Sour cream is an essential part of every pantry, and after opening, it stays in the fridge. Ranging from savory dishes to salad dressings and sandwiches, sour cream is a diverse ingredient, but the right storage is essential. In some cases, people forget that they even bought sour cream and end up asking, “sour cream past 3 months expiration, can I use it?” If you are that person, we have the answers for you!
Using Sour Cream Past 3 Months Expiration
Our short answer is you should AVOID using expired sour cream for your own health concern.
The Shelf Life Of Sour Cream
According to the food authorities, sour cream is only safe to consume after three weeks of the sell-by date (it doesn’t matter if it’s opened or unopened). However, for this purpose, it needs to be stored in the fridge. For instance, if sour cream is refrigerated at 40-degrees Fahrenheit, the sour cream can be used for up to 21 days. That being said, if you are talking about three months, it’s something to frown upon, but don’t be too quick to make decisions.
This is because people have been using extremely old sour cream (even older than three months past the expiration date) because it depends on how the sour cream is looking. In the section below, we are sharing what you need to look for to make sure the sour cream is safe to consume, such as;
- First of all, smell the sour cream and make sure it smells like it. That’s because when the sour cream goes bad, the first thing that shows it is the bad/foul smell. When the sour cream is bad, it will smell stinky and rancid because of extra bacterial growth.
- Secondly, you need to check for the color. The sour cream tends to have light yellowish and off-white color. So, if the color has changed, you should focus on throwing away the sour cream rather than consuming it.
- Thirdly, when you can see mold in the sour cream container, it must not be consumed (no matter how tempted you are). This is because mold is the biggest sign of bad sour cream
- Lastly, you have to check the consistency of the sour cream. Keep in mind that slight separation in sour cream is fine, and it is normal. If it’s too runny, don’t use it
The Bottom Line
When it comes down to the shelf life of sour cream, it is long enough if you cook regularly and use it more. However, the shelf life can be cut down when it’s not handled properly. First of all, you shouldn’t store sour cream at room temperature when it’s opened. Secondly, it is important to use clean spoons for scooping out the sour cream. All in all, you can check for the mold, color, smell, and consistency of the sour cream to check if it can be used.