Yogurt is a dairy product, obtained by the fermentation of milk with the help of specific bacteria. The bacteria involved in fermentation of yogurt are commonly known as yogurt cultures. The lactic acid produced through fermentation of sugars present in milk, gives yogurt its desired texture and taste.
There are different types of yogurt depending upon the ingredients and methods of manufacture. Yogurt is not only an excellent source of proteins, vitamins and fatty acids but it can also aid in certain imbalances occurring in the body. You can enjoy yogurt to your heart’s content if you are aware of its shelf life as well as how long it can sit out without going bad.
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How Long Can Yogurt Sit Out?
When you bring home yogurt, it is essential to know how long it will stay fresh at normal room temperature if you wish to consume it sometime after you bought it. The shelf life of most dairy products including yogurt is less when it comes to keeping them at room temperature.
Hence, these products should be refrigerated at most times rather than be exposed to the hot and humid climate. At the counter, you can let your bowl of yogurt sit for no longer than two hours. In hot areas where room temperature reaches 90 degrees Fahrenheit, yogurt will start to go bad after one hour or less.
What Happens if Yogurt Sits Out Too Long?
Yogurt left out for more than 2 hours above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and more than one hour above 90 degrees Fahrenheit should not be consumed or used in any recipe. The fermented milk in yogurt will not stay fresh for longer and bacteria will start to grow at a temperature above this temperature.
In case you left yogurt out of the refrigerator for too long, the growth of bacteria, yeast or mold will spoil the yogurt and can cause food poisoning if consumed.
What Should You Do If Yogurt Is Left Out Too Long?
According to experts in the Food and Drug Association, yogurt should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours. This time span also applies to other dairy products such as milk, evaporated milk and cream.
If yogurt sits out more than two hours above 40 degrees Fahrenheit it should be discarded, as bacteria in unrefrigerated yogurt grows more rapidly, especially if sugar or fruits are added.
How Long Can Yogurt Be In The Car For?
Grocery shopping can take longer than intended and you will have to keep all the dairy products in your car until you reach home. The time yogurt and other dairy products can sit in the car for is almost 2 hours, if your car has a lower temperature and the windows are rolled up to prevent any harsh air coming inside.
If you live in a place where the weather is normally hot and dry, it is recommended not to leave yogurt in your car for more than an hour. The sooner you get your favorite yogurt to the refrigerator, the longer it will last.
Does Yogurt Go Bad If Not Refrigerated?
Yogurt is made from fermented milk, which means it is a dairy product and can most definitely go bad if left at the counter. The room temperature is usually not suitable for yogurt to let sit at; it will allow bacterial growth as well as the growth of mold on the yogurt, hence making it unsuitable to consume. Therefore, yogurt must be kept refrigerated if not in use.
Does Yogurt Go Bad If You Lose Power?
In case you lose power, the first thing you are probably concerned about is the food stored in your refrigerator. The packed products that are unopened will last longer than the ones which are opened. Yogurt if kept refrigerated will stay cold and good for 4 hours in the fridge even after a power outage.
After 4 hours if the power is still not back, you will have to check your bowl of yogurt for any mold appearance before you consume it. If you witness possible signs of mold on yogurt then it is recommended to discard it.
What Temperature Is Safe For Yogurt?
If you wish to keep yogurt for a few days, it should be kept below 40 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. The temperature above this will also be safe but for a limited amount of time such as 2 hours. Yogurt kept in the freezer at zero degrees Celsius will stay good for a month or two.
How to Store Yogurt?
You should store yogurt properly, just like other dairy products. Otherwise, it will get spoiled very quickly. If you want your yogurt to last for a long time, you need to take outstanding care of its storage conditions.
The storage conditions for yogurt are the same as the kefir and sour cream.
Store in the fridge
The fridge is the best place for storing yogurt. You can not afford to place the yogurt at room temperature for a very long time. So, it will be best for you if you store your yogurt in the fridge. IT can retain its peak quality and freshness for a long time in the refrigerator.
Keep it covered tightly.
It is essential to keep the yogurt covered tightly every time after opening the package. If it is not covered, then its texture might get affected. Uncovered yogurt will pick up strong odors from the fridge.
Moreover, uncovered yogurt will start to dry out, and it will not stay fresh as it was before. If you buy yogurt that doesn’t come with the seal, you should better transfer it to a plastic container and use plastic wrap or aluminum foil to wrap it.
Use clean utensils
You should always use a clean utensil while scoping the yogurt. If you have used a spoon for another purpose first, you should not use that spoon to scooping the yogurt. It’s better to clean the spoon first and then use it.
Store in the freezer
If you want to store the yogurt for a very long time, the freezer is the best place to store it. But freezing will separate the yogurt’s solids from the liquid, and it will be good for cooked dishes only.
Can You Freeze Yogurt?
Many people are confused, whether they can freeze yogurt or not. In short, you can freeze yogurt if you want to store it for a very long time. But freezing yogurt will affect its quality and texture. Just like other dairy products, it will separate after thawing.
Stirring will bring its texture back, but it will not be as fresh as it was before. You will not enjoy eating it, but you can use it in cooked and baked dishes.
How Long Does Yogurt Last?
It is challenging to tell the exact shelf life of yogurt. Its shelf-life much depends on the type and quality of the yogurt and the way it is stored. If it is stored properly, then it can last for a long time. Moreover, your yogurt can spoil very early if it was mishandled before reaching the supermarket’s fridge.
It is better to use the yogurt according to the sell-by date mentioned on its package. The yogurt can last a day more after passing the sell-by date. It is better to use the product within the week after opening the package.
All kinds of yogurt can last up to a week after passing the sell-by date mentioned on their package. And if you store them in the freezer, then they can last up to three months. On the other hand, opened package of yogurt can last up to one week in the fridge and a month in the freezer.
How to Tell If Yogurt Is Bad?
Yogurt can get spoiled quickly if it is not stored properly. Bad yogurts are very harmful to our health so, you should always check them before using them. There are many signs to look for when you feel that your yogurt is bad. When a yogurt gets spoiled, there is a change in its taste, smell, and texture.
To tell whether your yogurt is bad or not, you should check the following things:
- Check the surface of the yogurt. If you find any kinds of spots on the surface, you should discard them at once. These spots give us the signs of mold formation.
- You may have noticed that yogurt has a pleasant odor. To check whether it is good or not, give it a good sniff. If it smells sour, you should get rid of it.
- Check the taste of the yogurt. If it tastes bad, it would be best for you to throw it away.
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