Does Condensed Milk Go Bad

Anytime water is removed from cow’s milk, you end up with condensed milk. Condensed milk is thick like syrup and extremely sweet in flavor, which is why it is often used to make delicious desserts and baked goods. You can find condensed milk at your local grocery store in cans in the baking isle. Many times, you can even purchase a case of condensed milk cans so you always have the food item on hand to bake with on a regular basis. In fact, you may have picked up a case a while ago during a grocery shopping trip and wonder if the can of condensed milk you have in your pantry is still good. Thankfully, your question is about to be answered with this helpful guide.

Image used under Creative Commons from RichardBH

What is the shelf life of condensed milk?

The shelf life of condensed milk is lengthy since it does go through a heating process to kill all the bacteria in it before packaging, which also helps draw out the milk’s natural sugars that act as a preservative to keep the milk fresh. In general, it is always wise to toss out an unopened can of condensed milk that is months past its use by date.

The reason why is because the milk has the ability to absorb an aluminum flavor from the can it is in and drastically change in flavor making the milk no good to bake or cook with. However, if it is only a couple days or weeks after the use by date the condensed milk might be still okay to use, but you wont know until you open the can up and try a bit of it from the can. If no change in flavor or texture has occurred, you are safe to use the milk in all your cooking and baking recipes with ease.

Now, if you have had an open can of condensed milk in the refrigerator for more than a few days you should never use it. The condensed milk will sour and curdle in texture. Sometimes it even absorbs the odors from the refrigerator, which changes the flavor of it. Always use an open can of condensed milk being stored in the refrigerator within 3 days. If you want to preserve the shelf life of the open can of condense milk it is best to pour the extra condensed milk into a small mason jar and store it that way where it will keep fresh for up to a month without spoiling or changing flavor or texture.

How do you know if condensed milk has gone bad?

You will know if your condensed milk has gone bad because it will have a darker thicker color too it and a sour smell that is extremely unpleasant. Remember, fresh condensed milk has a creamy white color to it that is similar to raw cream or whole milk and flows like chocolate syrup from a bottle. If your condense milk isn’t creamy white in color and flowing easy from the can it has gone bad and it is time to get some fresh condensed milk to use instead. There is no reason to risk getting sick from eating bad condensed milk you used in baked goods and food dishes.

Bottom Lines for Condensed Milk

Keep in mind if your condensed milk is yellow and thick it is bad and time to toss it out for new condensed mind for cooking and baking purposes. Remember, if you open a can of condensed milk and want to extend the shelf life of it, it is best to pour the rest of it into a glass jar, seal it up tight and store it in your refrigerator. It is never wise to store an open can of condensed milk in the refrigerator since the odors from the refrigerator can change the flavor and goodness of the milk. Otherwise, unopened cans of condensed milk are good until the use by date or until they turn sour, thicken and change color.