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How Long Does Sour Cream Last? (Storage)

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It’s difficult to picture nachos and baked potatoes without the rich, tart taste of sour cream. Because it has already soured, you may expect that sour cream has a long shelf life. But how long does sour cream remain in the fridge?

Unopened sour cream may be stored in the refrigerator for one to three weeks, or until the expiry date, if it has one. You should eat it within seven to ten days after opening it. There is no difference in shelf life between low fat and ordinary sour cream. Sour cream that has gone bad should never be eaten or cooked with.

Your sour cream will be labeled with a sell-by, best-by, or use-by date. While it may outlive the first two dates, the USDA strongly warns against eating sour cream beyond its expiration date.

Bacteria and mold flourish in an environment rich in milk proteins and sugars, even at low temperatures and particularly at room temperature.

In this article, I’ll go over the shelf life of sour cream and how to keep it fresh.

How Long Does Sour Cream Last After Opening?

Sour cream may be kept in the refrigerator for seven to ten days after it has been opened.

It doesn’t take long for sour cream to degrade if it’s kept at room temperature. Spoilage bacteria flourish in a dairy and sugar-rich environment.

The quicker germs multiply, the higher the temperature. That is why it is critical to keep sour cream chilled at 40°F or below.

How Long Does Sour Cream Last Unopened?

According to the USDA, unopened sour cream may stay up to three weeks in the refrigerator under ideal circumstances.

However, we are aware that our house refrigerator is not perfect since we are continually opening the door, causing the inside temperature to fluctuate.

Unfortunately, freezing sour cream, like freezing milk, does not work well. To avoid spoiling and waste, fight the urge to stock up on sour cream during a sale and purchase just what you believe you’ll need in the next week or two.

How Long Is Sour Cream Good After Expiration Date?

Sour cream provides an ideal habitat for germs and mold to thrive. These will develop over time, even if refrigerated.

Even if you take basic precautions to keep your sour cream, there may have been times when it was not kept properly during delivery or at the grocery store, reducing the shelf life of your sour cream.

When sour cream becomes bad, it becomes harmful to ingest and increases your chances of getting food poisoning.

So, keep in mind that any written dates on your sour cream are not a guarantee. If kept poorly, it might spoil considerably sooner than this date. However, it may last a little longer by chance.

I never take chances, so I throw it out if I see any symptoms that my sour cream has gone bad or if it’s over its expiration date.

Can You Eat Sour Cream 3 Days After Date?

No, it’s not worth the risk of getting ill from old sour cream, so toss it out. Even if it seems and smells OK, do not eat or cook with outdated sour cream.

Why Does Sour Cream Go Bad?

Sour cream, like yogurt, is a fermented food that combines lactic acid bacteria with dairy cream to induce souring. Even though it has sour tastes, it has not gone bad.

Sour cream spoils when spoilage germs grow and the product begins to degrade. I talked about various indicators of sour cream spoilage to assist you determine when it’s time to throw it out.

How To Store Sour Cream After Opening

The good news is that storing sour cream is pretty easy! Here’s how to store sour cream in the fridge so that it lasts as long as possible.
Prep Time 5mins
Total Time 5mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 1oz.
Calories 56kcal


  • 1 Plastic Wrap


  • 1PackageSour Cream


  • Examine the package for any damage. If the package was just cut by mistake, it is advisable to move it to a plastic container that can be sealed. If you discover damage after returning home from the food shop, do not use it. Return it for a refund or exchange.
  • If it has a date, look it up. If the date is approaching, make plans to utilize it as soon as possible.
  • Check for symptoms of rotting and discard the whole item if it is contaminated.
  • Replace the original lid. I prefer to leave the original foil on top, if it has it, to help seal the container as well. If you don’t want to use foil or it doesn’t have any, try using plastic wrap instead. It is preferable to keep it airtight.
  • Use within a week and follow the methods above each time you open your sour cream.


You can keep sour cream in any container, just make sure that it is air tight when closed or covered.


How long can you keep sour cream in the refrigerator?

As a general rule, the product will remain fresh for about two weeks after opening the container. You may use your best judgment to confirm the product’s freshness by smelling, tasting, and inspecting it.

Can you store sour cream long term?

Fresh sour cream may be securely stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks at or below 40°F (4.4°C) (1). Sour cream, like other dairy products, may be frozen. However, freezing sour cream is not usually suggested since it degrades its quality.

Can I use expired sour cream?

Unopened sour cream may be stored in the refrigerator for one to three weeks, or until the expiry date, if it has one. You should eat it within seven to ten days after opening it. There is no difference in shelf life between low fat and ordinary sour cream. Sour cream that has gone bad should never be eaten or cooked with.

How do you store opened sour cream?

After you’ve opened and used some sour cream, lay a piece of plastic wrap immediately over the surface of the sour cream, pressing it in thoroughly against the different hills and valleys. This is similar to avoiding “skin” on homemade pudding. Replace the cover and store in the refrigerator.

How can you tell if sour cream has gone bad?

Spoilage Symptoms

Take a smell of your sour cream to detect an odor. If it smells moldy, rotten, or unpleasant in any manner other than sour, it most likely has additional growth in it that will damage the taste and safety. Mold: If mold appears on the surface, the whole container must be discarded.

Is it OK to freeze sour cream?

Sour cream may be kept frozen for up to six months. Simply put the quantity of sour cream you need in the fridge and let it to defrost for several hours. The texture will be a little watery and divided. To get a smooth consistency, just beat it with a whisk.

Does sour cream last longer than milk?

Milk may be stored in the refrigerator for seven days and buttermilk for roughly two weeks. Milk and buttermilk may be stored in the freezer for up to three months. Sour cream may be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks but does not freeze well. For further information, contact the FDA at 888-723-3366 or visit their website.

Why is my sour cream so watery after opening?

Whey is the liquid that forms when your sour cream sits in the fridge for an extended period of time. It is quite typical and safe to consume, and you can either drain or mix it in with a clean, dry spoon.

Is sour cream bad if it’s watery?

It’s Separated And Watery

Some liquid separation is OK; you may combine the sour cream and it will still be edible. However, if there is a lot of liquid in your container of sour cream that seems to be separated, you should not ingest it.

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