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?

6 Answers 6


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.

  • 1
    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
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 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
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 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. Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 17:23
  • 1
    Green or orange spots are a frequent clue that the stuff has gone off. Commented Nov 12, 2018 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. Commented Feb 16, 2020 at 20:32

Sour cream lasts 2-3 weeks tops.

The moment you start seeing little green dots, toss that shit.

It can also be ruined by a fridge running too cold & freezing it.


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).

  • 1
    Some kinds of food poisoning are not detectable by human senses, so relying only on your perspective can be dangerous advice.
    – Erica
    Commented Nov 11, 2018 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. Commented Feb 16, 2020 at 20:53
  • Most sour creams do not contain active cultures. Also, they have been pasteurized. So, if you opened it at or around the expiration date, and then it's several months later, it's probably going to be bad. If it's still sealed, then the odds are better that it's okay. Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 16:18

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


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.


I’ve had large tub of sour cream for 5 months and it still looks and smells like it did when I first got it . I’ve always thought the key to keeping dairy from going bad is to keep it in the back of the fridge in the coldest part of your fridge . Putting it up front exposes it to warm air every time you open your fridge. This is really a problem if you like to stand there with the door open deciding on what to eat . That and don’t let it sit out of the fridge , get what u need and put it right away . These little tricks have always worked well for me with any kind of dairy . I also leave the plastic liner under the lid on . Don’t know if that really makes a difference but , it’s a habit now : )

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