How Long Does Greek Yogurt Last?
September 19, 2020
By Carrie Havranek
Greek yogurt: it’s just so versatile. We love to eat it with fruit, a little bit of granola, and a swirl of honey. We love it as savory dip. It can work well in a marinade, or a base for a salad dressing. It is a staple in our fridge. But let’s be honest: sometimes it gets lost in the back of the fridge after we open it up. And sometimes, when we do uncover it, while rummaging for other things, we wonder, hmmm, Is this Greek yogurt safe to eat?
Maybe it looks and smells okay, but the sell-by date has passed. Or maybe there’s some pinkish or black mold growing around the rim, but the center part looks fine. It’s tempting to just scrape off the mold and use it anyway because we don’t want to waste food, right? (Or we’ve got a recipe we need it for ASAP).
We asked registered dietitian and nutrition advisor Amanda A. Kostro Miller to weigh in. Here’s what she had to say:
How Long Is Greek Yogurt Safe to Eat?
A good rule of thumb is two weeks, according to Kostro Miller — and that’s the outer limit. “Even if there’s no mold that you can see or smell, you should consume Greek yogurt within 1 to 2 weeks of opening it,” she says.
And if there are signs of spoilage? Maybe those aforementioned pink and black spots of mold that tend to gather around the lid and the sides of the container? If you see those, she says, it’s a goner.
“Yogurt is a soft food, which makes it easier for mold to penetrate to other parts of the container,” Miller says. (Conversely, this is why you can cut a piece of mold off a hunk of hard cheddar or parm and still use it; it’s less likely that the mold has found its way to parts unknown in this kind of cheese because it’s much harder.
But what about if the greek yogurt in question is nonfat, low-fat, or whole milk? Does one spoil faster than another? Again, Kostro Miller’s answer is clear: “There’s inconclusive evidence to show that the fat content (or lack thereof) in dairy makes it last longer,” she says. “Always base your timing on the stated dates on the label and when you opened it.”
Still have questions? “When in doubt, throw it out,” Kostro Miller says. “This is especially important for at-risk or immunocompromised populations — it’s just not worth the risk of food poisoning.”