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I'm awfully paranoid about getting food poisoning after having it once before. I bought a pot of live yoghurt with mango and after eating a couple of spoonfuls remembered I didn't check use by date when I bought it a few minutes beforehand. It was a day past the use by date.

No visible mould and tasted fine to me.

Should I be worried?

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    Did it really say “use by” or rather “best before”? – Stephie May 22 at 11:00
  • If you are awfully paranoid, stop eating the yoghurt. Drink a tea or coffee, enjoy the sunlight. If something is going wrong, you would notice. For now: No worries. – Johannes_B May 22 at 11:31
  • @Stephie It was use by – BarryWalsh May 22 at 12:25
  • May I ask what country you are in? – Stephie May 22 at 12:29
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    Personally, I wouldn’t worry if you have a factory-sealed pot. One day for yogurt sounds “mostly harmless”. If we are talking about cut up fresh fruit in yogurt out of a larger tub, I would at least stop eating it, because the fruit could have become bad - but that would likely be very obvious through taste and texture. Reason to worry? In my opinion - no. – Stephie May 22 at 13:15
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On this site, we will not and can not give medical advice and that includes answers about “should I be worried” or judge whether a food is spoiled (apart from blatant cases like “it’s covered in mold” or “it smells foul”). What we can and are happy to do is answer questions about food safety based on the recommendations of government sources or other qualified authorities.

In your case, see the Food Safety Authority of Ireland’s webpage, which basically states that you yogurt is no longer safe after the use by date.

Now, you may want to remember that food safety and a food being spoiled are not necessarily directly correlated. Food safety deals with statistics, so that the manufacturer can basically guarantee that before that date the risk of food poisoning from consuming said item is near zero (it can never be zero), even for very sensitive consumers like small children, pregnant women, the elderly or people with a weak immune system and this will typically include a bit of a safety margin as well . After that date, the “safety” can’t be guaranteed. The food may or may not contain a critical amount of microorganisms that can cause food borne illnesses.

Many consumers are willing to take a small risk by consuming foods after that date, especially for products that are not in high-risk groups like fish, shellfish or meat or that have a bit of “protection” built in like live “good” bacteria. And many will do so without negative consequences. The longer the time difference, the higher the risk, obviously, and of course any visible sign of spoilage should always be a warning sign.

Bottom line: The basic rule of “When in doubt, throw it out!” still applies.

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