Sour cream has become a staple food item in most kitchens. They are usually kept within reach to make quick dips and they are also used to thicken sauces. Its properties are very much alike yogurt, as they soften and tenderize food, especially the baked ones. Sour cream is produced when lactic acid-producing bacteria is added to cream.
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If you are curious as to how long is sour cream good after opened, read this post. I will be shedding some enlightenment regarding sour cream’s shelf life, proper storage, as well as some tips to prolong the life of your sour cream after it has been opened. I hope you will be able to apply what you learn after reading this post to prevent food wastage.
How Long Is Sour Cream Good After Opened?
Opened sour cream can still be consumed for up to three weeks after the sell-by date. It should be noted though that it must be kept in the refrigerator. It is interesting to know that reputable sources online had given a 21-day window for consuming opened sour cream, just as long as it has been refrigerated at 40 F.
As mentioned above, sour cream is produced from pasteurized milk that kills most harmful bacteria. In addition, healthy bacteria then ferment this milk, which in turn produces the lactic acid. This is the reason why sour cream has a sour flavor. If you need a better representation, think of sour cream as a living product that contains live elements.
The milk found in sour cream contains protein and sugars that provide a happy culture medium for the friendly bacteria, as well as a host of the harmful ones. Unfriendly bacteria often include diarrhea-inducing molds and they multiply slowly over time inside the refrigerator, or faster especially if you leave the sour cream out at room temperature.
Introduction to additional harmful bacteria may be caused by exposure to air or by using an unclean spoon. If you notice, sour cream is very sensitive that’s why proper storage is required to prolong its shelf life. In the following section, I will be providing some storage tips so you won’t waste a good serving of sour cream.
Don’t waste your sour cream just lying around in your refrigerator. Here’s a video link that will teach you sour cream recipes:
How Do You Properly Store Opened Sour Cream?
As we all know, proper food storage is the key to prolonging the sour cream’s shelf life. Before purchasing, sour cream should be left on the shelf until you are ready to check them out. Once you are home, it is a must that you refrigerate it below 40 F. Refrigerating the sour cream after being opened is also mandatory to extend its shelf life.
Like any other dairy product, sour cream should be stored in an airtight container that prevents moisture and other harmful contaminants from coming in. If you don’t have one, the sour cream’s original containers will do. One thing to always remember is that you should use clean utensils whenever you serve sour cream.
Using clean kitchenware while serving sour cream will prevent cross contamination, which then leads to unfriendly bacteria build up. It should also be noted that you have to always separate the sour cream from garlic, onions, and other citrus fruits so that it will not absorb pungent odors.
You may think that you can just freeze sour cream to extend its life. Doing so is not recommended because a lumpy texture and loss of flavor will result once your sour cream is thawed. Through proper storage, you will be able to eat a lot healthier; you may also cut food costs, as well as save the environment though avoiding waste.
How Do You Tell If The Opened Sour Cream Is Already Bad?
There are a lot of easy ways on how to tell if the opened sour cream has gone bad. Even if the sour cream is not yet at the sell-by date, you must not consume it if it has an off smell. Smell your sour cream and if gives off a moldy, rancid or stinky odor, you have to throw it away, as it probably has acquired harmful bacteria and it has affected the flavor.
If you see molds growing on the top of the sour cream, it should be practiced that the whole container needs to be discarded, not just the contaminated top part. Do not attempt to just scoop off the mold you found on top and consume the rest of the sour cream. You may not see it clearly but the mold may extend further deep into the sour cream.
Another thing to note is that if the sour cream is no longer white, if it has turned yellow or have some kind of discoloration; you have to throw it away. There is a chance that the sour cream has a significant bacteria and fungi growth. These are the easy ways on how to tell if the sour cream has gone bad and you can do it effortlessly.
How long is sour cream good after opened? According to discussions above, it’s about three weeks from the time it was opened. To summarize, here are some of the important points you should know:
- The shelf life of an opened sour cream is up to three weeks after it has been opened. This is of course if the sour cream has been stored properly at below 40 F temperature.
- If the sour cream has an off smell, has molds, or is no longer white, you have to throw it away. Remember to throw away the whole container if you find molds sitting on the surface of the sour cream.
- To extend your sour cream’s shelf life, you always have to remember to keep it refrigerated in an airtight container. In addition, always use clean utensils when serving sour cream. Doing so will keep contaminants away and will prolong its life.