How to tell if buttermilk is bad? There are several telltale signs that your buttermilk has gone bad. The first of them is the appearance of the buttermilk.
Bad buttermilk will look lightly discolored. The second telltale sign that buttermilk has gone bad is its smell. If it smells sour, you shouldn’t drink it.
Buttermilk is a liquid left after churning butter. It is basically a fermented dairy product that has a slightly tangy taste. It is also thicker than regular milk.
Buttermilk is usually used in baking and not for much else. That makes it highly likely that any leftover buttermilk will sit in your fridge for too long until it spoils.
Apart from its smell and appearance, there are a few telltale signs of spoiled buttermilk that we didn’t mention. We will go over all those signs and teach you how to spot them, so keep reading and learn more!
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How To Tell If Buttermilk Is Bad?
Buttermilk is rich in lactic acid, which is hostile to harmful bacteria growth, and in turn, helps buttermilk stay fresh for up to three weeks. However, it can be hard to keep track of when exactly you opened buttermilk, but here are some signs that it has gone bad and you should throw it away:
- It smells sour – Any strong sour odor is a good indicator that your buttermilk has gone bad, and you should throw it away. It is normal for buttermilk to have a tangy and buttery smell, but it shouldn’t be an unpleasant smell.
- It looks weird – Once it spoils, buttermilk will have slight discoloration, and you might even notice mold on the surface. Don’t keep this buttermilk sitting in your fridge any longer, and throw it away.
- It tastes sour – Fresh buttermilk has a buttery flavor, with a hint of tangy flavor. If it has a sour taste instead of a buttery taste, you shouldn’t use it. Sour buttermilk is full of harmful bacteria and can cause food poisoning when ingested.
- Chunky texture – Is buttermilk supposed to be chunky? When your buttermilk starts going bad, it will develop a thick, chunky texture, with clumps that make it impossible to pour.
- Expiration date – If the buttermilk sitting in your fridge is several days or more past its expiration date, you should throw it away. And, even if it is within its expiry date, but you noticed some other signs of spoiling, you should still throw it away and avoid getting some foodborne illness.
How To Tell If Unopened Buttermilk Is Bad?
If you still haven’t opened the buttermilk, and you have stored it in the fridge since you bought it, look at the expiration date. If it is past its expiration date for a week or longer, you should throw it away.
You can also open it and check for any changes in taste, smell, texture, and appearance. If you notice any issues described in the previous section, you will not it has gone bad.
How To Tell If Homemade Buttermilk Is Bad?
If you want to make homemade buttermilk, keep in mind that you should store it in an airtight container and in the fridge. This way, it can last two weeks before it starts going bad.
Homemade buttermilk spoils a bit faster than the store-bought one. However, once it starts spoiling, it will have the same signs: sour smell, sour taste, chunky texture, and mold on its surface.
How To Know If Powdered Buttermilk Is Bad?
Powdered buttermilk is great for those who don’t want their buttermilk going bad only a few weeks after opening. Buttermilk powder has a much longer shelf life, and once opened, it can last you 6-12 months when kept in the fridge. If you keep powdered buttermilk unopened and in its original package, it can last 3-5 years in the ridge.
However, buttermilk powder can still go bad, and there are a few signs of bad powdered buttermilk. If it has a yellow coloration and a bad smell, it has gone bad.
Also, if you notice any moisture entering the package, bacteria and mold can easily develop and contaminate powdered buttermilk. And, don’t forget to check the expiration date and don’t use expired buttermilk.
How To Tell If Cultured Buttermilk Is Spoiled?
Cultured buttermilk is made with harmless lactic acid bacteria. Once opened, buttermilk continues fermenting, and after some time, it goes bad.
The signs of cultured buttermilk going bad are the same as with the traditional buttermilk. Discoloration and mold, sour smell and flavor, and weird texture will help you tell if buttermilk has gone bad.
Can Spoiled Buttermilk Make You Sick?
Spoiled buttermilk is full of bacteria, and drinking bacteria-ridden buttermilk is bad for your health. It is not worth risking getting a foodborne illness or food poisoning.
What Does Buttermilk Smell Like When It Goes Bad?
Buttermilk has naturally a slightly tangier smell than regular milk. But if you notice a pungent, sour smell, there is no doubt that your buttermilk has gone bad.
Can You Use Expired Buttermilk?
If you wonder how long does buttermilk last after its expiration date, always check if expired buttermilk shows any other signs of going bad. If its texture, smell, taste, and appearance are ok, you can use it for a few days after the expiration date, but no longer than a week.
Also, there is a difference between the expiration date and the sell-by date. The sell-by date is the last date by which a store should sell that buttermilk, and you usually have several more days before the expiration date, during which you can freely use that buttermilk.
Does Buttermilk Go Bad In The Fridge?
You should always store buttermilk in the fridge no matter if you opened it yet or not. However, even in the fridge, the buttermilk will go bad eventually, and you will have to get rid of it once you notice the sour smell, flavor, or weird texture/appearance.
You can extend the shelf life of buttermilk by placing it in the freezer. Freezing buttermilk is simple, pour the buttermilk into a freezer bag or ice cube tray, and place it into the freezer. Frozen buttermilk can last up to three months.
When you freeze buttermilk, it will expand a little bit. Thawed buttermilk will not be the same as fresh buttermilk, but you can still use it in recipes for cooking and baking.
Now you know how to tell if buttermilk is bad. A few signs that your buttermilk is no longer safe for your consumption are: sour smell, sour flavor, mold and discoloration, and a clumpy texture.
Also, keep an eye on the expiry date because you shouldn’t use expired buttermilk, especially if it shows other signs of going bad.
Always keep buttermilk in the fridge, and if you want to prolong its shelf life, you can freeze buttermilk and store it in the freezer for the next three months. Frozen buttermilk is not as good as fresh buttermilk once thawed, but you can still use it in baking or cooking recipes.
Finally, you can find this dairy product in a powdered form, which is more stable and has a very long shelf life, up to 5 years, when unopened and stored in the fridge.