How Long Is Yogurt Good After Opening? 

 January 20, 2022

By  Diane Miles

Yogurt is a delicious and nutritious snack that can be enjoyed any time of day. But because it can get so filling, it can take several days to finish. Because of that, people often wonder how long it’s good for after opening.

Yogurt can still be consumed for 5-7 days after opening, and 1-2 weeks after its sell-by date. However, it will be at its best quality for up to 7 days after opening provided that it has been stored properly in the refrigerator and is kept in an air-tight container.

There are other things to know about the shelf life of yogurt after opening. Read on below to learn more.

How Long Does Yogurt Last After Opening?

If you want to know how long yogurt will last after opening the container, there are many conditions that affect the answer.

Let’s have a look at them.

Opened Package

If you have already opened a yogurt package and aren’t able to finish its contents, it will still be good for 5-7 days as long as you have stored it properly in an air-tight container and kept in the refrigerator. If the yogurt package has been opened, you can also still consume it up to 2 weeks past its best-by or sell-by date.

Should you intend to finish the rest of the contents within the same day, it’s perfectly alright to use the aluminum or plastic top of the yogurt package to store it.

Room Temperature

Yogurt should never be kept sitting out in room temperature for longer than 2 hours, especially if it’s over 90F outside. If the temperatures are reaching over 90F outside, it will no longer be good after an hour.

Otherwise, this makes it easy for mold and bacteria to quickly grow.

Storage Conditions

The environment in which yogurt has been kept will have a significant impact on its shelf life. That’s because it’s a perishable fermented food product that requires constant refrigeration to stay fresh, since it’s made with dairy products which can go bad quickly without refrigeration. In addition, when yogurt is not sealed tightly, it will dry out and spoil fast since mold spores outside or inside the refrigerator can easily get into the yogurt.

The ideal way to store yogurt to ensure maximum freshness is within the refrigerator, with temperatures below 40F. This can extend its shelf life by as much as 7-14 days past its sell-by date, after which you can already expect bacteria, mold, and yeast to grow and spoil yogurt.

If you purchased or made a large batch of store-bought yogurt that can’t be finished in one sitting, the best way to retain freshness is to scoop out what you can consume and keep the rest of it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Always use a clean spoon to scoop out any yogurt following that because bacteria from a used spoon can easily contaminate and spoil yogurt. Also, never mix used and fresh yogurt in one container.

The location of your yogurt within the refrigerator also plays a role in its shelf life and freshness. Many people mistakenly store their yogurt in the side of the fridge door, but this should not be done because it will expose the yogurt to frequent changes in air temperature whenever you open and close the door. Instead, keep it at the back of the refrigerator for consistently cool temperatures.

Remember that yogurt is a delicate food whose quality and freshness can easily be spoiled by even the mildest temperature changes. If you want to take yogurt with you during your commute to work or elsewhere, keep it in an insulated pack with ice so it stays fresh until you get to eat it.

The same rules apply for all kinds of yogurt.

How Long Does Greek Yogurt Last After Opening?

Greek yogurt should be able to last 7 days after it has been opened, as long as it is kept in an air-tight container and within the refrigerator, not past 40F. You can also follow the same rules above to keep Greek yogurt fresh for longer, such as by keeping it in the back of the refrigerator and not on the fridge door.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know if yogurt has gone bad?

There are several ways you can check for the freshness of yogurt. If you notice any of these signs, then it’s time to toss it out:

  • Liquid: While it’s normal for some liquid to accumulate on top of yogurt (known as whey), in the case of spoiled yogurt it would be an unusual amount of liquid especially if it has an off, sour smell.
  • Mold: The presence of any mold, whether it’s white or any other color, should be enough for you to toss out your yogurt. Mold can quickly form even if you have stored the yogurt properly, and it can make you sick.
  • Odor: You can tell yogurt has gone bad simply by smelling it. It would have a rancid smell, just like that of spoiled milk.
  • Curdling: If yogurt has curdled or has extra texture, then it could be best to toss it especially if it also has some liquid and a bad odor.

If you spot one or more of these signs, don’t eat the yogurt.

What happens if you eat bad yogurt?

If you accidentally ate yogurt that’s gone bad, you can expect to suffer from an upset gastrointestinal system. The symptoms of these include diarrhea, stomach cramps, and possible some nausea after you’ve ingested it.

However, if consumed yogurt made with raw or unpasteurized milk, the symptoms will usually be much more severe. That’s because unpasteurized milk can have a lot of dangerous germs such as E. Coli, salmonella, and listeria among others. If this is the case, the best thing to do would be to seek medical attention right away.

How to increase the shelf life of yogurt?

The most effective way to increase the shelf life of yogurt is to keep it in an air-tight container, such as a mason jar, while ensuring it is always refrigerated in temperatures not exceeding 40F. When yogurt is exposed to temperatures between 40-140F, bacteria and mold can rapidly grow which will contaminate and spoil it quickly.

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