I noticed that a container of tzadziki yogurt dip, purchased a couple days ago from Trader Joe's and kept refrigerated and unopened, had developed a suspiciously bulging shape. I took off the lid, and indeed the plastic shrink-wrap beneath was bulging up like the whole thing was about to explode. I am a paranoid American, so I put it in the trash can under the sink.

About ten minutes later, I heard a small explosion. A check of the trash can revealed that indeed, it had exploded!

1. This sort of thing only ever happens to me, right? Or does it???

2. Should I alert Trader Joe's? Or check my refrigerator (it seems fine - at least, nothing else has rotted and/or exploded)?

3. WTF happened? Gases produced by decomposing yogurt? Could this phenomenon be harnessed as a cheap energy source?

4. If I was a Heinlein hero, it would take me ten minutes of math to answer question 3. Probably "no."
jonquil: (Default)

From: [personal profile] jonquil

Depending on how often you go to Trader Joe's, you can certainly take it back for a refund. The other questions must remain enigmas, at least to me.
tigerflower: (Default)

From: [personal profile] tigerflower

You know gases expand with heat, right? So as the gas expanded at room temperature....

It's nothing to worry about. I've had this happen before. In my actual fridge, even. There is nothing like scraping dried exploded beet kimchi off the inside of your fridge, it's like scraping dried exploded entrails, in both color and smell.
emgeetrek: (Default)

From: [personal profile] emgeetrek

Had it happen once with two Stonyfield Farm peach yogurt smoothies. As I unscrewed the cap on the first (suspiciously bulging on the bottom) bottle, there was a sudden explosive decompression that ripped the foil seal right off the bottle top.

You'd think I would have learned my lesson, but no. Tried the same thing with the second (also bulging, though not as much) bottle, with similar results.

Everything I was wearing had to go into the wash, and I was scrubbing yogurt smoothie off my kitchen cabinets, sink fixtures, over-the-sink window, etc., for weeks.

I called the company, and they said it was most likely the result of improper storage (too warm, probably) at some point in the supply chain, which had allowed for continuing fermentation of contents and resulting gas buildup. And then they sent me a handful of coupons for free product.
zeborah: Zebra with mop and text: Clean all the things! (housework)

From: [personal profile] zeborah

If you leave half a bottle of milk too long in the fridge it too will expand. I've always thrown it out before discovering whether or not it eventually explodes though.
ext_1310: (duct tape makes you smart)

From: [identity profile] musesfool.livejournal.com

I've had trouble recently with dairy products going bad before they're supposed to - last night, I bought some fresh mozzarella with a sell-by date of 8/28, but it had already gone off when I opened it up and tasted it. And last week I opened a quart of milk that I'd just bought and it was already turned, three days prior to its NYC expiry date (which is, like, five days earlier than the rest of the state).

Nothing's ever exploded, though.

From: [identity profile] coraa.livejournal.com

Sometimes products with active live cultures will produce a little gas, but I've never seen one explode, especially not something fairly fresh. o.O

From: [identity profile] tool-of-satan.livejournal.com

1. None of my food has ever exploded.

2. Googling "exploding yogurt" (which I did with no little trepidation) produces this:


Assuming the answer given is correct, the yogurt spent too much time at too high a temperature at some point. If you didn't leave it out it is possible that Trader Joe's dairy case is not as cold as it should be, or something, so I would definitely mention it to them.

3. See #2.

From: [identity profile] vom-marlowe.livejournal.com


No! It has never exploded on me. Only you, my dear. Only you!!

From: [identity profile] mercwriter.livejournal.com


Is it wrong I'm kinda envious of your exploding food? (In a sort of 'man, that would be a story to tell people at work!' way, I mean.)

(The only thing that's ever exploded is soda cans. But at least I know WHY they do that...)

From: [identity profile] jinian.livejournal.com

Odwalla juices will totally explode, but for yogurt it seems a bit excessive.
ext_3319: Goth girl outfit (Bandanagirl - Vampire Red)

From: [identity profile] rikibeth.livejournal.com

While it was probably safest to throw it out, it was mainly a sign of live active cultures being live and active -- they ferment, they give off CO2, they produce tangy lactic acid in the yogurt, the CO2 builds up under the seal and blammo! Be glad it was not a glass bottle full of mead exploding, glass shards are not your friends.

Again, the most likely reason for it to have done that is "it got too warm," because under refrigeration, those live active cultures are fairly dormant. And other bad things can happen to dairy foods when they get too warm besides harmless fermentation, so, yeah, throw it out.

But the asplodey? Not actually harmful to anything but your garbage can!

From: [identity profile] miz-hatbox.livejournal.com

Tzatziki often has cucumber shreds in it, which have a much shorter shelf life than the yogurt. I'm guessing they fermented in your yogurt until Boom.

Definitely tell TJs in case it's their fridge...or the refrigerated truck's problem, in which case they should expect a lot of that too.

But ask for a refund. Doesn't TJs have a "We tried it, we liked it. If you don't like it, bring it back" sign, usually posted in some prominent spot?

From: [identity profile] spectralbovine.livejournal.com

Definitely tell Trader Joe's, and they will give you non-exploding yogurt for free if you want. One time I bought some ground turkey, which I had been buying from them for years, and I had some of it either before or not too long after the sell-by date (which has never been a problem), but it tasted really funny. I told someone at the store while I was picking up some more ground turkey, and she told me that was weird and to tell the cashier not to charge me for that ground turkey I was buying. (I hadn't even asked, and I wasn't expecting it.)

I've also bought cereal, tried it once or twice and decided that I really didn't want it, and brought it back for a full refund. I'm really confused at how easy it is.

From: [identity profile] miz-hatbox.livejournal.com

I am always a little flummoxed by good customer service (which probably reveals that I grew up in an area where customer service could be lax to the point of hostile) but I make a point of returning to places that do customer service really well...

From: [identity profile] telophase.livejournal.com

I once had a bottle of ketchup explode all over me in the school cafeteria shortly before I had to teach a class. Well, for values of "explode" that mean "I twisted the cap and it parted violently from the bottle and ketchup spewed all over me."

From: [identity profile] slithytove.livejournal.com

If I was a Heinlein hero, it would take me ten minutes of math to answer question 3.

If you were a Heinlein hero, you could power a space ship with that yoghurt, AND kill the Communist hegemonists who were pursuing you, AND use it as a sexual lubricant with your honey, AND raise the twelve resulting adorable red-headed kids on a strange planet, fighting off constant attacks by wild beasts, savages, and lingering Communists. Still using the yoghurt.

In other news, yes, I would have thrown it out, too. I have never had a container of yoghurt do that to me, and I wouldn't trust it.

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