How Long Does Sour Cream Last?

Sour cream containers often include an “expiry date”, so that its shelf life can be predicted and managed properly. However, if it appears that its freshness has diminished before this point it may be best to throw it out immediately.

Sour cream should always be kept in the refrigerator, ideally on one of the lower shelves and away from doorways where temperatures fluctuate most quickly.


Sour cream’s shelf life depends on both temperature and container conditions. For example, keeping it at 40 F can extend its shelf life up to two weeks post sell by date if stored correctly in an airtight container in your refrigerator.

Whenever sour cream has an off-odor or is no longer white in appearance, it should be thrown out immediately as this could mean harmful bacteria has formed and could potentially be toxic if eaten. Also avoid eating it if there are mold spots visible on its surface as these should also be discarded immediately.

To ensure that your sour cream is safe to consume, read its label for “sell by,” “best if used by” and/or “use by” dates. A “sell by” date indicates when stores must stop selling it after this date; while “best if used by” and “use by” dates indicate when its quality and flavor may diminish after this point.

According to Weill Cornell Medical College, sour cream may last three months past its expiration date if stored properly in the fridge at the correct temperature. This is possible since sour cream is made of milk fermented by healthy bacteria for its distinctive sour flavor; however, improper refrigeration could quickly spoil its fresh taste and produce an unpleasant odor.

To prevent this, store your sour cream as soon as it arrives home in the refrigerator, making sure that it is tightly sealed after each use and covered securely – using foil can help seal it more tightly! Optimally, the container in which to keep sour cream should be airtight with resealable seals allowing airtight storage, also keep in the back of your fridge to avoid sudden temperature shifts that could compromise its texture and flavor.


Sour cream is an extremely versatile dairy product, used in numerous dishes across a wide variety of cuisines. Most often found in the refrigerated dairy section of grocery stores and found as an everyday pantry ingredient, sour cream can also make an irresistibly delicious addition to cheesecake, dips, tacos or chilis! When stored correctly sour cream can last for two weeks after its “best if used by” date on its container – however this date should not be taken as an absolute deadline but more of a conservative estimate on how long its quality remains in.

Once a tub of sour cream becomes unfit for consumption, its smell may change and develop an off-putting flavor. Furthermore, its texture becomes watery as its thick consistency begins to dissipate – when this occurs it is important to dispose of the product immediately and purchase new sour cream from another provider.

For optimal sour cream freshness, store it between 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit in your refrigerator. Use only clean spoons or bowls when scooping it out to reduce bacteria risk, and store the airtight container at the back of the fridge so as to be less exposed to fluctuating temperatures.

When trying to determine whether a tub of sour cream has gone bad, the easiest way is to take a small sample and smell it. If there’s any rancid or unpleasant aroma present, or signs of mold growth on it – then this should definitely be thrown away immediately.

If you are uncertain if a tub of sour cream is safe to consume after its “best if used by” date has passed, consult your physician immediately for advice. Additionally, always remember to refrigerate after opening, as bacteria will rapidly multiply at room temperature within hours after opening and spoil the product.

Whether you make it from scratch or buy a pre-made version at the store, French onion dip is always a party favorite. But how long does this creamy dish last in the fridge? And can you freeze it?


Every container of sour cream includes an expiration or sell-by date printed on it, while it’s possible that some can last past this point, storing in the fridge without freezing can help extend its shelf life and ensure quality as long as possible. Bacteria and mold thrive on milk proteins and sugars – creating the ideal conditions for their development even at refrigerated temperatures.

Sour cream may last from several days to two weeks past its date on the label, depending on how it was stored and when purchased. Refrigerating immediately upon opening is key for maximum freshness; but this also depends on its temperature during transit or store display before being transferred into refrigeration.

Sour cream often develops bacteria or mold a few days before its expiration date, which are telltale signs that the product has gone bad. When its smell becomes strong enough to indicate this issue, discard immediately; its discoloration or spots should also be checked under bright lighting for indications that its gone off the boil.

If the sour cream remains in its original container after shipping, resealing with foil or plastic wrap before refrigerating will help prevent oxygen from getting inside and dehydrating it. Be sure to place this over the lid for maximum effectiveness!

Garden-Robinson suggests trying your hand at freeze-drying sour cream using either a dry powdered culture like this one or leftover homemade batch, refrigerated before freezing and dehydrating. Please keep in mind that these cultures differ from commercial varieties used to produce commercial sour cream; hence the end product will have slightly different textures when frozen/dehydrated.


Sour cream is a dairy product that can spoil quickly if stored improperly, potentially leading to food poisoning and other serious health problems. Knowing its shelf life and what signs indicate its spoilage may help you avoid getting sick from spoiled sour cream.

Sour cream must always be kept refrigerated for best results, either in the fridge door or more ideally, the back corner where temperatures are more consistent. An airtight lid is highly recommended; otherwise consider wrapping plastic wrap or foil around it before placing in the fridge.

Unopened sour cream may last two weeks after its “sell by” date; however, it’s best to inspect for signs of spoilage prior to consumption. If the sour cream smells off or has any discolorations that indicates spoilage, throw it out immediately.

Once sour cream starts to spoil, its scent may change to become strong or unpleasant; its consistency could become thick and greenish or yellowish in hue as if could contain bacteria and fungus that could make you sick. When this occurs, discard the product immediately; otherwise it could contain harmful bacteria and fungi which could make you ill.

If you need to store sour cream past its expiration date for more than one or two months, freezing can help extend its shelf life. Though freezing affects texture and taste, it should still be safe for most recipes. It should also be noted that too long in the freezer will lead to dehydration and flavor loss, however.

Sour cream can add an irresistibly creamy flair to a variety of meals and desserts, be it sweet or savory. Use it to give baked goods their signature tart flavor, activate baking soda in cookies with acidity-activating properties or enhance soups and casseroles – you’ll find sour cream conveniently stored alongside yogurt, cheese and butter in the refrigerated section at your grocery store.

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