An old ingredient in Central and Eastern European cuisines, sour cream, is now also well known in the rest of the world. It is made from dairy cream by adding bacteria that produce lactic acid. Its thick texture and slightly tarty taste are famous for preparing creamy frostings, dipping sauces, and garnishing soups and potatoes.
Although sour cream is an ingredient usually added at the end of cooking, it can also tenderize baked goods in some cases. Sour cream is considered a high-fat product, but some varieties of sour cream use non-fat milk and are lighter in fat. Has your sour cream ever gone bad because you left it out for too long? If yes, this article is what you need to prevent this from happening again.
How Long Can Sour Cream Sit Out?
Most people think that sour cream is already ‘sour,’ so it is unlikely to go bad. This idea is incorrect, as sour cream is made from normal dairy cream and can easily spoil if not taken care of. The time estimated by the US Department of Health and Service is two hours for sour cream and every other dairy product that you can think about.
Therefore, if you leave sour cream on the counter, make sure to keep it right back inside the fridge before two hours. This time not only applies to sour cream but also to the recipes that include sour cream.
What Happens if Sour Cream Sits Out Too Long?
Sour cream is usually prepared from cream or milk, hence similar to other dairy products, the sour cream exposed to the hot and humid environment can develop an unpleasant taste and spoil quickly. Homemade sour cream has a shorter shelf life than sour cream bought in packs.
Sour cream being fermented by bacteria can rapidly succumb to the growth of harmful bacteria if it is left to sit out for too long. The taste is one thing, but you might also observe changes in its texture, and the appearance of mold is also possible.
What Should You Do If Sour Cream Is Left Out Too Long?
The optimum time for sour cream above 40 degrees Fahrenheit is two hours; this decreases even more to one hour or less if the temperature exceeds 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Any dairy product left at this particular temperature beyond the time limit will spoil and not be edible.
If you live in a cold environment, you might be able to save sour cream by keeping it in the refrigerator immediately. However, for normal temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it is better to dispose of the sour cream sitting on the counter for more than two hours.
How Long Can Sour Cream Be In The Car For?
If you are out for a long shopping spree, you should first set out the sequence of the places you need to go; the grocery store should be the last of them all. It is how you can keep your dairy products safe until you get home and store them properly in the refrigerator.
Sour cream cannot last longer than two hours inside the car, even if packed. Keep the safe zone for two hours, and you will not have to worry about sour cream being spoiled or contaminated.
Does Sour Cream Go Bad If Not Refrigerated?
When it comes to sour cream, it not only goes bad if not refrigerated, but it can cause food poisoning if consumed after letting it sit at room temperature for more than two hours. You should ensure proper safety to avoid food-borne illnesses, and due to this reason, you should keep sour cream in the refrigerator at all times.
Does Sour Cream Go Bad If You Lose Power?
An unexpected power outage can concern you about the food resting inside the fridge. A long power cut can make certain items bad, even in the refrigerator. Although some things might stay safe for a longer period, fermented items such as sour cream can increase bacteria to an unsafe level after several hours of a power outage. Therefore, it is unsafe to consume sour cream kept in the refrigerator during a long power cut.
What Temperature Is Safe For Sour Cream?
A temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit is most suitable for sour cream. You can store an unopened pack of sour cream at this temperature even after its best date if it is kept at all times in the refrigerator. Opened pack and homemade sour cream will also last for a week at this temperature.
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