Home » What Happens if You Eat Expired Yogurt | The Best Answer in 2023

What Happens if You Eat Expired Yogurt | The Best Answer in 2023

As yogurt is a fermented food and the longer it ferments, the higher shall be its probiotic value, and so does the yogurt expire. Yes! It does because it is a perishable food and it comes with an expiry date too!

Should I throw the yogurt past its expiration? No! yogurt can be safe to eat past its expiration depending on its storage conditions. 

It depends if the expired yogurt is spoiled or not. If the yogurt is stored safely under the required temperatures, the chances are high that the yogurt is not spoiled up to week past the expiration. However, if the yogurt is kept at room temperature or the yogurt container is remained open for a long time, the yogurt will get spoiled past the expiration date.

Do not eat yogurt past the expiration date if the yogurt is not stored properly. Or, if you observe the bad odour coming out of yogurt with the formation of mold, it is another indicator that yogurt has turned bad.

Expiration Dates Short for a Reason!

First of all, yogurt manufacturers tend to use sell by date concept that’s quite conservative in retaining customer confidence and preventing more returns than necessary.  Looking at the best before date on foods can be pretty confusing as to what is still okay and what isn’t. 

 Many foods can have actual shelf life of up to two years if stored correctly in the pantry or freezer, although most manufacturers will shorten this date to ensure that most consumers don’t keep their food items for that long.

When you eat yogurt, Expiration dates are significant for items with high levels of lactose – like yogurt and dairy foods.  In these cases, consuming food after the expiration date can result in problems ranging from cramping to diarrhoea and even food poisoning.  Remember, yogurt is a perishable food and hence, it is important to list it for its expiration.

The same thing applies to fermented milk, which contains a substantial amount of beneficial bacteria that dissolve independently if you don’t store yogurt in the refrigerator.

Expired Yogurt Can Be a Serious Problem!

Lactobacilli bacteria are what give yogurt its probiotic qualities. According to USDA, bacteria cell becomes overgrown and aggressively divides (if it receives the right conditions), it can produce a good deal of toxins and aldehydes, particularly short-chained fatty acids. These are the same compounds that can make you sick after eating spoiled dairy products – essentially spoiled milk yogurt, sour cream, cheese, etc.

What’s more, if the yogurt is unrefrigerated for an extended period (like over 2 hours), it also may contain Listeria bacteria. And even if the yogurt is refrigerated, when the cultures in it are dead, they don’t provide much benefit to your digestive system.

Expired Yogurt Can Make You Sick!


Yogurt Can Make You Sick


What happens, If you eat bad yogurt or other fermented milk – like kefir and sour cream?

Can You Get Sick from Eating Outdated Yogurt? Do you know that you can experience unpleasant side effects?

Some of these problems are:

Lactose Intolerance & Digestive Problems

Most dairy products are high in lactose (milk sugar), which many people have trouble digesting. For others, the problem is not so much. But, how much lactose they process and the intolerance to galactose-containing food items?

Lactose intolerance is when your body doesn’t have enough lactase enzyme to digest the milk sugar. It results in abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and other embarrassing side effects.  These symptoms may begin within twenty minutes to three hours after consuming a product containing lactose.  If you’re lactose intolerant. Avoid eating expired yogurt , it can cause the same problems.

Expired Yogurt May Contain Harmful Bacteria!

According to Quora Users, If your yogurt has been sitting for a while, it may have Listeria bacteria growing inside of it.   This type of foodborne illness is an uncommon but potentially deadly one that can cause fever, muscle aches, and headaches.  The best way is to not to eat spoiled yogurt.

Expired Yogurt Can Be Bad for Your Stomach!

Suppose your yogurt contains Lactobacillus bacteria and has been left at room temperature for prolonged time. In that case, some of these organisms can begin to grow out of control and release a range of harmful substances into the food item’s environment.  It is how bad-tasting yogurt can turn into one that will make you sick. It applies to all the improperly preserved foods and contaminated food as well

Expired Yogurt Won’t Be as Effective!

The probiotic effect of a food or supplement comes from the live cultures it contains, not from dead ones. If you mishandled yogurt’s container, you’re not going to experience the benefits of probiotic bacteria in your digestive tract. Because, its bacterial cultures are killed.

If you are uncertain about whether a yogurt has gone bad, avoid store bought yogurt. If you want fresh, tasty, bacterial cultures in your food item – then invest in some and make it yourself!  It is an excellent idea if you’re lactose intolerant. Because you can’t eat the pre-made yogurt that’s available at your local grocery store.

Expired Yogurt Can Give You Food Poisoning!

If you eat expired yogurt and start to experience any of the following symptoms:  nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and abdominal pain, you should check in with a doctor. These are the same symptoms caused by other pathogens such as Listeria or E. coli bacteria. However, both of these have been linked to contaminated yogurt.

Expired Yogurt Can Cause Diarrhoea!

The sour smell and taste that you get from eating expired yogurt are due to bacterial growth. These bacterias changes in its flavor and smell.  You may also experience abdominal pain, cramping, and diarrhoea , Hence, avoid eating yogurt after its expiration date has passed.

Expired Yogurt May Make You Feel Sick!

Probiotic bacteria are supposed to be good for your health. It help keep your stomach’s environment healthy. But they can have the opposite effect if the smell and taste of your yogurt are off.  It is because eating spoiled milk products causes an increase in gastric acid production. It may produce symptoms like nausea or a bad urge to vomit. 

Expired Yogurt Can Make Your Stomach Feel Uncomfortable!

The texture of yogurt usually changes as its expiration date passes. Because it begins to break down like any other dairy product and will often thicken or separate into liquids.  If this is the case, consuming expired yogurt may cause problems. You may experience abdominal discomfort or cramping, which will make you feel sick.

Expired Yogurt Can Harm Your Digestive System!

Expired yogurt may start to sour or curdle due to bacterial growth. This can cause stomach pain, gas bubbles, and other problems with your digestive system.  If you eat yogurt and the taste of expired yogurt is off-putting to you, then there’s probably a reason why!

Expired Yogurt Can Make You Vomit!

You don’t experience gastrointestinal problems from eating expired yogurt in general. However, there’s still a chance that the food item could make you sick.  It might contain toxins or pathogens depending on how old your yogurt is. These can cause vomiting, nausea or cramping, and other symptoms of food poisoning.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to Do If You Have Eaten Expired Yogurt?

If you are suspecting food poisoning, you should consult your doctor immediately. Although, it may be OK to eat yogurt past its expiration provided, it should not turn bad.

Can You Eat 2 Months Expired Yogurt?

If you have safely frozen the yogurt, you can consume is for up to 6 months. Hence, the expiration date is not a benchmark to decide if the yogurt is good to go! Trust your senses to understand if the yogurt is good or bad, even if you are consuming it prior to its expiration.

What Does Spoiled Yogurt Look Like?

The expired yogurt may have a formation of mold and mildew over its top or alongside. Also, there would be some foul smell coming out of the yogurt. The expired yogurt is generally curdled, thickened, and looks grainy.

How Long Can You Eat Yogurt After the Expiration Date?

Generally, yogurt is safe to eat up to two weeks past its expiration provided it has been stored appropriately. The yogurt actually indicate the ‘Best if Use Before’ or ‘Use By’ date, not an expiration date. If you find a yogurt in your fridge that has already crossed its used by date, check it before discarding. 


Yogurt Expert Sonia Uvezian was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. A renowned expert in Middle Eastern and Caucasian cooking and winner of a James Beard Award, she is the author of six other highly acclaimed cookbooks, such as Recipes and Remembrances From An Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen, Cooking from the Caucasus along with The Book of Yogurt.