Throw Your Yogurt Away Immediately If You Notice This

If you're someone who can tolerate dairy, yogurt can be a healthy and nutritious part of your daily diet. It's packed with calcium for stronger bones, probiotics for better digestive health, and protein for strength and satiation (via Healthline). Whether you prefer regular yogurt, Greek yogurt, or even a non-dairy alternative like coconut milk or almond milk yogurt, there are plenty of ways to enjoy it. You can eat it plain, sprinkle some fruit and granola on top to make it a parfait, or blend it into a delicious smoothie.

However, like most dairy products, yogurt has a fairly short shelf life. And eating spoiled yogurt will wreak a lot more havoc on your gut than accidentally eating a stale pretzel. While the expiration date is printed on the outside of each yogurt container, can you really trust that? Here's how to tell if your yogurt has gone bad, and when you should toss it in the trash.

Check the consistency and smell first

The expiration date is one way to check if your yogurt is still safe to eat, but you should also check a few other things, namely the texture of the yogurt and its odor. Still Tasty explains that spoiled yogurt will either have a watery and runny liquid on the top when you open the container and/or a lumpy, chunky consistency (yuck!). It might look like cottage cheese or curdled milk. And as for the odor, if your yogurt smells sour at all, it's best to toss it instead of eating it. Additionally, if you see any mold of any color on the yogurt, that's another sure sign that your yogurt is expired (via Spoon University).

So how long does yogurt last? According to the USDA, yogurt should last in the refrigerator for a week or two. Note that U.S. Dairy says that any yogurt that has added fruit — like the popular fruit-on-the-bottom varieties — will likely have a shorter shelf life.