Heavy Cream Use By Date Question

Baking By Norcalhiker Updated 26 Aug 2015 , 9:30pm by Shockolata

Norcalhiker Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 9:42pm
post #1 of 11

Despite filling my hobbie/storage room with quality paint and brushes, it never painted itself.  So I'm stuck painting instead of baking.  But thinking ahead to my next baking project, I just stuck my head in the fridge and saw a gosh darn expensive bottle of organic heavy cream that is still factory sealed.  Use by date is today.  It's pasteurized.   Do you think it's safe to use in four days?  I'm going to make a dessert tray for a dinner party Saturday which will include an eclair filled with pastry cream mixed with whipped cream. One of the guests has a compromised immune system due to chemotherapy. Hate to waste a full unopened bottle of cream, but I don't want to make anyone sick, especially my dear ill friend.

10 replies
bubs1stbirthday Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 10:24pm
post #2 of 11

If something has a best before date then you may use it after that date at your own discretion, if it has a use by date you should not use it after that date. As an aunty to a little boy battling his way through chemo due to Leukaemeia at the moment I will say to you DO NOT USE THE CREAM.

Saving yourself a few dollars by putting others at risk, particularly when they are immuno supressed is a very selfish,silly and dangerous thing to do. I am sure your friend is worth more to you than the bottle of cream and I am sure that you know what the right thing to do is already.

pastrypet Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 10:40pm
post #3 of 11

The more butterfat, the longer the liquid lasts. Skim milk goes bad before whole milk, which goes bad long before cream. Your cream is perfectly okay to use, probably for another week. (I think I've done that - not on purpose, just absent-minded.)

AAtKT Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 10:57pm
post #4 of 11


Are you sure it isn't a Sell By Date?

I'm not sure where in the US you are, but Milk has a sell by date and I don't have any cream to check, but I think it is also a sell by date, not use by...

Read it to be sure... 

Sell by is not the same as use by nor is it the same as best by or expiration dates...



Norcalhiker Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 11:03pm
post #5 of 11

Bubs1stbirthday, your comment raises a valid point.  But how say something is just as important as what you say.  May I suggest you wait a few minutes before you hit the send button.  Having lost my fiancé to cancer when I was 22, and now losing my foster dad, I take deep offense to your name calling.

bubs1stbirthday Posted 26 Aug 2015 , 12:55am
post #6 of 11

There is no name calling in my post, you yourself stated that you didn't want to make your friend sick BUT that you didn't want to waste the money you spent on the cream, my opinion is that that is selfish, if you do not want to waste it you can always use some of it up yourselves over the next few days but it is potentially harmful to serve it to your friend.

To ordinary people spoiled cream may just mean a bout of the runs or nothing at all but to someone undergoing chemo with very little in the way of immune defences it could be far worse.

Sure there is a good chance that it will be fine but also a good chance that it wouldn't be ok if it is 4 days past its Use By date - even if it smells fine - and that is not a chance that I would be taking on my little nephew and not one that you should be taking on your friend.


*Last edited by bubs1stbirthday on 26 Aug 2015 , 1:08am
Dzrt-Bkr Posted 26 Aug 2015 , 12:58am
post #7 of 11

It will be just fine as it is sealed and refrigerated!  What I buy is not organic but is homogenized and pasteurized. It has no other ingredients but cream and it keeps wonderfully.

reginaherrin Posted 26 Aug 2015 , 2:35am
post #8 of 11

The "use by date" or "best before date" strictly refers to quality not safety.  It pretty much just tells you an estimated day that the product will be at its "best" meaning flavor or quality.  I just looked up how long heavy cream will last and as long as it was unopened and refrigerated it should last 2-3 weeks after the use by date.  Now I wouldn't keep/use it if it was that old but I think 4 days would be fine. 

bubs1stbirthday Posted 26 Aug 2015 , 3:01am
post #9 of 11

"Date marks give a guide to how long food can be kept before it begins to deteriorate or may become unsafe to eat.

The two types of date marking are use by dates and best before dates. The food supplier is responsible for placing a use by or best before date on food.

Foods that must be eaten before a certain time for health or safety reasons should be marked with a use by date. Foods should not be eaten after the use by date and can’t legally be sold after this date because they may pose a health or safety risk."

The above quote is taken directly from the Australia / New Zealand food standards website.

Perhaps at this point you should ask your friend if they would like you to serve the cream or would rather you replace it as it will be them who is at risk here and not all of us.

While I acknowledge that most of us would be happy to have a sniff test then eat something that is past its Use By day (myself included) I strongly disagree with serving it to anyone who has a compromised immune system as the repurcussions can be so much greater than an upset stomach.

reginaherrin Posted 26 Aug 2015 , 3:19am
post #10 of 11

Not sure where she is but here in the United States, besides infant formula product dating is not generally required by Federal law. "Use-by" dates usually refer to best quality and are not safety dates. Even if the date expires during home storage, a product should be safe, wholesome and of good quality if handled properly. A "Sell-By" date tells the store how long to display the product for sale. You should buy the product before the date expires.A "Best if Used By (or Before)" date is recommended for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.A "Use-By" date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. The date has been determined by the manufacturer of the product."Closed or coded dates" are packing numbers for use by the manufacturer.This is all copied from the USDA's website. I have no idea about other countries food standards and was just stating USA standards so sorry for not making that clear.


Shockolata Posted 26 Aug 2015 , 9:30pm
post #11 of 11

Half whip the cream and freeze it, then you can defrost it in the fridge the night before you want to use but you must stress to the people they cannot freeze the cake or eat it the next day. 


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