How to Tell if Greek Yogurt is Bad - Yogurt Nerd (2022)

Yogurt is one of those common household items that you come across in a dairy store or your refrigerator. As you know, Greek yogurt is a derivative of milk that is created through a process of fermentation. And because of this reason, a common misconception is that since the yogurt is fermented and already has bacteria in it, it possibly can’t go bad.

How to Tell if Greek Yogurt is Bad - Yogurt Nerd (1)

It is true that Greek yogurt is packed with nutrients and contains active bacteria that are beneficial for our bodies. Greek yogurt is a great immunity booster and aids in heart diseases and indigestion.

The truth is that Greek yogurt can last a long time if one is following the proper storage methods. Its shelf life can be extended by deep refrigeration, but even that has its limits. So, you may have asked yourself how to tell if your Greek yogurt is turning bad.

Table of Contents

  • Does Greek Yogurt Go Bad?
  • Expiration Date
  • Sniff and Tell
  • Do You See Mold?
  • Do You See Water?
  • Taste It
  • What Happens If I Eat Bad Greek Yogurt?
    • Stomach Cramps
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
  • I Don’t Want to Throw out My Greek Yogurt Yet

Does Greek Yogurt Go Bad?

The simple and straightforward answer to this is that yes, of course, it can go bad. If regular yogurt can go bad, so can Greek yogurt. It is, after all, a food product and will go bad like any other if not stored properly.

How to Tell if Greek Yogurt is Bad - Yogurt Nerd (2)

But you have to remember that it is also a milk product and contains active bacteria. And the biggest enemy of most milk products is warmth and time. And where there is warmth and moisture, there is fungus, which will turn the Greek yogurt inedible pretty rapidly.

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According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, yogurt can be frozen for up to two months and stored at 40 degrees Fahrenheit for up to two weeks. Remember that keeping it at room temperature will not do it any favors and accelerate its deterioration, like a normal food product. This is because the bacteria will only multiply at that temperature.

Hence, if you have packs of opened or unopened Greek yogurt, it is always a good idea to refrigerate them and not leave them lying around like that. Remember, in the end, it is just old milk.

How to tell if Greek yogurt is turning bad? A quick look at the expiry date on the product will give you a fair idea. And there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding expiry dates and not just in the case of Greek yogurt.

How to Tell if Greek Yogurt is Bad - Yogurt Nerd (3)

Interestingly, Greek yogurt is known to outlive the expiration date printed on the package by the manufacturer. Most Greek yogurt will survive two more weeks than the given expiry date if it is stored properly.

So for example, if the expiry date says July 20, 2019, on a packet of Greek yogurt, it will last until August 3, 2019, if it is refrigerated properly and consistently. Following this date, the Greek yogurt will start going bad gradually.

There are some other factors which will also determine how long the Greek yogurt will last while it is in storage. These can be factors such as:

  • Is the Greek yogurt mixed with any flavors or fruit?
  • Before storing, was the container open or sealed shut?
  • Where is the container kept in the refrigerator? Is it kept directly under the fridge light?

Common sense tells us that unflavored Greek yogurt will last longer than its flavored cousins because of the lack of added ingredients such as fruits or sugar. Also, an opened pack which has been stored carelessly over or under a stack of other food products will dramatically reduce its life. Opened packs should always be kept in the freezer in an airtight container or re-sealed foil, to increase their life.

How else can you tell if Greek yogurt is going bad?

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Sniff and Tell

This is the first indication and an obvious one. Most times, you can also look at the Greek yogurt and tell if it has gone bad or is on its way to be.

Does it have a weird odor? Is it smelling different or more pungent than normal? Is the smell so rancid that it makes your head reel? Then we suggest you introduce it to the trash can immediately.

If it doesn’t smell edible, it is not edible, and it is true in this case.

Well, this is rather self-explanatory. No one likes mold, and certainly not in their food. But sometimes it is not visible on the surface, and you only realize it once you have a mouthful and get a very unpleasant surprise.

If you are suspicious about the Greek yogurt in the refrigerator, there are a few tell-tale signs. You can immediately tell that by the color; if it has black spots or has turned green, you should throw the Greek yogurt in the trash and not even attempt to taste it.

How to Tell if Greek Yogurt is Bad - Yogurt Nerd (4)

Do You See Water?

This is a very visual sign which will be apparent as soon as you open the lid up. Do you see a little watery substance on the surface rim? Note that a little liquid on top is normal, and all you need to do is stir it a bit to mix with the yogurt. If the amount of watery substance is copious, you need to bin the Greek yogurt.

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Taste It

If you don’t see any of the above symptoms, maybe you are worrying too much. But still, if the Greek yogurt has been in the refrigerator for a long time, tasting a thimbleful won’t be bad for your health.

If it is too sour or even the slightest bit of bitter, just throw it out. This is the fastest way if someone asks you how to tell if your Greek yogurt is turning bad.

What Happens If I Eat Bad Greek Yogurt?

Tasting it is a different thing, but consuming more than a few teaspoons of bad Greek yogurt can cause you some discomfort. A lot of people are not bothered about expiration dates, maybe simply because the product is still somewhat edible, or if it is not showing any signs of going bad.

Here are some symptoms that may occur if you happen to consume bad Greek yogurt.

Stomach Cramps

These symptoms may start showing after a few hours to 24 hours of consuming bad Greek yogurt. There could even be a delay of a few days, depending on how far gone the Greek yogurt was. So, if you are experiencing stomach cramps immediately or a few hours after consuming it, Greek yogurt is probably the cause for it.

Don’t wait around for it to subside though, if it gets worse, you should see a medical practitioner immediately.

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Vomiting

The consumption of certain products that are way past their expiry date (Greek yogurt including) can lead to dehydration, weakness and vomiting. This would make you lose a lot of fluids and cause dehydration, so you should consult a doctor immediately if these signs occur.

Diarrhea

If you have had food poisoning, diarrhea is the first symptom. This is usually a clear sign that the Greek yogurt you consumed had toxins and the body is vigorously trying to get rid of them. Diarrhea can cause severe dehydration, so you should act accordingly and consume a lot of liquids.

You should, of course, consult your doctor if the symptoms persist for more than three days.

I Don’t Want to Throw out My Greek Yogurt Yet

If you are sure your Greek yogurt is going to go bad but you still want to make the best of it, here are a few things you can still do with it.

How to Tell if Greek Yogurt is Bad - Yogurt Nerd (6)

  • You can use a portion of the Greek yogurt to use as a salad dressing instead of mayonnaise. You can use a lot of iceberg lettuce to give the salad a crunchy feel.
  • Are you fond of cake mixes? You can use some Greek yogurt in place of oil. It will taste great if you are using chocolate!
  • Use the Greek yogurt as a smoothie! Throw in a choice of fruits with the yogurt in a blender and enjoy a delicious smoothie.
  • You can use the remaining Greek yogurt as a face mask. It works as an excellent moisturizer.
  • Greek yogurt works wonders on pimples as well. Mix some of it with honey and lemon, and apply as a pimple cream for a few weeks. Bye-bye pimples!
  • Thanks to its antibacterial properties, you can use Greek yogurt on your suntan for healthier, lighter skin.
  • Use Greek yogurt as a conditioner for your hair. Apply it generously on your scalp, leave it for about five minutes and rinse. Greek yogurt removes dead cells and promotes new, healthier skin.

FAQs

How do you know if Greek yogurt is spoiled? ›

Expired yogurt will generally exhibit signs your senses will pick up on that the food has gone bad: a rancid, unappetizing smell or visible mold growth. As it deteriorates, yogurt will also release gasses that cause the container to bloat. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled.

How do you know if yogurt is not good anymore? ›

Look for a larger-than-normal amount of liquid on the surface (don't worry, Greek yogurt is especially prone to some, but if there's more than usual that's a warning sign), a curdling texture near the bottom, and any sign of mold. These indicate the entire product has probably gone bad, say the folks at StillTasty.

Is Greek yogurt still good if it's watery? ›

The longer the yogurt sits in the fridge, the more watery substance forms on top of the yogurt. But never fear -- that substance is just whey, a natural protein found in dairy products that contains protein and is safe to eat.

What happens if you eat spoiled Greek yogurt? ›

If you eat spoiled yogurt from an opened container, then you may have some painful stomach cramps and diarrhea (possibly nausea) shortly after ingestion. But in both of these instances, the yogurt will taste bad—meaning, you likely won't even want to eat it in the first place.

What does bad Greek yogurt taste like? ›

It has a sour, stale, or unusual taste.

The flavor will give it away immediately—spoiled yogurt will taste sour and unpleasant.

Is Greek yogurt supposed to taste sour? ›

They don't harm you. According to Scientific American magazine, the bacteria's job is to break down, or ferment, the lactose sugars in the milk and turn them into lactic acid in a process known as fermentation. Lactic acid is what gives yogurt its sour taste.

Is Greek yogurt supposed to be thick? ›

Regular and Greek yogurt are made from the same ingredients but differ in nutrients. While regular yogurt tends to have fewer calories and more calcium, Greek yogurt has more protein and less sugar — and a much thicker consistency.

Does Greek yogurt go bad if unopened? ›

The EatByDate and Food University blogs explain unopened Greek yogurt is safe to eat one to two weeks after the sell-by date, as long as it has been in the refrigerator. Regular yogurt is safe even longer -- up to two to three weeks. The older it gets, the more sour it will taste.

Can you eat 1 month expired yogurt? ›

The Bottom Line. While it is safe to eat yogurt after its "Best if Used By/Before" or "Use-By" date, be sure to check that it's still fresh before consuming it. If your container of yogurt has any signs of spoilage, like a rancid smell or curdled texture, it's best to toss it out.

What is the liquid on top of Greek yogurt? ›

The liquid you are seeing is known as “whey” and contains protein and calcium, both essential nutrients. Also, stirring the whey gives the snack a creamier consistency (I know right, an added bonus).

How long does Greek yogurt last in fridge after opening? ›

Greek yogurt can last up to two weeks in the fridge, but it can last up to two months in the freezer.

Is yogurt bad if it has liquid in it? ›

The liquid isn't harmful, but it's probably not something you want in your morning bowl of yogurt. If you've ever peeled back the lid of a yogurt container to find a layer of what looks like water but is actually whey protein on top, you may have wondered why it's there.

Can Greek yogurt make you sick? ›

When taken by mouth: Yogurt is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth. Although uncommon, some people might experience diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting.

Can I eat Greek yogurt that expired 2 months ago? ›

But just because your yogurt is past its prime doesn't necessarily mean it's destined for the trash. According to Eat By Date, a site that outlines the actual shelf life of our favorite foods, as long as it's within one to two weeks of the expiration date, yogurt is still safe to consume.

How long after eating expired yogurt will you get sick? ›

When yogurt gets spoiled, it comes with different signs, as I mentioned above. However, if you do not realize them and consume poor-quality yogurt, you may suffer from some symptoms such as stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever within a few or up to 24 hours after the consumption.

Why does my yogurt taste like sour cream? ›

Most Greek yogurt in the U.S. comes from cow's milk, though you can find goat's milk Greek yogurt at some gourmet shops. Served plain, whole milk Greek yogurt tastes similar to sour cream. When used in baking and cooking, it can taste just like sour cream.

What are the white dots in my yogurt? ›

Yeast is also a fungal organism, but unlike the spreading mold, yeast is most often seen as a white dot or grouping of dots. Yeast is usually creamy to a crisp white color, which makes it difficult to spot in cultured dairy products. It can also be embedded in the product, not just on the surface.

Why does my Greek yogurt look like cottage cheese? ›

If there are any small balls, such as what you would see in cottage cheese, it means the yogurt has curdled. These balls usually appear around the bottom and the edges of the yogurt container. You can feel for a rubbery resistance when you press a spoon against the yogurt, while you stir it.

Why does my yogurt taste bitter? ›

Using too much starter can crowd the bacteria, creating a thin consistency and a bitter flavor. Overcultured yogurt may also taste bitter. Check the culturing temperature to verify it is within the appropriate range.

What does natural Greek yogurt taste like? ›

Whether you go for plain Greek yogurt (made from cow's milk) or a non-dairy plain yogurt alternative (such as coconut, almond, or soy)… they all taste rather sour and tart.

What makes Greek yogurt bitter? ›

But, first of all, why is it so bitter? Well, turns out that after the fermentation process, Greek yogurt is strained more times than regular yogurt. This makes it have that signature thick texture and, most importantly, brings out the strong and bitter flavors that bacteria may cause once the yogurt is fermented.

What animal is Greek yogurt made from? ›

Old-fashioned Greek yogurt is made with goat's milk while American yogurt, and many of the American-made “Greek-style” products, are made from cow's milk. (“Greek-style” yogurts may also contain thickening agents like condensed milk or gelatin.)

What is the healthiest yogurt to eat? ›

Healthiest Dairy Yogurts
  • Wallaby Organic No Sugar Added Greek Yogurt.
  • Fage Total 2% Greek Yogurt.
  • Chobani Complete.
  • Siggi's Skyr.
  • Coconut Cult Probiotic Coconut Yogurt.
  • Lavva Dairy Free Yogurt.
  • Siggi's Plant-Based Yogurt.
19 May 2022

Does Greek yogurt smell sour? ›

The first thing you notice when you open up a container of greek yogurt is its smell. This is usually fresh and pleasant smelling, but sometimes it can become sour or even putrid.

What can I do with expired Greek yogurt? ›

What to do with expired yogurt | FeelGoodFoodie - YouTube

How long does yogurt last in the refrigerator? ›

Yogurt can be stored in the refrigerator (40 ºF) one to two weeks or frozen (0 ºF) for one to two months. Soft cheeses such as cottage cheese, ricotta or Brie can be refrigerated one week but they don't freeze well.

What do I do if I ate expired yogurt? ›

To ensure proper health and safety, contact your doctor if vomiting or related symptoms occur after you eat expired yogurt.

Can you eat yogurt 3 weeks after expiration? ›

Most sources say 3-10 days past expiration seems to be the limit. USDA food safety specialist says they recommend eating yogurt within 1-2 weeks of purchase. [4] FYI: Per USDA food safety expert, it is safe to cut off mold and healthy margin from cheese, but they say you should not consume bread with mold on it.

Can dogs eat yogurt? ›

Is Yogurt Good For Dogs? Yogurt is high in calcium and protein. It also can act as a probiotic, which can be good for the digestive system. If you feed your dog yogurt, it should be plain and free of any added sweeteners, both natural and artificial.

Why is there parchment paper on Greek yogurt? ›

It's a pretty straightforward answer: the parchment round absorbs any excess whey that rises to the top after the yogurt is packed. Whey — that clear liquid that often separates out from yogurt a day or two after it is opened — is also what is strained away from Greek yogurt to make it thicker than regular yogurt.

Should you stir your yogurt? ›

Stirring in the whey not only adds nutrition to your yogurt but also offers a creamier consistency. If you don't like seeing the whey separated at the top, try this instead. Before pulling off the lid, shake the container, like you do with orange juice.

Should I stir yogurt before eating? ›

The liquid on top of yogurt is actually whey protein.

Instead, be sure to mix it thoroughly before taking a spoonful. Why? The liquid on top of yogurt is actually a protein that has plenty of health benefits.

Is it OK to scrape mold off yogurt? ›

Mold on the surface of fluid foods such as yogurt usually means that its mycelium, or mass of thread-like filaments, penetrated the item, she says. "Also, discard the yogurt if it develops off odor, flavor or appearance," she adds.

How long is non fat Greek yogurt good after opening? ›

A good rule of thumb is two weeks, according to Kostro Miller — and that's the outer limit. “Even if there's no mold that you can see or smell, you should consume Greek yogurt within 1 to 2 weeks of opening it,” she says.

How long does Greek yogurt last after best by date? ›

Shelf Life

Greek yogurt can last up to two weeks in the fridge, but it can last up to two months in the freezer.

Why is my yogurt so liquidy? ›

Raw milk yogurt

Raw milk yogurt
Raw milk yogurt is yogurt that has been prepared using raw, rather than pasteurized milk. It has a thin, drinkable consistency similar to milk kefir, and a lightly tart flavor.
https://nourishedkitchen.com › raw-milk-yogurt
is runny for two reasons: 1) raw milk is rich in food enzymes and these food enzymes will continue to digest the milk and produce runny or liquid yogurt and 2) raw milk's proteins have not been denatured through heat.

What is the yellow liquid in yogurt? ›

Whey is the yellowish liquid strained from regular yogurt to make Greek or Icelandic yogurt.

Why does yogurt get liquidy? ›

The substance that forms is called whey and is a product when the milk added to the yoghurt has been strained and curdled. Whey naturally separates in the yoghurt mixture and rises to the top, leaving the watery film. Pronounced like 'way' this is actually where some of the protein in dairy products is.

Why does my stomach hurt after eating Greek yogurt? ›

Your small intestine produces an enzyme called lactase to break this sugar down for digestion. When you don't have enough of this enzyme to digest lactose, you can experience abdominal discomfort and digestive issues after eating dairy products like milk, ice cream, yogurt, and cheese.

Can you get botulism from yogurt? ›

However, home-prepared cheese, and rarely yogurt, could bear contamination with clostridium botulinum, leading to intoxication due to improper refrigeration or incomplete heating. In this outbreak, the source of toxin was tracked down to a home-prepared Poost yogurt being sold at a dairy shop in Neyshabour.

How do I know if Greek yogurt is bad? ›

How Do You Know If Yogurt Has Gone Bad?
  1. Mold or other changes in appearance. If something about the way the yogurt looks seems off, like there are some green or black spots on the surface, discard it. ...
  2. Sour smell. Yogurt has a fresh and pleasant smell. ...
  3. Off taste. If it doesn't taste right, throw it out.
22 Jul 2021

How long does Greek yogurt last in the fridge? ›

Shelf Life

Greek yogurt can last up to two weeks in the fridge, but it can last up to two months in the freezer.

What happens if you eat expired yogurt? ›

That said, if you eat yogurt that's been opened and gone bad, it could cause a foodborne illness and leave you with diarrhea, stomach cramps, and vomiting, Gans adds. Again, though, it will taste bad.

Why does Greek yogurt have liquid on top? ›

It's whey — the liquid remaining after milk has been strained and curdled — and it's supposed to be in Greek yogurt for nutritional purposes and because it makes yogurt creamier.

Does yogurt go bad in the fridge? ›

While conventional yogurt isn't going to last in your fridge for a year, yogurt is generally safe to eat for up to two weeks after you bought it, according to the USDA's FreshKeeper app. That holds true even if the date range extends past the listed sell-by date.

How long can unopened Greek yogurt last in the fridge? ›

The EatByDate and Food University blogs explain unopened Greek yogurt is safe to eat one to two weeks after the sell-by date, as long as it has been in the refrigerator. Regular yogurt is safe even longer -- up to two to three weeks. The older it gets, the more sour it will taste.

Can I eat Greek yogurt that expired 2 months ago? ›

But just because your yogurt is past its prime doesn't necessarily mean it's destined for the trash. According to Eat By Date, a site that outlines the actual shelf life of our favorite foods, as long as it's within one to two weeks of the expiration date, yogurt is still safe to consume.

Can you eat 1 month expired yogurt? ›

The Bottom Line. While it is safe to eat yogurt after its "Best if Used By/Before" or "Use-By" date, be sure to check that it's still fresh before consuming it. If your container of yogurt has any signs of spoilage, like a rancid smell or curdled texture, it's best to toss it out.

How long after eating expired yogurt will you get sick? ›

When yogurt gets spoiled, it comes with different signs, as I mentioned above. However, if you do not realize them and consume poor-quality yogurt, you may suffer from some symptoms such as stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever within a few or up to 24 hours after the consumption.

Can you eat yogurt 3 weeks after expiration? ›

Most sources say 3-10 days past expiration seems to be the limit. USDA food safety specialist says they recommend eating yogurt within 1-2 weeks of purchase. [4] FYI: Per USDA food safety expert, it is safe to cut off mold and healthy margin from cheese, but they say you should not consume bread with mold on it.

How long does yogurt last in the fridge after opening? ›

All kinds of yogurt last for up to a week past the date on the label. After opening, you should finish any leftovers within five to maybe seven days. If your yogurt is past its date, it's best to finish it soon after opening.

Why is there parchment paper on Greek yogurt? ›

It's a pretty straightforward answer: the parchment round absorbs any excess whey that rises to the top after the yogurt is packed. Whey — that clear liquid that often separates out from yogurt a day or two after it is opened — is also what is strained away from Greek yogurt to make it thicker than regular yogurt.

Are you supposed to stir Greek yogurt? ›

If you want to follow Zanini's recommendation for what to do with your acid whey, it's this: Don't dump it out, just stir it all together into a luscious, silky mixture. She says that though it creates a creamier texture, it does not, in fact, change the taste at all.

Should you drain the liquid from yogurt? ›

Don't pour out the liquid on top of your yogurt, and not just because you could accidentally lose your yogurt: it's because the liquid is supposed to be there! In fact, it actually makes your yogurt creamier. AOL explains, "It is called whey, the liquid that remains after milk has been curdled and strained.

What is the liquid on top of yogurt? ›

The liquid you are seeing is known as “whey” and contains protein and calcium, both essential nutrients. Also, stirring the whey gives the snack a creamier consistency (I know right, an added bonus).

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