buttermilk go bad

Does Buttermilk Go Bad?

You have an open bottle of buttermilk in the fridge, and you are not sure how long it has been standing there. And is it correct? Here’s how to recognize rotten buttermilk.

What Does Buttermilk Taste Like?

Buttermilk has become more prevalent in cooking. It is actually created as a by-product of butter, so it has a different texture and taste compared to milk. In general, buttermilk has a distinctive creamy, tangy, buttery and slightly acidic taste.

It is very rich in probiotics, calcium, and other valuable vitamins, so it is often advisable to include it in the diet. Although it is mostly used in cooking, there is no barrier to drinking buttermilk alone or using it for a good smoothie.

Now, buttermilk is different from milk and has a very sharp, strong smell, so it isn’t easy to judge whether it is spoiled or not. Such a smell on the milk would mean that the product is sour. So how then to decide whether buttermilk is correct or not? Here are some guidelines that can help you.

How Long Does Buttermilk Last?

Like any dairy product, buttermilk has a limited shelf life, and most often, that date will be what you need to follow. The product can be good for a few days longer if stored properly, but it will rarely happen that the buttermilk lasts significantly longer than its shelf life.

Unopened buttermilk

The date printed on the packaging is your best guide to whether the product is correct or not. If you see that a few days have passed since that date, you would rather throw everything in the trash than risk possible health problems. We also advise you to buy as fresh buttermilk as possible every time you procure supplies.

Opened buttermilk

Once you open the bottle, the clock ticks to spoilage. Of course, the rule of thumb is not to use buttermilk after the expiration date, no matter when you open it. But if the deadline is still good, it is best to use buttermilk within a week. We do not advise keeping it in the refrigerator longer than that because, as we have said, sometimes signs of spoilage are challenging to spot, and indigestion can occur due to consuming a lousy product.

Can Buttermilk Go Bad?

It is a dairy product, so it is perishable without any doubt. There are not many dairy products that last very long, and it is generally recommended that you use them fresh and consume them within a reasonably short time after opening. Here are some signs how to tell if buttermilk is bad or expired.  

Sign 1: Smell is wrong 

Buttermilk, by nature, has a tangy smell, and if it is only slightly spoiled, you will hardly notice the difference. But if the perishability has reached a high level, a strong unpleasant and sour odor will clearly indicate something is wrong. Does your buttermilk smell sour? Maybe it’s time to throw it away.

Sign 2: The appearance is not right  

Sometimes you can see that the buttermilk is spoiled just by looking at it. One of the signs may be discoloration or the appearance of lumps. Another sign may be the clear visibility of mold formed on the cap or top of the bottle.

Sign 3: Taste is unusual   

If you notice that the taste is unusual in any way, it is probably expired. You’ll find it hard to notice if you just add buttermilk when cooking, but you’ll know the difference if you usually drink it fresh.

What Is The Best Way To Store Buttermilk? 

The method of storing buttermilk is of great importance in preserving its quality and thus its durability. It can sometimes happen that the conditions are violated during transport, and the buttermilk is spoiled even before the expiration date. Here are some basic tips.

Tip 1: Keep in the fridge always

Buttermilk must always be refrigerated without exception. It is recommended that you do not keep it outside for too long, even while cooking. Take the required amount and return the rest to the refrigerator immediately.

Tip 2: Shorten the time from the store to the house   

If you buy groceries, leave them for the end of your shopping day. Do everything else first. It is not advisable to drive dairy products with you in the car for a few hours while doing chores.  

Tip 3: Everything must be clean

Do not allow dirt or other substances to get into the buttermilk. Dairy products are a suitable breeding ground for bacteria, so the presence of any foreign particles will very quickly turn into a kingdom of harmful bacteria. This means that you also have to have clean hands while opening the bottle so that no marks remain on the cap.   


How can you tell if buttermilk is bad?

A strong unpleasant odor or strange taste are signs of spoilage. In addition, you can see with the naked eye if discoloration or lumps appear and possible mold.

Is it okay to drink expired buttermilk?

No. By no means don’t use buttermilk if it is spoiled. It can seriously cause digestive problems or even food poisoning. That’s why it is better to throw away buttermilk if you are unsure if it is okay. 

Why is my buttermilk lumpy?

Lump formation and changes in texture are signs of buttermilk spoilage. Fluid sliminess may also occur. These are all sure signs that the product is not good.


Buttermilk is a very nutritionally rich product that was made as a by-product of making butter in the past. Now in industrial times, different procedures are used.

You can consume it fresh as a beverage, put it in a frappe or cook with it. It will surely be a valuable addition to your kitchen. It will be safest to stick to the expiration date written on the box when it comes to durability. Most dairy products have deadlines similar to the actual duration of the product and will not last much longer than that.

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*image by JasmineTeaPhoto/depositphotos

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