A sour, tarty, and creamy goodness usually served in a small cup, Greek yogurt is processed by straining and draining out the whey in regular yogurt. As a result, the yogurt becomes thicker, less moist, and with a creamier consistency.
Greek yogurt is used for salads, dressings, marinades for meat or fish-based recipes, substituted for sour cream in dollops and dips, and added to soups and pasta in place of heavy cream. It is a highly versatile ingredient used for virtually any cuisine you can think of including marinades and dressing fruit kabobs with yogurt, and making cottage cheese taste better.
So, you might be thinking, how long can greek yogurt sit out? Greek yogurt should not be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours at 40°F or not more than 1 hour if the temperature is higher than 90°F or else bacteria will start to proliferate.
How Long Can Greek Yogurt Sit Out?
The golden rule that you should strictly follow and remember states that greek yogurt left out at room temperature at 40°F for more than 2 hours should be discarded. If the temperature is at 90°F or more, toss it out after an hour goes by.
Coincidentally, the same rule applies to milk since they’re both dairy-based products. Make sure you follow this simple rule or else you’ll risk having bacteria and other harmful microorganisms grow on your greek yogurt.
How Can You Tell if Greek Yogurt is Bad?
Let’s assume that you forgot the rule for greek yogurt or that your family members or friends have no idea how long should greek yogurt be sitting in your kitchen pantry by mistake – or maybe someone has just let it sit out unrefridgerated.To avoid the worst-case scenario, you must be aware of the telltale signs that your greek yogurt has gone bad.
Pro tip: check the expiry date. It’s the first thing you have to do before knowing when the greek yogurt is still edible or not.
Here are the signs:
1. Horrible Smell
The first and proven test you gotta put your greek yogurt though if it’s not past its expiry date is if it smells suspicious so it’s best if you take a sniff. Spoiled greek yogurt will have a rancid smell similar to that of spoiled milk.
However, the smell can also fool you as greek yogurt that’s only starting to spoil won’t necessarily smell bad. Scientifically, it would still be edible but you shouldn’t take the risk: immediately discard it.
2. Appearance Of Molds
If you’re unsure about its smell, use your sense of sight next. Be on the lookout for the emergence of molds or brown or green flecks on the surface of the greek yogurt, then chances are it’s already spoiled and unfit for consumption.
No matter what size the molds or spots are, as long as they’re visible, you should throw the entire yogurt away. Never scoop the mold or else you’ll risk getting contaminated.
Go ahead and give the greek yogurt a whirl. The product will start to coagulate and form lumps, resulting in a cottage cheese-like appearance and consistency. It can also become more liquidy than usual (since some water on top of the yogurt is normal) which is a major sign of spoilage.
Greek yogurt should have a smooth and creamy consistency and if it doesn’t have these characteristics, in the garbage bin your yogurt goes.
4. Left Open For Hours
Even if the greek yogurt passes all the tests mentioned above but has been around in your kitchen pantry for more than 2 hours, don’t even think twice about throwing it all away.
What Happens When You Eat Spoiled Greek Yogurt?
If the greek yogurt is unopened and is past its expiry you are like to get an upset stomach. However, if it’s an opened container, then you’ll either have stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, or all three just a few minutes or hours after ingesting the yogurt.
Your symptoms will be more severe if you eat spoiled unpasteurized greek yogurt because it has a lot of bad microorganisms such as salmonella, listeria, E.coli, and campylobacter. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids to combat potential dehydration.
When you’ve eaten spoiled greek yogurt and are beginning to feel the symptoms of dehydration that is attributed to foodborne illness, seek immediate medical attention.
If in Doubt Put in In the Trash
How To Store Greek Yogurt In The Fridge?
Unopened greek yogurt should be stored after purchasing in the refrigerator. If it’s opened and left for less than 2 hours at room temperature, put it inside the fridge immediately. Shelf life: consume within the next 3 days but it can last for 5 to 7 days.
How To Store Greek Yogurt In The Freezer?
If the greek yogurt is unopened, just place it into the freezer directly. However, if it’s opened, scoop the remaining yogurt out of its package and place inside an airtight container before putting it in the freezer. You can also opt to put it in an ice cube tray. Shelf life: 1 to 2 months.
How To Defrost Greek Yogurt?
Simply take it out of the freezer then transfer to the refrigerator and leave it overnight. If you choose to store it in the refrigerator directly, then you can just consume it right away. Avoid letting it sit at room temperature for too long because it will cause spoilage.