At the time of purchase, when choosing foods, it is very important to check the expiration date. It may happen that the dates are not always accurate and that the product shows deterioration even before the deadline. But can you eat expired yogurt?
The acid pH of yogurt prevents the proliferation of disease-causing pathogens. This feature differentiates it from other dairy products, even if made with pasteurized milk. In this case, eating an expired yogurt would not present the threat of intoxication. However, there may be elements that, at first sight, show signs of decomposition.
The expiration date check
On the packaging labels are printed dates with the words: “to be consumed preferably by …”. Nutrition specialists ensure that safety margins are quite wide. In reality, these margins are more convenient for food companies than for the final consumer.
The right to consume safe food also applies to yogurt. It should be noted that the beneficial action of probiotics changes with the passing of days. If the expiry date is too early, the beneficial effects related to its consumption will decrease.
How is it done and what are the properties of yogurt?
Yogurt is the result of bacterial fermentation of milk. In the preparation, two bacteria cultures are used: Lactobacillus and Streptococcus thermophilus.
Both create lactic acid from milk proteins.
During the preparation of yogurt, the cooking of the milk reaches about 85 °, in this way the curdling is avoided and its proteins are preserved. Once this temperature is reached, bacterial cultures are added and the milk is kept at 45 ° for six or seven hours. This is how yogurt fermentation takes place.
This process makes yogurt a food rich in proteins and healthy fatty acids. Being a dairy product, it also has essential minerals such as calcium.
How to recognize if the yogurt has expired?
The risk of eating an expired yogurt can be high or low, but there are situations in which the poor state of preservation is evident. When you find these conditions, you have a sufficient reason to throw it away.
For example, even if it is within the limits of the expiration date, a yogurt can decompose if it is exposed to high temperatures.
After the expiration date, the yogurt starts to deteriorate and change its properties. A slight change in aroma or consistency provides clues to its deterioration.
Factors that indicate a poor state of preservation of yogurt
There are three indicators to which you must be careful to avoid eating an expired yogurt or in bad storage conditions. First of all, regardless of the expiration date, the most frequent problem concerns packaging (applies to both yogurt and milk ).
We advise you never to consume dairy products whose packaging is open, broken, perforated or with anomalies. These are all important indications of possible product contamination.
As for yogurt, it is not advisable to consume the product if, when opening the container, an excessive amount of liquid is observed. Furthermore, if there are any lumps or the consistency presents “cracks”, there is a very high probability that the product is in the decomposition phase.
Another clue to ascertain yogurt storage conditions is the presence of an unusually acidic flavor. When faced with the three cases listed, the risk of consuming an expired or misplaced yogurt is very high. Many people do not pay attention to the expiration date, in fact, its function is precisely to protect consumers. So be very careful and do not forget to always check it to avoid unpleasant surprises.
What to do if an expired yogurt is consumed?
If little time has passed since the expiry date, usually, there is no great risk. You may feel a heavy feeling in your stomach, but this would indicate that the yogurt was not decomposed. If it should have expired, the most frequent symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and strong abdominal fields. If the necessary measures to detoxify the body are not taken, these symptoms could get worse. In this case, we advise you to consult a doctor as soon as possible.