How Long Does Milk Last – Is Expired Milk Safe To Eat & Here’s How To Know If It Is Expired?

How Long Does Milk Last: If you ever bought more bottles of milk from the supermarket and forgot about it in storage you might be wondering How Long Does Milk Last then you have come the right way. This article covers everything related to it such as Types of Milk, Can You Freeze Milk to extend the shelf life, etc. You will also get acquainted with ways to make your milk last longer, signs of spoilage in the further modules. Without any further delay let’s get started.

How Long Does Milk Last

Shelf Life of Milk – How Long Does Milk Last?

Unopened Shelf Stable UHT Milk will last for about weeks even after the expiration date. However, the Pasteurized Milk will stay for 10 days after opening. Non-UHT Milk lasts about 5-7 days after the regular expiry date and even 7-10 days after opening. To better understand the shelf life of various varieties, feel free to check out the following table. Remember the simple logic the longer the shelf life of the milk the longer the product stays good after the best by date or past date.

State Pantry Fridge
Shelf-stable (UHT) Milk, unopened Best-by + 2 – 4 weeks Best-by + 1 – 2 months
Shelf-stable (UHT) Milk, opened 7 – 10 days
Pasteurized Milk, unopened Use-by + 2 – 5 days
Pasteurized Milk, opened 1 – 3 days
Ultra-pasteurized Milk unopened Use-by + 5 to 7 days
Ultra-pasteurized Milk opened 7 – 10 days

How to Store Milk?

Shelf Stable UHT Milk will stay fine at room temperature as long as it is left unopened. Other kinds of milk varieties need refrigeration in the fridge at all times. Try to keep the UHT Milk Cartons in a cool place and away from other sources of heat. Temperature changes will not affect the milk but the quality might deteriorate if you keep it near heat or a stove.

Once you open the bottle make sure to seal it tightly and keep it back in the fridge. Don’t pour leftover milk into the carton or bottle as you can introduce microbes in the milk and lead to spoiling. To extend the shelf life of the bottle stores it in the far corner of the shelves instead of keeping it in the door. By doing so, you can extend the shelf life of milk.

How Long Does Milk Last

How Long Does Milk Last 1

Milk Solids (SNF: 9%, FAT: 6%), Vitamin A, and Vitamin D2.
Allergen Advice: Contains Milk

Nutritional Information
Number of Servings per pack: 5
Serving Size: 100 ml

Nutritional Facts (Approx.) UOM Per 100 ml % RDA*
Energy Kcal 85.60 4.28
Protein g 3.50 6.48
Carbohydrates g 4.40 3.38
Added Sugar g 0 0
Total Fat g 6 8.96
Saturated Fat g 4.08 18.55
Trans Fatty Acids g 0
Cholesterol mg 20
Calcium mg 130 13
Vitamin A µg 27 2.7
Vitamin D2 μg 0.50 0.08

*Per serve percentage (%) contribution to Recommended Dietary Allowance calculated on the basis of 2000 kcal energy.

Types of Milk

There are various varieties of milk and the shelf life of each one varies from one other. It all depends on the variety and how you have stored each one of them. Of all of them, Pasteurized Milk is the best-consumed one, and the types are explained below

  • Pasteurized Milk: It comes refrigerated and has a shelf life of about 10-21 days and you can see it from the sell-by date or use-by date.
  • Ultra Pasteurized Milk: This kind of milk is treated under higher temperatures and needs refrigeration. The shelf life of this Ultra Pasteurized Milk is around 30 – 90 days.
  • UHT Milk: Heat Treatment is similar to Ultra Pasteurized Milk and the equipment used is much more controlled. This particular milk variety needs no refrigeration and has a shelf life of about 6 months.

Sell By Vs Best By Vs Use By Vs Expiration Dates

To help you understand the basic difference between sell-by date, best-by date, use-by date, and expiration we have mentioned the definitions below and use your milk when it is of premium quality. They are along the lines

  • Sell By Date: It is the date by which the product seller has to leave the shelves i.e. the date by which they need to sell the product from the grocery store.
  • Best By Date: This date is to mention the product quality and indicates that the product stays in better quality before this date. However, it doesn’t mean the product is not safe to consume after this.
  • Use By Date: Use by Date is also a marketing term and tells about the product staying in peak quality.
  • Expiration Date: The Expiration Date indicates the day from which the product begins to decline in quality. After this date, the product isn’t safe to eat.

See More:

Can You Freeze Milk?

Yes, you can freeze milk if you have too much milk. You can store the milk in an ice cube tray and make some milk cubes or even store the milk in an airtight container. Milk will stay in the freezer for about a few months and try to consume within the first month. After a few days, milk starts to become grainy.

How To Tell If Milk Is Bad?

If you think your milk is expired you can see the common signs of spoilage and decide whether it is bad or not. Spoiled foods in general develop an off smell, flavor change, or difference in texture. They are along the lines

  • Sour Taste: The very first sign you will notice in spoiled milk is a sour taste. If you sense any taste difference apart from the regular milk then your milk is probably done for.
  • Color Change: If the color turns yellow then the milk has gone bad.
  • Texture: If the milk develops a lumpy texture then it is a sign that it’s time to discard it.
  • Sits Way Longer Than Expected: If your milk is kept in storage for a long time it is better to toss it off to be on the cautious side. If you are not sure about the quality discard it for safety reasons.

How Long Does Milk Last

Ways to Make Your Milk Last Longer

Milk stays good for a few days even after the expiration date. This doesn’t mean milk will not spoil and can spoil if not stored properly. Below are the tips to prevent milk from spoiling and ensure it last longer. They are as follows

  • As long it is shelf stable you can keep it outside the fridge. If not keep it in the fridge soon after you purchase it.
  • Try to maintain the room temperature within 38°F (3°C) – 40°F (4°C).
  • Keep the milk on the interior shelf of the fridge rather than keeping it in the door.
  • Make sure to seal tightly and keep the carton in the fridge.

FAQs on Shelf Life of Milk

1. How long does milk last after you open it?

Milk lasts about 4-7 days after you open it.

2. Is it Ok to drink expired milk?

You might experience the symptoms of food poisoning after consuming expired milk and they last a day or two.

3. Will slightly sour milk hurt you? 

Drinking a sip of sour milk will not hurt you but if you consume large or moderate amounts of milk you might have digestive discomfort.

Final Words

We wish the knowledge shared above on How Long Does Milk Last has been helpful to you. So, try to consume the milk before its shelf life in order to avoid flavor loss. If you need any further assistance feel free to reach us via the comment section so that we can get back to you. Bookmark our site to get the latest updates on Can Soy Milk Go Bad, How To Tell If Oat Milk Is Bad, and much more similar to this.

Leave a Comment