Should I eat this: Yogurt edition
May 13, 2016 4:13 PM   Subscribe

Asking for a friend: My friend is currently standing next to me eating Siggi's Icelandic Style Strawberry Yogurt, which might have expired two months ago. Or a month ago, if we optimistically assume the European date format (03/04/2016). Will he die or will he be okay? How long does yogurt last past expiry date? Does it matter that it supposedly have no preservatives? Does anyone know if the dates printed on the Siggi's yogurt cups are American or European format?
posted by Ender's Friend to Food & Drink (20 answers total)
posted by Dashy at 4:22 PM on May 13, 2016

He will not die.
The yogurt may taste a lot more sour than he likes, but if it's been unopened and there isn't visible mold or the yogurt doesn't taste foul and the consistency of the yogurt seems fine, he should be fine.
He will not die.
posted by Karaage at 4:22 PM on May 13, 2016 [4 favorites]

I've eaten yogurt at least a month past sell-by date and it tastes exactly like if I had bought it that day. I would definitely eat it. If it's bad, I imagine you'll know it right away based on taste, sight, or smell.
posted by jabes at 4:24 PM on May 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

If there's no visible mold or off taste, go ahead and eat it.

I had a full quart container of yogurt in my fridge that expired long before I ever opened it (why, yes, I am the worst). When I finally did open it, it was topped with a layer of white mold spores. I definitely did not eat it. Personally I'm impressed that a yogurt more than 2 months past its sell-by date is still in a condition where you'd float the idea of eating it.
posted by Sara C. at 4:28 PM on May 13, 2016

Siggi's is made in NY & WI: the dates are American format.
posted by zamboni at 4:36 PM on May 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'd eat it. Yogurt often (not always) stays good significantly longer than its sell-by date, especially when it's organic. As long as the taste/smell/look wasn't significantly off, I'd eat without any concerns.
posted by Jaclyn at 4:47 PM on May 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

I have expertise in this area, if there is no surface mold or off color you will be fine. I have eaten years beyond expiration date yogurt. I buy yogurt containers and store them for years before cracking into them. Yoplait has amazing staying power (6 years) but Fage with fruit jam goes bad within 6 months. I do this for science.
posted by jadepearl at 5:12 PM on May 13, 2016 [34 favorites]

I have no idea about fruit jam yogurt, but my partner ate a full carton of year-expired plain yogurt once and was fine.

The staying power has something to do with the cultures, I assume.
posted by aniola at 5:16 PM on May 13, 2016

So now I ignore the expiration dates on yogurt. Ours never mold, but if they did, I wouldn't eat them.
posted by aniola at 5:18 PM on May 13, 2016

We once fed a roommate we disliked yogurt that was 6 months past the sell-by date and she was absolutely fine. As long as there's no mold or other obvious signs of rottenness, go for it!
posted by TwoStride at 5:39 PM on May 13, 2016 [4 favorites]

It's already fermented and sour. Where's it going.

I'm also not too worried about that 'expired' fish sauce in the fridge? What? It's going to smell worse?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:44 PM on May 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

I usually forget to rearrange my yogurt into a FIFO refrigerator system upon my return from the grocery store, so once a year or so I realize that I'm eating months-old expired yogurt from my unintended LIFO system. I'm alive, and it tasted delicious.
posted by gatorae at 6:00 PM on May 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Was it George Carlin who said "if yogurt goes bad, how can you tell?"
posted by randomkeystrike at 7:23 PM on May 13, 2016

Worst case scenario: he's eating cheese.
posted by Promethea at 7:48 PM on May 13, 2016 [3 favorites]

Yep, it's fine. There are a whole host of official guidelines around how far past the expiry date food can be donated, and yogurt is one of the long ones. The only other thing to look out for besides the mold already mentioned is a puffed-up foil top or other signs of swelling. If you see that, toss it, it's got biotics that aren't pro.
posted by kitarra at 10:45 PM on May 13, 2016

The other day a coworker opened a yogurt that was just past its date, and the smell almost cleared the room. So yogurt can spoil rapidly sometimes, though usually you would be fine.
posted by Dip Flash at 12:19 AM on May 14, 2016

Sell-by is not eat-by. If it looks/smells/tastes okay, odds are very much on the side of "go ahead" (even if the sell-by date hasn't passed).
posted by Etrigan at 4:21 AM on May 14, 2016

Sure it’s unlikely to be lethal but ughhh I’m going to strongly disagree with the rest of the comments and urge your friend to throw it away because of the taste, yoghurt that’s been around for a while will be a lot more sour, and your friend would need to really love super sour yoghurt, and have a super strong stomach, to make it worth eating - ie. pleasant! It’s not a survival challenge, is it? Try and smell it, if your nose tells you "nah" then listen to your nose.
posted by bitteschoen at 7:16 AM on May 14, 2016

Once I realised I preferred old yoghurt I started pretty much only buying the soon-to-"expire" kind with a 50% off sticker. It gets thicker and more flavourful but I have never found it to become sour in some sort of unyoghurtly and unpalatable fashion. It is extremely rare that I find a tub that has gone bad -- we eat a lot of yoghurt, nearly all past its best before, and I can't even remember the last time unopened yoghurt turned out to have gone bad. (The "unopened" part is critical, though.)

Dairy predates refrigeration and while I am no fan of sour clumpy milk, most people are overcautious. Butter lives in a glass box on my counter. A few months ago I was snacking while a bit drunk and left a huge block of very good old cheddar in the cupboard (!) and did not find it until a week later; I put it back in the fridge when I found it, and later had a taste test with it and a brand-new block of the same brand -- couldn't tell the difference. Dairy is very good at making clear when it's done for. Eat fearlessly.
posted by kmennie at 8:22 AM on May 14, 2016

I ate a yogurt 2 months past the expiration date for breakfast yesterday and only noticed when I went to wash the container for recyling. It was a little sour but if I hadn't seen the expiration date, I wouldn't have thought twice about it. (Plus, I'm fine.)
posted by saveyoursanity at 1:37 PM on May 15, 2016

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