How Long Does Sour Cream Last?

Sour cream is a completely perishable grocery item that only has a certain shelf life once it is produced and distributed by the supplier. As delicious as this item may be for topping tacos or embellishing burritos with something tasty, its enjoyability is limited. Major regulators in the world of Food and Drug have created guidelines to help the consumer determine the perishability of their food items. This is done to ensure consumer health and prevent the disease from foodborne illnesses.

USDA Guidelines

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has developed standards for how long dairy items will last on the shelf. The dairy item sour cream is one that should be refrigerated at all times and should never stand at room temperature. This rule applies whether or not the item is unopened or opened. The USDA states officially that sour cream is good for up to three weeks after the date that it is sold. This means that you have nearly a month to enjoy its deliciousness before it must be disposed of.

Packaging Indications

When you are not exactly sure of the expiration date that applies to your sour cream, it is always possible to check the packaging for indications. While you might forget the USDA regulation that sour cream is to last three weeks, it will be difficult for you to forget something that is written on the food product itself. All pre-packaged food items sold in the grocery are properly labeled with dates indicated their manufacturing time and dates indicating their expiration. The expiration date will tell you by what day the item should be consumed.

Checking for Spoilage Indicators

There are ways to check whether or not your sour cream has spoiled. These are applications that can be used across the board for dairy products in the grocery. Dairy products should have a fresh smell to them. This is the same for your sour cream. When you open up your container of delicious sour cream, you may hover your nose over the product to get a sense of how it smells. While it is sour cream, it should have a dairy smell to it with a slightly sour smell. However, the sour scent should not be overpowering. Sour cream that has gone bad will smell a little bit too sour and this is a good way to determine if your sour cream is still edible or not.

Overall, there are different ways to determine whether or not your sour cream is still good enough to eat. The first indicator of a sour cream’s freshness is the time it has been allowed to sit on the shelf after being opened, according to the USDA guidelines. The USDA says that sour cream is good for up to three weeks after being opened. Another way to see if your sour cream product is still good to be consumed is to check the expiration date. The expiration date can be found labeled on the outside of the package and it indicates for how long the product is going to be edible. This is an important indicator as to when you will be able to enjoy your sour cream after purchasing. Another tried and true way to determine whether or not your sour cream is still good is to smell the product itself. Sour cream should have a fresh dairy smell and only a slight sour tinge to it. Use these tips and make sure to eat your sour cream in its freshest state for enjoyment.

Leave a Comment