Mold on the lid of my still "within code" sour cream-safe to use the rest?

No visible mold on the contents of the container at all, just green fuzz on the stuff inside the lid. Well within code date. Use or not?

You should almost always ignore the date printed on the container, in both directions. If it’s spoiled, it’s spoiled, and if it’s not, it’s not, no matter what the printed date says.

And “has mold growing in it” is one of the classic cases of “it’s spoiled”. For something like a block of solid cheese, you might be able to cut away the affected portion and use the rest, but for something basically liquid like sour cream, if any of it is contaminated, it all is.

As an aside, the only times I’ve ever seen sour cream get moldy is if it’s contaminated with some other foodstuff, like salsa. Keep the foods in your fridge from getting mixed, and they’ll last longer.

I’ve seen it fairly often (we don’t go through it quickly enough) - but oddly, it happens more with certain brands than with others.

And yeah, DGH, pitch it.

If I was at the end of a recipe and it was either use that sour cream or burn a half-hour going to the store for more, I 'd use it. If I didn’t need sour cream right away I’d toss it and get new sour cream on my next trip.

In that case, I would hunt through my fridge for something else I could substitute for the sour cream. Milk and vinegar, maybe? Or vegetable dip? Or maybe just leave it out? And if I couldn’t find any substitute, I’d suck it up and go off to the store.

I’m with Chronos. I’m usually of the “quit worrying, it’ll be fine” school, even after earning a BS in microbiology, but actively growing mold + runny, liquid foodstuff = Bad News. Don’t risk it.

But the OP said there was nothing in the actual contents. So mold is not actually “growing in it.”

If it’s visibly growing on the lid, spores have made it into the main body and are growing, even if it’s not yet visible down there. Again, if it were solid, you could cut off the affected area (and a biggish chunk around it), but with something as liquid as sour cream, it’ll be everywhere.

Given that aflatoxins are some of the most potent carcinogens yet discovered, and that sour cream costs a couple of bucks, max, just toss it out.

Never mind about the cancer. Moldy sour cream will take your relationship with your toilet to a whole new level.

I was going to say, “taste it” but all of these comments are scaring me.

That’s the one. I worked with someone who ate some Greek yogurt because the mold was “just on the lid, not in the yogurt”. He apparently spent the weekend on the toilet, with the entire contents of his gullet streaming out with great fanfare.

His wife and daughters were less than pleased, having to deal with the effluvia and sound effects.

So, don’t do that. And if you do, anyway, at least don’t tell your co-workers about the results. Because you won’t be living that down, either.