Sour Cream Doesn't Spoil Why

What it is?

From the point of view of the law, the shelf life of sour cream is the time period after which the fermented milk product loses its quality and can no longer be consumed. The indicator guarantees: the product is safe for life and health. Naturally, subject to storage conditions.

Reference. In the Russian Federation, sour cream is produced according to the interstate standard GOST 31452-2012. The law regulates its production of a fermented milk product based on cream from cow's milk, packaged in special packaging and intended for food. All other “variations on the theme” of sour cream - sour cream products and substances enriched with other ingredients are not related to the specified GOST.

GOST 31452-2012 does not contain specific information about expiration dates. These time frames MUST be established by manufacturers, guided by the technical regulations of the Law of the Russian Federation “On Technical Regulation” No. 184-FZ of December 27, 2002.

If the buyer receives a product without indicating significant data, the manufacturer is responsible for the safety of the products sold for 10 years from the date of sale. Of course, sour cream with such a long shelf life does not exist in nature, so the marking applied to the packaging protects the manufacturer from unfounded claims from customers.

The shelf life of sour cream is the period of time during which the fermented milk product retains its qualities and characteristics established and described in the relevant regulations (GOST, TU, SanPiN). This indicator ensures that the product is edible.

The shelf life is not the same as the expiration date, since after the first period of time the sour cream is not considered lost, but expired sour milk can no longer be eaten.

Sour cream is a product of bacterial ripening, so acidity and other indicators may change during storage. This is the result of the activity of microorganisms and native enzymes. Since it is difficult to control this process from the outside, fermented milk products may change their taste during storage.

The packaging of ready-made sour cream always indicates the production date - this is the day on which the production process was completed and the freshly prepared sour cream was completely ready for sale.

Shelf life of sour cream after opening

After opening the container, it is recommended to pour the sour cream into a clean glass jar. Then you need to close the jar with plastic wrap or a special lid. If polyethylene is used, then it is better to strengthen the neck of the jar with sour cream with a rubber ring (elastic band) so that it becomes airtight. Already opened sour cream is placed in the refrigerator or other cold place. In any case, the shelf life of sour cream after opening is completely short and is 3 days. During this time, it is advisable to consume the opened sour cream and not delay the shelf life.

Like any fermented milk product, sour cream is strongly recommended to be stored exclusively in the refrigerator. In this case, the shelf life of sour cream will be about 10 days, and the temperature should be from +6 to +8 degrees. If the temperature in the refrigerator is near zero, the shelf life of sour cream increases to 30 days. However, the shelf life largely depends on the manufacturer of sour cream and on the components that were used in its production. If preservatives have been added, then the shelf life of sour cream will be longer than usual. There is also deeply pasteurized sour cream with a long shelf life, but it has practically no beneficial properties, since all of them were destroyed during the manufacturing process. But no matter what the sour cream is, it should still be stored in the refrigerator.


According to the Technical Regulations of the Customs Union No. 022/2011, the manufacturer must indicate on the container the expiration date, as well as the date of manufacture. There are no such instructions in the law regarding storage periods.

Organoleptic properties may change after opening the package.

This may affect the quality and safety of the fermented milk product, so the manufacturer is required to indicate storage conditions on the packaging after the container is unopened.

There is sour cream on sale in individual containers and a so-called “weighted” product - sour cream, which is packaged and weighed by sellers or employees of the outlet:

  • in the first case, all mandatory markings are applied to the jar or bag;
  • and in the second case, the required data is indicated on the transport packaging - the general container in which the batch of sour milk was delivered.

Shelf life of sour cream in the refrigerator

A closed package of sour cream can also be stored in the refrigerator for 5-10 days from the date of production. If the temperature in the refrigerator is kept below zero, the shelf life of the product can increase to 30 days. When purchasing sour cream (and any other fermented milk product), you must look at the date of manufacture. The expiration date is usually printed next to the manufacturing date as a date, rather than the number of days of storage, which makes choosing a fermented milk product much easier.

What is the expiration time for this product?

There are no uniform standards. The expiration date is determined by the manufacturer and/or developer of technical and regulatory documentation. Additionally, storage conditions are indicated. These data are entered into the NTD and agreed upon with the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service.

The expiration date cannot simply be invented or assigned out of thin air: the specific time period and conditions under which the product is stored must be justified. The safety of the product and the preservation of properties for a specified period are confirmed by comprehensive research. Hygienic studies are carried out in accredited centers of the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Supervision.

Manufacturers reserve some batches of finished sour cream for 3-4 months. This product is stored for up to 3-4 months in large containers at temperatures from 0 to 2⁰C and humidity up to 85%. To prevent the finished product from stratifying, the barrel must be turned over at least once a month.

The implementation period is considered separately.

Products by weight with high fat content (25-30%) in transport packaging, which are stored at a temperature of 2 to 6⁰C, can be sold within 15 days from the date of manufacture.

If sour cream is stored at a temperature of 0 to 2⁰C, the sales period is extended to one and a half months (sour cream with a fat content of 20% under the same conditions can be sold within one month).

The preservation of freshness and high quality of products is also influenced by compliance with production technology, which is described in SanPiN, a regulatory document regulating the process of manufacturing dairy products (read more about the shelf life of dairy and fermented milk products here). Sour cream is prepared only from fresh pasteurized cream, using the tank method and closed containers.

Bacterial starter is introduced in a strictly defined quantity , and ripening and ripening takes place in a refrigeration chamber at a temperature of 0 to 8⁰C. Sour milk in a large transport container matures within two days, and sour cream poured into small consumer packages matures within 6-12 hours.

Tips for housewives

To prevent the product from spoiling prematurely and to retain its delicate taste, certain conditions for its use and storage should be observed:

  1. There is no need to eat from a common container , since it is unacceptable for pieces of food and bread crumbs to get into the sour cream. The spoon you use to take the sour cream should be dry, preferably scalded with boiling water.
  2. This fermented milk product can be stored efficiently in glass and ceramic containers . Metal and plastic containers are not suitable for this.
  3. The container with the product should be placed on the middle shelf of the refrigerator - the most suitable place for temperature.
  4. Do not remove the container with sour cream even for half an hour . This reduces shelf life. If you want to drink tea with sour cream, transfer the required amount of product from the general container to the outlet.
  5. Do not leave a spoon in the sour cream.
  6. Control the “behavior” of the product. If you notice that whey has appeared , then you need to quickly consume sour cream before it spoils.

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Follow these simple rules and be healthy.

How to choose sour cream? Tips for consumers in this video:

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Sour cream can be stored without refrigeration in the following way for 24 hours .

How long can I store in an open package?

A sealed container provides sour cream with protection from the influence of the external environment and inhibits the proliferation of pathogenic microorganisms, therefore, subject to storage conditions, unopened packaging can be stored until the expiration date. How long can dairy products be stored and how after opening the package, including in the refrigerator?

  • At a temperature no higher than 6⁰C, sour cream in small containers is stored for no more than three days, and the dietary product “lives” even less - 48 hours.
  • At room temperature, sour cream spoils within a day.
  • Sour cream with stabilizers that has undergone additional heat treatment can be stored for 7 to 14 days if the recommended temperature conditions are observed.
  • Bought a jar of homemade product? You have 1 to 3 days left to empty the container.
  • Sour milk with preservatives and special additives “lives” the longest on the refrigerator shelf. Nothing will happen to such sour cream for a week or even two.

To increase the shelf life of sour cream, a natural preservative – nizaplin – is used.

The treat may turn sour or rancid before the last expiration date. For example, due to long-term storage in inappropriate conditions (outside the refrigerator), or careless use (if sour cream is eaten from the package or taken out with a dirty spoon).

Is it possible to freeze sour cream in the freezer?

Is it possible to store sour cream in the freezer? Many people consider this question controversial. In fact, there was and is nothing controversial about it. There is only one truth here - you can’t freeze sour cream!

Low temperature can prolong the life of this product, but not freezing. This will lead to a change in the consistency of sour cream, taste and a reduction in beneficial properties.

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Simply put, after defrosting, sour cream can no longer be eaten. It is better to buy or prepare it in the right quantity and use it as soon as possible, rather than freezing the leftovers, which will anyway become unsuitable for consumption and other purposes.

See also:

Improper storage of ice cream can lead to poisoning. Find out how long ice cream can be stored in the refrigerator and freezer

Cakes come with a wide variety of fillings, so each type of cake should be stored differently.

Previously (and even now in villages) clay jugs with the same lids were used to store sour cream. To extend the life of this product, as well as preserve the smell and taste, a piece of sugar was dipped into the pot.

How to determine freshness?

Dairy products are considered a perishable product and sensitive to storage conditions, so it is important to be able to determine the freshness of sour cream when purchasing and at home. External characteristics and taste are considered critical indicators.

GOST regulates appearance, consistency, taste and aroma, as well as color. Fresh sour cream is a homogeneous thick mass. The surface of the product should be shiny. Low-fat varieties may be thinner and slightly viscous, and may also contain grains.

The aroma of a quality product is clean and characteristic of fermented milk products. The presence of foreign tastes and odors unusual for sour cream is unacceptable. The color of a good product is white with a slight creamy tint, uniform.

It’s impossible to figure out physical and chemical indicators offhand, but such indicators are monitored by government services. The rest can be assessed at the time of purchase.

Determining the quality of sour cream in individual consumer packaging presents a certain difficulty. If the glass or jar is opaque, then even the appearance cannot be assessed, not to mention the taste or smell. There is only one option here: analyze the content after purchase. We definitely do not recommend buying sour cream with a swollen lid or in damaged packaging.

Signs of corruption

  • Sharp sour taste.
  • Bitterness in taste.
  • Putrid or moldy taste.
  • Musty smell.
  • Pronounced food taste.
  • Distinct taste of containers.
  • Separated whey.
  • Heterogeneous consistency.
  • Uncharacteristic color.

Is it possible to return a low-quality product?

The product belongs to the category of food products.

According to Article 18 of the Law “OZPP”, you can return sour cream of inadequate quality - spoiled, with uncharacteristic organoleptic characteristics, expired.

If everything is in order with the purchased fermented milk, you cannot simply “change your mind” - high-quality food cannot be returned.

Refrigerator replacement

Sour cream can be stored for a day without refrigeration.
It must be transferred to glass or ceramic dishes. Then it is placed in a bowl of cold water. Place a wet cloth and immerse its ends in water. Storage in a cellar or basement is allowed. It is important to know not only the expiration date of sour cream, but also the rules for determining its freshness. Signs of a product that has lost its freshness include:

  • Unpleasant smell.
  • Color change.
  • Mold.
  • Serum formation.

These signs are a signal that sour cream should not be eaten. The expiration date determines how long the product can be eaten. When this time is up, you should not feast on it. Manufacturers must indicate on the packaging that the product should not be consumed after the expiration date.

Storage rules at home

  • According to clause 8 of GOST 31452-2012, sour cream should be stored at a temperature from 2⁰С to 6⁰С. In everyday life, this temperature regime is ensured in a refrigerator.
  • The product retains its quality until the expiration date indicated on the individual or transport packaging.
  • It is not recommended to leave the packaging at room temperature for a long time: this will reduce the shelf life to 24 hours.
  • Do not freeze sour cream, otherwise grains will appear in the mass and the taste will change.
  • If you do not plan to use the entire amount of the product at once, use a clean, dry spoon each time: moisture or food contaminants getting into the mass will cause the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria.
  • Try not to shake the product container during transportation or in everyday situations, as whey may be released.
  • Sour cream “loves” glass and ceramics, but the product in plastic deteriorates faster.

To avoid eating spoiled products, it is important before purchasing to make sure that the product is displayed in the store in accordance with the storage rules established by the manufacturer, assess the integrity of the packaging and expiration date. Our experts have prepared a series of articles from which you will learn about the storage rules and shelf life of dairy and fermented milk products: fresh and powdered milk, yogurt, butter, condensed milk, ice cream, kefir and cottage cheese.

Shelf life of sour cream

The average shelf life of sour cream can be equated to GOST indicators, but depending on the temperature and other nuances, the figures can vary significantly.

It is important to know that under no circumstances should you eat expired sour cream! Feed it to your pets, use it in baking, just throw it away - anything but eat it!

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Pathogenic microflora grows very quickly in this product, which can lead to serious poisoning, so do not save money and be careful!

So you need to know:

  • at a temperature of 6-8°C sour cream can be stored for 10 days;
  • at a temperature of about 0°C, closed sour cream in packaging can be stored for about 30 days;
  • an open package of natural sour cream is stored for no more than 3 days;
  • homemade sour cream should also be eaten within 3 days.

Is it possible to eat if time is up?

Sanitary standards prohibit the sale of expired products, since eating spoiled food threatens health and life. If day “x” has arrived and the jar is not empty, you cannot season borscht or salad with such sour cream - this is a direct path to eating disorders and poisoning. Should the contents of the package be thrown into the trash?

By and large - yes. It's better not to take risks. However, some housewives use expired milk: add it to baked goods or prepare sour cream sauces. You can't do without heat treatment. And even in such cases, you should make sure that sour cream is not dangerous. It is unacceptable to use a product with mold, a putrid odor or an unpleasant color. Even high temperature cannot cope with such defects.

Everyone who eats and purchases sour cream needs to understand the intricacies of storage and signs of freshness. A fresh product will enrich the menu and saturate the body with essential substances, while expired fermented milk products threaten health.

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Homemade cookies

This option is so simple that it will certainly arouse interest among those who cannot decide what to make from sour sour cream. Homemade cookie recipes are very varied. They are especially popular with many busy housewives. To pamper your family with such baked goods, check in advance if you have on hand:

  • 200 milliliters of sour cream.
  • 3 cups white high-grade flour.
  • Half a stick of butter.
  • About 1.5 cups granulated sugar.
  • 3 raw chicken eggs.
  • A teaspoon of baking soda.
  • A pinch of salt.
  • A packet of vanilla.

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How to store at home: conditions, place, container and timing

Sour cream, like cottage cheese, milk, kefir, fermented baked milk, is a perishable dairy product. The shelf life of sour cream depends not only on the production technology, but also on the type of packaging.

For packaging and subsequent transportation, special containers are used:

  • glass bottles;
  • plastic glasses;
  • high-strength polyethylene bags;
  • cardboard boxes.

Modern types of sour cream packaging

Products purchased in a store must be stored in the refrigerator. The storage temperature for sour cream is from 3 to 6 degrees.

Soft packaging made of polyethylene is lightweight and low cost. However, it does not imply a long shelf life. If you bought sour cream in a fin-pack package and opened it, then before putting it in the refrigerator, it is better to pour it into a clean glass jar. If the package has not been opened, then it is better not to pour its contents.

Semi-rigid packaging in the form of cups made from special thermoplastics has many advantages:

  • shock resistant;
  • retain shape;
  • ease of use is ensured by the presence of a cap or plate made of thin foil covering the package;
  • The shelf life increases by 2-3 times both before and after opening.

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Today, tetra-pack, pure-pack and doy-pack packaging are in great demand. This is explained by the strength of the material and its high environmental properties. In lightweight, compact, light-proof polymer boxes, the product is completely protected from light, which facilitates long-term storage.

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