so much about expiry date. Use your senses (smell, look, taste).

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    Some kinds of food poisoning are not detectable by human senses, so relying only on your perspective can be dangerous advice. – Erica Nov 11 '18 at 12:30
  • I agree Sophie, I've eaten yogurt and sour cream months past sell by date, and as long as it looks and smells fine, I've never had an issue. I think what happens with these "cultured" dairy products is that they have been mostly colonized by non-harmful bacteria (which makes it difficult for other more harmful bacteria to gain a foothold) and also those particular bacteria make lactic acid which leaves the product somewhat acidic, and therefore preserved to a much greater degree than standard milk. – Willdorf Feb 16 at 20:53

yes it does...i just had to throw mine out that was 5 weeks old.

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