Why Does Sour Cream Turn Red?

Sometimes, you can open the can of your sour cream and notice some strands of red stokes on it, and you wonder what caused it and whether the sour cream is still edible to be taken.

Let’s look at why sour cream turns red and how it can be preserved.

Why Does Sour Cream Turn Red?

Sour cream is a perishable dairy product made by fermenting regular cream with lactic acid bacteria. The bacterial culture is responsible for thickening the cream and making it soar. For it to last long, you can decide to add preservatives to it, such as locust bean gum, calcium sulfate, potassium sorbate, or sodium phosphate.

Soar cream can go bad if not stored in appropriate conditions. The edible color of sour cream is white. When harmful bacteria and fungi attack the sour cream or grow in it due to a prolonged stay, it may turn red or other colors like pink or brown. This shows that the cream is longer edible. At this point, it is advised you dispose of it, as taking it can make you sick or result in food poisoning. Bacteria like Leuconostoc citrovorum and Streptococcus lactis that allow you to make your spur crema keep flourishing in this condition can make you very sick with symptoms like diarrhea, fever, nausea, vomiting, and fever.

To prevent your cream from growing bad, you must know how to preserve it correctly and how long it stays so that you can consume it within the time range.

How Long Does Sour Cream Last

When the sour cream is outside the fridge, you must consume it within three to seven days. If it is opened, it has to be consumed within 24 hours.

If it is kept in the fridge, it can stay edible for 2 to 4 weeks when it is unopened. If it is opened, it will last 10 to 14 days. For a reduced fat sour cream, it will last for 1 to 2 weeks if it remains open. Unopened sour cream often lasts about 14 days after the expiry date. However, you should understand that this is no fixed rule, as many other factors can influence the edibility of sour cream. Factors like the type of preservatives used, the type of ingredient used for the production, the nature of processing and pasteurization used, the packaging type, the type of container used, and the level of heat exposure can influence how long the cream can stay.

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Apart from the sour cream turning red, there are other factors you need to look out for to checkmate whether the cream has gone bad or not.

How to Know If the Sour Cream Has Gone Bad

Apart from the color turning into red, pink, brown, yellow, or basically anything apart from white, below are other tips to know that sour cream has turn bad and inedible.

  1. Smell: An edible sour cream has a sour aroma, and when the smell becomes sharp, rotten, or stinky, it is a sure sign that bacteria are growing inside it and the cream is getting bad.
  2. Texture: It is not usual for your sour cream to get watery at the top. It could just be a separation of liquid, but when you begin to notice lumps inside it, you should quickly dispose of it.
  3. Mold: Once dark or bright mold starts appearing inside the sour cream surface or mold, it means that the cream has gone totally bad, and you can’t save it at this stage.
  4. Taste: An edible sour cream is to taste sour. When it begins to taste too sour, bitter, off sour or sharp, discard it, even if it looks all fine.

How to Preserve Your Sour Cream?

  1. Fridge

Keeping the sour cream in the refrigerator is one of the best ways to preserve it. When placing the sour cream in the fridge, it is advised to keep it on the bottom shelves or where the temperature is constant at 40 F (4.5 C). don’t keep at the refrigerator handle, where the temperature fluctuates, which can make it go bad quicker. However, once the cream gets thawed, the cream may not taste or look the same again. This may even affect its texture.

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You have to be cautious of its packaging while keeping it in the refrigerator, and you can try out packaging such as:

  • Utensils – Storing the sour cream in clean utensils helps to preserve it better. This give allows you to open the cream and consume it gradually. When doing so, ensure the cutlery you are using is clean so that the cream doesn’t get spoilt due to cross-contamination from dirty cutlery.
  • Airtight container – Once you open the cream, I will recommend you use an airtight container to store the cream. Using an airtight container will help you maintain the tasty and healthy nature of the cream for ten days.
  • Aluminum foil – Another effective way to store soar cream is aluminum foil. Cover the packaging with aluminum foil and use a rubber band to cover it. This helps to prevent air or contaminants from getting into the cream. However, this way isn’t as effective as using airtight containers.
  1. Pantry

The pantry is another storage space for sour cream. However, I don’t recommend this because you cannot guarantee or ascertain how long the cream will remain edible. This should be used to save your cream for a brief period.

  1. Freezer

If you plan to use sour cream to prepare dishes, I will recommend you go with the freezing option. You don’t necessarily have to use an airtight container or utensil. You can go with a smaller packaging, such as an ice tray. It will freeze in the ray, and you can add the frozen cream to your dishes. You don’t have to defrost it. However, if your purchase your sour cream to consume it daily, this method isn’t practical. This is because you will have to defrost it to consume it, changing the taste and cream.

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Like other dairy products, sour cream is perishable and should be stored appropriately. When you notice patches or red strokes on the cream, you should quickly discard such cream, as it is not edible at all. Remember that the color of an edible sour cream is white. While purchasing sour cream, go for healthy and quality ones. Avoid cheap ones, as they can get spoilt easily.

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