How Long Does Sour Cream Last? – | Can Sour Cream Go Bad?

Can Sour Cream Go Bad?: Sour cream is a dairy product that is made by fermenting cream with varieties of lactic acid bacteria. Generally, sour cream is available in large containers in the market but most recipes require only small quantities.

If you bought a sour cream bottle and used it for making a few recipes and it has been there for at least a couple of days already. Then you might start to think about can sour cream go bad, how long it lasts, and the steps to store it properly.

Nowadays we can find numerous products available on the market for different uses with different shelf life. So here we are giving the sour cream shelf life, signs to tell if sour cream is bad, and facts.

can sour cream go bad

Can Sour Cream Go Bad?

Yes, sour cream goes bad just like all other dairy products. Some dairy products have a longer shelf life and sour cream also comes into that category. If you store it properly, then sour cream lasts for 2 to 4 weeks in the fridge.

Sour cream is a perishable product obtained by fermentation of milk, cream after lactic acid and bacteria action. During the process, the cream turns sour and thick because of bacteria.

It is important to know how to find a spoiled sour cream to protect your health. Sometimes you may notice your sour cream gets watery on the top. It is a natural and harmless occurrence, so you should drain the water before using it. Other signs of spoilage of sour cream are given below.

How Long Does Sour Cream Last?

Fresh sour cream lasts for 2 to 4 weeks past the expiration date on the label. Once it is opened, the cream lasts for 1 to 2 weeks depending on the storage conditions.

Every sour cream container has a best-by date on it. Many people get questions about what can do with expired sour cream. Firstly you need to check whether it is spoiled or not using the signs of spoilage and use the product.

As the cream is already sour the chances it will retain quality for a longer time are very low. We already know that sour cream is a dairy product so it should not be placed outside the fridge for a longer time.

Once the sour cream container is opened, it will maintain quality for up to 2 weeks. Store the cream properly in a new container to last for those 2 weeks. If you are reaching the expiration date, then finish the whole cream in a week. Know the Shelf Life of Sour Cream Chart here

Sour cream type Fridge
Unopened 2 to 4 weeks
Reduced fat, unopened 1 to 2 weeks
Dip, unopened 14 days
Opened 10 to 14 days

how long does sour cream last

How To Tell If Sour Cream Is Bad?

Five tips to tell if sour cream has gone bad are included here:


The fresh sour cream color is white. If you notice any color change on the cream surface, then it is a sign that sour cream has gone bad. If the discolored sour cream surface turned pink, green, yellow, or blue means the bacteria and fungi started growing on the product.


Your fresh sour cream smell is a sour aroma. If you observe any odor change or bad smell then it has gone rancid.


When sour cream gets watery on the top, then you don’t need to worry You can separate water from the cream and use it. You can also use thawed sour cream even if its texture is disturbed. Actually, it is not recommended to consume it, but you can use this product to prepare various recipes.


Even though sour cream looks fine, you should discard it once the taste is changed.


If you find bacterial spots or mold growing inside or on the surface of the cream, you should discard it.

Can Sour Cream Go Bad

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How To Store Sour Cream?

You can preserve sour cream for a longer time and avoid spoilage by following these 2 tips.


It is one of the best choices to store dairy products (sour cream) for a longer period. For placing in the refrigerator, you need to use a good container.

  • Airtight container: Pack the opened sour cream in an airtight container to prevent air exposure and spoilage of the product.
  • Aluminum foil: Cover the package with aluminum foil and secure it with a rubber band. In this way, you will keep sour cream safe for more time.
  • Utensils: Like other perishable foods, use clean cutlery to grab some sour cream from the package. Dirt and bacteria will contaminate the cheese and accelerate spoilage.
  • Double-dipping: If you want to keep the sour cream in the fridge for more days, then never use the same spoon for different products. Also, avoid licking the spoon while taking the cream.


The freezer helps to maintain the sour cream quality for a longer period. Once the product is thawed, then it won’t look and taste like the original. Take a small quantity of the sour cream and allow it to melt slowly so that you can use it to prepare dishes.

How to Freeze Sour Cream?

Since we add a small quantity of sour cream to the dishes, it is better to freeze it in an ice cube tray. Transfer the sour cream into the container and chunk it into the freezer.

Once the sour cream cubes are frozen, move them to a freezer bag. Take sour cream cubes and use them whenever you want.

Can You Freeze Sour Cream?

Yes, you can freeze sour cream. But it is not recommended to freeze the sour cream because once it is thawed you should consume the whole cream once. Freezing the sour cream affects the texture and flavor to some extent. So it is better to freeze the dish prepared with sour cream instead of freezing the whole package.

The trick of freezing sour cream is to use the thawed sour cream in baked or cooked dishes. If you add sour cream to soup, then it will not taste good.

Interesting Facts About Sour Cream

The facts about sour cream are listed here:

  • Sour cream is a thick and creamy dairy product that is produced from the cream of cow’s milk.
  • It was invented by the Russians before 1600.
  • It is commonly used as a condiment with Mexican dishes and used as an ingredient in bakery items, dressings and desserts.
  • It is made with typical cream that has been through the fermentation process.
  • It can be refrigerated to store for a longer period.
  • It can come in low-fat versions, which are made from milk and cream.
  • Sour cream has a very high content of saturated fat and is a good source of riboflavin, vitamin A, phosphorous and calcium.
  • Fermented cream cannot be marketed as sour cream if it has lower than 18% fat from milk.

FAQs on Does Sour Cream Expire

1. What happens if you eat bad sour cream?

Eating bad sour cream puts your health at risk of food poisoning.

2. What can you do with expired sour cream?

Once the sour cream is expired it is no longer safer to consume it.

3. Is watery sour cream bad?

No, watery sour cream does not go bad. It is okay to use it by removing water.

4. What does bad sour cream smell like?

The bad sour cream smell is an unpleasant odor.

In a Nutshell

We as a team believe that the info shared here about Can Sour Cream Go Bad is helpful to you. Use sour cream in various dishes. Follow the tips covered here to preserve the sour cream longer without affecting its quality. For any doubts on shelf life, spoilage signs, and storage tips leave a comment .

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