How To Tell If Yogurt Is Bad

Yes, even your favorite breakfast food has an expiration date.

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Who doesn’t love a nice, hearty breakfast? Whether it’s scrambled eggs and toast, a hot bowl of oatmeal, or even a piece of fruit, it’s the most important meal of the day. But there’s an underrated breakfast meal that you should be adding to your diet: yogurt.

There are plenty of benefits to eating yogurt. It’s a great source of protein, calcium, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-12, potassium, and magnesium. And it also has something called probiotics, which are essential in maintaining the balance of bacteria in your body that is needed to boost your immune system and promote a healthy digestive tract.


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But just like perishable food, everything in your fridge has an expiration date. Which begs the question: Is there a method for how to tell if yogurt is bad? Can you eat yogurt past the expiration date?

Considering that yogurt is technically just aged dairy, as it is fermented milk, this may have you scratching your head. Obviously, your yogurt has gone bad if it smells funky and/or has a chunky consistency, unless, of course, it’s Greek yogurt. But there are a few ways to tell:


1. Mold

Seriously, if there is mold growing on your yogurt, immediately throw it in the trash. Part of food 101 is knowing that you should never, ever ingest mold! That’s a basic and well-known way to tell if your yogurt, and other foods in general, have gone bad.

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2. Surface liquid

Now, although you may open your yogurt and think the top layer of liquid is gross, it’s completely normal. It’s when that small amount becomes a giant puddle that you should be concerned. The liquid actually holds nutrients in it, which is why you should mix it into the yogurt before eating it. But an excess of liquid signifies that there are no more nutrients and it has gone bad.

3. Shelf life

While you should always check the expiration date on your perishables, you may still be able to eat certain foods past the date. Obviously, once you open it, it’s bound to spoil sooner rather than later, but sealed yogurt can last anywhere from one to two weeks past the sell-by date.

In order to make the most of your yogurt, you can also put it in the freezer! Yes, really. Greek yogurt can last up to two weeks in the fridge, but two months in the freezer. Plus, you can turn your same old boring yogurt into straight-up froyo.

Let’s say your yogurt has expired to a point where it may be okay to eat but you don’t want to risk it. Don’t toss it just yet. Not only can you make moss paint out of it to help moss grow in your yard, you can also make a facial mask, finger paint, and relieve your sunburn.


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Samantha Maffucci is an associate editor for YourTango. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.