Do I dare use yogurt that's 10 days past it's expiration date in an olive-oil cake?

I have an unopened container of Fage 2%.

  • Posted by: mwb
  • April 26, 2012


babytiger December 18, 2012
Most people here can tell you that it is probably safe, but no one can say for sure. As I don't generally bake a cake that only I would eat, I am not about to take the chance that someone else may get sick from it.
ChefOno August 28, 2012


The three brands currently in my refrigerator state "Best by" and "Enjoy by". If yours says "Sell by", that's fine too, but the important fact is the date is not an expiration date.

From the USDA:

Product dating is not generally required by Federal regulations. If a calendar date is shown, immediately adjacent to the date must be a phrase explaining the meaning of that date such as "sell-by" or "use before." Even if the date expires during home storage, a product should be safe, wholesome and of good quality if handled properly and kept at 40 °F or below.

Full text here:

jamcook August 28, 2012
I too have found that Fage goes off a little sooner. it tends to look kind of Curdled, and tastes funny..(yes I've tasted it and I'm still here!) , but if that's the case ,I wouldn't use it..or take a bigger taste. 10 days doesn't seem too bad to me.. But my son would take a look in my fridge, scold me, and pitch it!
jamcook August 28, 2012
I too have found that Fage goes off a little sooner. it tends to look kind of Curdled, and tastes funny..(yes I've tasted it and I'm still here!) , but if that's the case ,I wouldn't use it..or take a bigger taste. 10 days doesn't seem too bad to me.. But my son would take a look in my fridge, scold me, and pitch it!
Linn April 28, 2012
ChefUno is correct about the "best before" date. Think of it this way, this is the date before which the manufacturer can be reasonable sure no mischief will occur. Most of us have robust guts and can handle a little mischief. Is it safe? Perhaps not 100% and many will decide to follow the dictum in food service "When in Doubt Throw it Out." If you are serving the cake or the yogurt to someone who may be compromised, better be on the safe side. For the rest of us, isn't is lovely, we still have a choice.
littlechef14 April 27, 2012
If it doesn't smell too bad its most likely fine. if it has any mold on it then its another story.
if the seal isn't broken you can poor off the whey and it probably can be used in cooking.
ChefOno April 27, 2012

I absolutely agree with you in principal and actually you're considerably understating the possible consequences of making a bad decision. "When in doubt, throw it out!" should always be everyone's first thought when it comes to food safety.

With that in mind, I hesitate to continue since that point really stands on its own. It's just that in this particular case there are extenuating circumstances and I believe that with an understanding of the science involved, we can all make better decisions.

One point that has yet to be mentioned is that the pasteurization point will be reached during baking so, just like with eggs in the batter, the cake would be perfectly safe in any case.

bigpan April 27, 2012
Although Ono is correct about the best-before date logic, I am continually amazed at how many people will risk spending a few hours in the bathroom in order to save 79 cents.
LeBec F. April 27, 2012
Funny, i seem to always see those that 'cook by the book'. Risk-aversity dominates.But hopefully, as chefs get older and more experienced, and read more of 52 ! they get more comfie with risk and bending the expiration date.
susan G. April 26, 2012
"Fresher better"? Not for yogurt. That would apply to the milk that was used to make it, and when yogurt is made the milk is scalded first to incapacitate bacteria that would turn it 'off.' Some of think the adage, 'I'm not getting older; I'm getting better' isn't too far off in the case of yogurt. Oh, not exactly, but apply the considerations others have given and it'll be fine in cake or for breakfast.
calendargirl April 26, 2012
Yogurt has a really long shelf life, especially an unopened container. Chef Ono et al are right, your cake should be fine if there is no off odor or mold.
gege 1. April 26, 2012
Wrong. Sorry. Don't do it. Cake is only as good as the ingredients. Fresher better.
ATG117 April 26, 2012
I've also eaten yogurt past its expiration date. I thought I'd be the only one. That said, I think fage spoils more quickly than some other yogurts. When it does, it will be noticeable because the texture will change. If texture and smell are fine, go ahead.

Voted the Best Reply!

ChefOno April 26, 2012

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but the date on yogurt isn't an expiration date but a "best before" date. Not only is yogurt a high acid product, it's loaded with healthful bacteria which tend to monopolize the environment. If you notice a strange smell or color (pink, blue, green) dump it quick. Otherwise it should be good for several weeks past the date stamped on the container. As with sour cream, whey separation isn't an issue, pour it off or mix it in, your choice.
LeBec F. April 27, 2012
chefono, if you ever needed to support yourself via a different path,i think "Ask ChefOno" would be the perfect vehicle. Your answers are always so clear and concise and the reasoning so well explained. You know, for most people, knowing the answer and being able to articulate it in a user-friendly way- are two very different things!
I wish the Hotline questions would all have the info "last answered by soandso on suchandsuchadate". One of the reasons I wish this -is because if i saw your name there, i could , depending upon the question, a) skip answering that question because I would know you had already done your usual stellar job, or b) click on that question because i would learn so much from your answer.
your constant admirer :-}
ChefOno April 27, 2012

Mindy, thank you for your kind words. One of the key benefits of this kind of forum is that a group discussion is better at exploring questions in depth than any individual. This thread is a good example. A number of excellent points have been brought up along the way in addition to what I thought to say. I'd hate to monopolize a conversation or appear to think I know it all. I learn new things every day and I'd be disappointed if I didn't. Please don't ever hesitate to join in -- especially if you disagree with me. I'll either learn something or have a chance to clarify what I attempted to convey.

Kris,Ariel August 28, 2012
No it is a "sell by" date for the stores to take it off their shelves not a "best before" date.
ChefOno August 28, 2012

Response below (where I can make use of paragraphs).

Beepa December 17, 2012
I came to this site because - guess what - I have yogurt that is a few days over the date stamped on the carton. I've read all the entries and though I should weigh in with the fact that all Fage containers say "Use By" with the date they stamp on them.
hardlikearmour April 26, 2012
I've eaten yogurt months after its expiration date. IMO if it's not moldy and has a normal consistency it's good to eat/use.
AndyFL April 26, 2012
Same here! Yogurt lasts a looong time in the fridge.
mwb April 26, 2012
ITS expiration date: so much for auto-correct.
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