Shelf Life of
Yogurt (Yoghurt)

How Long Does Yogurt (Yoghurt) Last?

How Long Does Yogurt Last?

Shelf Life of Yogurt

How Long Does Yogurt Last? Yogurt is a dairy product produced by the bacterial fermentation of milk.  Because of this, many people ask “does yogurt go bad?” and the answer is yes – but not as quickly as you might think. Yogurt comes in numerous flavors and varieties such as low-fat yogurt, frozen yogurtGreek yogurt, yogurt with fruit and drinkable yogurt.  The beneficial active cultures it contains promote a healthy intestinal environment.  It is no wonder why yogurt (yoghurt) is one of the most popular dairy products in the world!

The shelf life of yogurt (yoghurt) and its ultimate expiration date depends on a variety of factors, such as its sell by date, its preparation method and how it is stored.  So how long does yogurt (yoghurt) last past its sell by date?

When properly stored, yogurt lasts past its printed date for the time periods indicated below:

(Unopened) Refrigerator Freezer
Past Printed Date  Past Printed Date
Frozen Yogurt lasts for 2-3 Months
Drinkable Yogurt lasts for 7-10 Days 1-2 Months
Greek Yogurt lasts for 1-2 Weeks 1-2 Months
Reduced Fat Yogurt lasts for 1-2 Weeks 1-2 Months
Yogurt lasts for 2-3 Weeks 1-2 Months
Yogurt With Fruit lasts for 7-10 Days 1-2 Months
(Opened) Refrigerator Freezer
Past Printed Date  Past Printed Date
All Opened Yogurt lasts for 1 Week 1 Month

Of course, yogurt lasts for a shorter period of time if it is not stored properly. But remember, like a lot of other dairy products, it usually has a sell by date which is simply the last date until which a manufacturer will vouch for a product’s quality, not its safety. All yogurt manufactures that we checked guarantee their product quality for 7 days beyond the printed sell by date, but do not state a timeframe for safety (although they agree yogurt can be eaten beyond the 7 days). Because of this distinction, you may safely use it to compliment your favorite meals even after its printed date has lapsed.

How to tell if yogurt (yoghurt) is bad, rotten or spoiled?

Practicing proper hygiene and food safety techniques will help prevent food borne illness. Although not a perfect test, your senses are usually the most reliable instruments to tell if your yogurt has gone bad. A small amount of liquid is ok in most yogurts, it is called whey and actually contains several nutrients that should be mixed into the yogurt before eating. But an increased amount of surface liquid (or, in the case of Yoplait yogurt and a few others that do not have any excess liquid to begin with, it’s when a puddle begins to form) and a curdling texture near the bottom of the container are the first signs of yogurt going bad. The final sign is the formation of mold and at that point you must throw the entire container away, no matter what. Live bacterial cultures in yogurt act as a preservative, but once those cultures start to die off then mold can start to form. Never consume mold in any shape or form!

There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled yogurt, so always remember to practice proper food safety and enjoy it prior to its eat by date. If your yogurt has gone bad, check our substitution page.

How to store yogurt (yoghurt) to extend its shelf life?

Proper food storage is the key to extending the expiration date of food. You can help all dairy products stay fresh longer by storing them in your refrigerator immediately after purchase.
Once the package has been opened, yogurt can be kept for a few days if it is stored with the foil seal re-sealed (or in a tightly closed container) to keep out moisture and other contaminants.
For a long-term option, you can freeze your yogurt for a month or two while preserving its taste (but at the same time killing off a small number of the multitudes of bacteria), if you use a freezer safe container.
Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

Interesting facts about the shelf life of yogurt (yoghurt):

  • The foil seal on the top of the containers is perfect for re-sealing and storing in a refrigerator!
  • The shelf life of yogurt can be extended by 1-2 months if stored in a freezer. However, you may notice a different look and texture once thawed.
  • The printed date on a yogurt product is approximately one month from the date the yogurt is placed on the shelf.
  • Live bacterial cultures act as a preservative which fend off the development of mold.
  • “Yogurt” is spelled this way in the United States and “Yoghurt” is spelled this way in the United Kingdom.
  • For more facts, check the National Yogurt Association. Also, check our FAQ for more about cultures.

How to use extra yogurt (yoghurt) before it goes bad?

What if you have too much that is about to spoil? Before your yogurt goes bad and you have to throw it all away, try one of these simple suggestions:

  • Use some in place of some of the oil in your favorite cake mix. This works especially well with chocolate cake mix or any coffee cake.
  • Put some in your blender with bananas, oranges, strawberries, fruit juice and some ice or your favorite frozen fruit and whip up an yummy and nutritious smoothie to rival Jamba Juice.
  • Use some in place of mayonnaise for a delicious salad dressing, perfect to top bib lettuce or strawberries.
  • Freeze some and take it along in your lunch box (by which time it will be defrosted and have kept the rest of your lunch slightly chilled as a bonus).

How long is yogurt (yoghurt) good for when prepared in a dish?

How long does yogurt last? That depends. How long does frozen fruit last? In general, it lasts only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the recipe. To find out how long other ingredients are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date.

*An important note about expiration dates …

Although the yogurt shelf life information provided by Eat By Date is generally reliable, individual cases will vary and our advice should be taken as a guideline and not a substitute for the advice of your qualified health care provider.  Please eat responsibly!