How Long Does Sour Cream Last After You Have Opened It?

how long does sour cream last

Did you ever buy some sour cream and then forget about it? Now it’s been a few weeks inside the home refrigerator, and you are unsure of whether it’s still safe to eat or not. Don’t worry, friend. I have been in the same situation before, and I am here to help you decide whether to throw it away or buy a fresh batch.

According to the USDA, you’d be surprised to know that sour cream can last for 1-3 weeks after opening it

Well, while that info was helpful, in reality, its shelf life depends on many factors. I shall try my best to teach you everything you should know about sour cream.

How To Know If Sour Cream Has Gone Bad

First, you need to know if your sour cream is bad. There are a few things to look out for, for instance:

  • Past its expiry date.
  • Change in color
  • Mold or fungal growth
  • Funky smell
  • Increase in sour taste.

If you find even one of the signs mentioned above, just throw it away and do not consider it. Consuming such a product, especially dairy products, can cause many problems. 

Let us talk about Out-of-date sour cream.

Can You Eat Out-of-Date Sour Cream?

The answer is shocking “yes,” BUT ONLY IF it is still good. If you ever consume expired or spoiled sour cream, you may and can definitely become sick and even be hospitalized. You may experience and notice one or more of these symptoms : 

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increase in body temperature
  • Food poisoning and abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea and stomach cramps
woman feeling sick while aeting
Image credit: Nicoleta Lonescu, Shutterstock

Considering the points mentioned above, it is a no brainer that you shouldn’t eat expired sour cream or any expired dairy products, considering the risks they carry,

Can You Eat Sour Cream After Best Before Date?

Again the answer is “Yes,” BUT ONLY IF it is still good. Best before date usually signifies an estimated date after which the quality won’t be optimal and at its best. It is always the best option to avoid consuming dairy or any products after their best before date unless you are extremely desperate.

Now the question arises, “how does sour cream go bad?”. There are many ways sour cream or any other dairy product can go bad. Let’s look into those factors.

How Does Sour Cream Go Bad

  • Leaving the container uncovered.
  • Using unwashed and unsanitized utensils. Using the same spoon/utensil for multiple products.
  • Abrupt changes in weather and temperature.
  • Fungus and or bacteria.
  • Double-dipping and using dirty fingers.

These are the main reasons why sour cream goes bad after opening it. Let us now see how you can store sour cream.

You may also like: Can You Freeze Cream Cheese

How To Store Sour Cream

Sour cream, once opened, has to be refrigerated as soon as possible. There are a few things you may need. They are:

  • Containers with airtight lids.
  • Spoons or spatula to transfer the sour cream.
  • Cling Film or Aluminum foil to close off containers.
women holding a sour cream jar
Image credit: Andranik Hakobyan, Shutterstock

Once you are done eating your sour cream, try to transfer the contents into a sanitized container with airtight lids and refrigerate it quickly. If you follow these steps, the stored sour cream will have a longer shelf life and stay fresh longer.

Tip : If you don’t have any airtight containers available, simply wrap the lid of the container the sour cream came in with cling film or aluminum foil and refrigerate it.


Can you freeze sour cream?

Yes, but it will lose its texture and may split once thawed, so I don’t recommend freezing sour cream.

Can you freeze unopened sour cream?

Again, yes, but it will split.

Can you use frozen sour cream?

Yes, but since it will be split, use it for baking.

How long does sour cream last out of the fridge?

Sour cream will last at max 2 hours outside the fridge.

Which part of the fridge is best to store sour cream?

The bottom shelf or the back of any shelf in your refrigerator to maximize shelf life.

Can sour cream go bad before the date?

Yes, and the reason for that is mishandling by the manufacturers, store owners, or even both parties.

Wrapping up

To wrap up this article, like the lids of your sour cream container, I would say life is too short to eat old and out-of-date food. We should always eat fresh and eat healthily and maintain food hygiene.

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