Keep Or Toss? What To Do With The Foil Seal On Your Yogurt

Being an adult is bound to bring up a unique set of challenges and discussions that you may not have considered before, like how many dirty dishes is too many, and what should one do with the foil seal on yogurt? Unless you make your own yogurt, it's likely you've wondered the same thing. As Reddit user jc-t95 said about the controversial question, "I need some science. Seems to me that topic ruined some marriages and started some wars." So without further adieu, here's some science. 

The foil seal serves two main purposes. For one thing, it keeps the yogurt fresh during transport by sealing out the oxygen that's removed before packaging which can cause the yogurt to spoil. The foil also keeps out harmful bacteria and other foreign substances that could potentially make you sick. Of course, once you open the foil even a little bit, oxygen and microbes are able to flood in, and you won't be able to reseal it. For that reason, the International Dairy Foods Association's vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards, John Allan, told America's Test Kitchen, "Once the product is opened, the foil can be completely removed and discarded."

Throw away the seal to avoid potential contamination

This information may come as a blow to foil seal supporters, but another reason to remove the seal completely is that it can potentially harvest bacteria since it is constantly being touched. While the foil seal is great for ensuring your yogurt arrives to your fridge germ-free, it becomes useless once it has been broken, so there's no point in keeping it. The same goes for that waxy piece of paper that sometimes sits on the actual yogurt. In her interview with America's Test Kitchen, Cornell Dairy Foods Extension's Dairy Certificate Program director Kimberly Bukowski said, "The paper seal under the foil lid is used to keep the surface dry in storage because yogurt does have a tendency to whey off over time." Whey is the liquid that sometimes separates from yogurt, and it can easily be mixed back in, so you can toss the paper liner along with the foil once you've opened the container.

You can fully remove the foil lid of any dairy product that includes it. In fact, Daisy Brand says on their FAQ page that to ensure maximum freshness, you should fully remove the seals from containers of cottage cheese, sour cream, and the like. So, the next time you open up a fresh tub of yogurt to make a refreshing mango lassi or a simple midday snack, throw away the foil seal before you dig in.