Posted October 20th 2008, 6:05am
I have some containers of commercial yogurt, like yoplait or activia that are beyond their shelf date. They are sealed up. How long can you keep and eat yogurt? If it looks and tastes okay, is it okay to eat as long as it has been sealed up?


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Posted October 20th 2008, 7:25am
It depends, I've had some Trader Joe's yogurt that seperated and looked funny about a month after the "eat by" date and then I've had Stonyfield Farm yogurt go over 3 months past it's date and be fine and taste fresh. I think the difference is in the packaging, TJ's seems to be packaged with cheaper materials. I've also had TJ's cream cheese and cottage cheese spoil pretty quickly, I just don't buy them any more.

Posted October 20th 2008, 8:49am
I recently used some mayo on a blt and after eating it discovered that the mayo was 6 mos. "out of date" with no ill effect. Same with yogurt, if it looks good , smells good and tastes good I'll generally eat it.
I sometimes wonder if a lot of these dates on products come out of the legal or marketing depts. of manufactures rather than their labs.
I have a neighbor who has interpreted the "best by" dates on products as to mean "throw out on".
Makes one wonder how many other people may be doing this and how much extra product gets sold based on a mere suggestion.
Posted October 20th 2008, 9:47am
Most of the time the "best by" dates are statistical points of when it should last be sold -- anticipating that it will sit around substantially after that in your kitchen, unopened then opened (time depending on the product). I've had years-old salad dressings be no worse than bland.

On the other hand, buying plain yoghurt lately drives me crazy: you pretty much can't buy a 1-cup portion anymore: the big guns such as Dannon are all 6oz (they reduced size when sugar first got expensive, but there's no sugar in the plain yoghurt), even some of the higher-end brands come in 7oz. So I end up buying a quart.

My general experience on plain yoghurt is that it will remain unspoiled for two days less than the second time you need it, at which point it turns blue and fuzzy.

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Posted October 20th 2008, 10:09am
JoelF wrote:My general experience on plain yoghurt is that it will remain unspoiled for two days less than the second time you need it, at which point it turns blue and fuzzy.

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Posted October 20th 2008, 10:28am
Much of shelf life depends on temperature. Often, the "sell by" or "best by" dates on refrigerated products are calculated based on the assumption that the retailer won't do a very good job keeping the product cold enough in store. If the store keeps its refrigerated products much above 40° (which can happen with an open case), you won't get as much shelf life than if the store keeps it properly cold (say 38° or a little less). At home, I try to keep my refrigerator at 35° and I can get quite a bit more shelf life than stated on the package.

For most dairy products, manufacturers try to ensure the product will still be good, if unopened, for at least seven days after the "sell by" date, even if stored at home under slightly less than optimal conditions.

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