How Long does Milk Last in the Fridge?

How long is milk good for? Unopened milk can last more than a week, depending on the type of milk, while opened milk only lasts one week after its sell-by date.

Milk puts an end to our day. Breakfast of cereal and milk is the ideal way to start the day. It serves as the centerpiece of many creamy dishes and desserts. Milk is the ideal ingredient for foods that are both delicious and healthy!

The typical shelf life of dairy products is 1-4 weeks. Milk should be consumed immediately, if not refrigerated because it only stays at room temperature for a short time. Knowing how long milk can be kept in the fridge will help you plan your meals and shop more efficiently.


What is Milk?

Mammary glands in mammals generate milk, a clear liquid meal. Before they can digest solid food, it is the main source of sustenance for young mammals (including breastfed human newborns). Milk immunity is a result of immune-related and immune-modulating elements. Colostrum, or early lactation milk, contains antibodies that boost the immune system and lower the risk of several diseases. Several nutrients, including lactose and protein, are found in milk.

How Long does Milk Last in the Fridge?

Once opened, all milk can last for 4-7 days after the milk expiration date, refrigerated. If unopened, the shelf life differs depending on the type of milk:

  • Whole milk: 5-7 days.
  • Reduced-fat milk and skim milk: 7 days.
  • Non-fat milk and lactose-free milk: 7-10 days.

After the sell-by date, milk is still safe to consume. The only thing that date tells us is that milk should have been on the shelves by then. You have one more day before the milk turns sour if you consume it a few days after it has passed its sell-by date, and it tastes sweeter than before. The molecular energy transfer during the chemical process in milk gives milk its delicate sweetness. As long as it hasn’t yet gone bad, it’s still safe.

How to Freeze Different Varieties of Milk?

Dairy, almond, and soy milk will all be frozen using the same technique. How much time does milk need to freeze? Whichever type of milk you have is irrelevant. The process of total freezing takes 3 to 4 hours.

Pour milk of any kind into the container of your choice, leaving about an inch of headspace to allow for expansion. (Ice cube trays do not fall under this.)

Three months after the date of purchase, freeze. For optimum quality, several sites advise utilizing frozen milk within a month.

Before using, shake the milk vigorously after thawing it in the refrigerator for at least three days.

Dairy Milk

In our tests, dairy milk varieties performed admirably in the 1%, 2%, and whole varieties. They did not curdle or exhibit other indicators of poor quality during the freezing and thawing processes. Use frozen, thawed dairy milk in recipes and beverages the same as fresh dairy milk.

Almond Milk

When thawed, the chilled coconut and almond milk we tested both had a curdled appearance. Almond milk producers advise against freezing it since it separates and changes texture. Oat milk and nut glasses of milk generally don’t freeze well. They are unsuitable for drinking independently since they will probably separate and develop a gritty texture.

Soy Milk

Soy milk appeared curdled when thawed, just like the nut glasses of milk we examined. In particular, soy milk developed an unattractive light coffee tint. Therefore, the main producers nor we advise freezing soy milk. However, similar to nut glasses of milk, you won’t notice the differences if you freeze it in ice cube trays and add it to blended dishes like soups and smoothies. This is a better option than throwing out soy milk that would otherwise go to waste.

How Long will it Take Milk to Reach Room Temperature?

Several aspects will influence how long it takes milk to warm up if it is left out. These factors include the milk’s temperature when left out and the air temperature in the space.

While milk can be kept at room temperature for a brief period, it should only be used for two hours at most. A longer period could lead to the development of germs in the milk, making it unsafe for consumption. Therefore, it is essential to either refrigerate or discard the milk.

There are numerous types of milk available. While some are based on plants, others are based on animals. Some of these are sold in supermarkets as shelf-stable products. The recommended time frame for consuming shelf-stable milk is ten days. Shelf-stable milk will stay fresh for six months if the package is not opened.

How to Store Milk?

Milk may be kept in the fridge for the lowest amount of time after being opened by being put in an airtight container. Ideal consumption of the milk is within 14 days of opening. When storing milk in the refrigerator, cover it with a lid to prevent it from absorbing odors from its surroundings.

Below are some tips for storing opened, fresh condensed milk to prolong shelf life and prevent spoilage:

Pantry Ideally, you should keep an unopened can of milk at room temperature. However, this item can be kept in a kitchen cupboard or any other cool, dry location.

Keep your cans away from heat sources, dampness, sudden temperature changes, and direct sunshine to prevent packaging damage.

Please place it in the fridge.

Keeping milk in the fridge is the greatest way to stop it from going bad.

After opening, never put canned milk back in the can; doing so increases the risk that metal shavings from the can contaminate the food.

Put the milk in an airtight jar or container before putting it in the refrigerator. Condensed milk can be used for two weeks without getting moldy or bad.

It’s important to choose a proper container for your milk. To prevent degradation and airflow, the optimal seal for your container should be airtight.

Why does Milk Deteriorate?

Bacterial growth degrades milk by affecting its texture, flavor, and quality. Salmonella and Escherichia coli are two examples of bacteria that can naturally exist in milk and result in disease and deterioration. Psychotropic bacteria, which can flourish in subfreezing conditions, commonly cause milk to be sour.

Numerous processes in the production process aim to get rid of these bacteria to extend the shelf life of milk. The production of milk complies with the criteria of the United States Department of Agriculture. Before the milk is transferred for testing and processing and stored at 40°F or less, dairy cows for manufacturers are grown and milked.

During the milk digestion process

During pasteurization, producers heat milk to kill microorganisms before further cooling it.

Homogenization: An atomizer evenly distributes it throughout the beverage to prevent fat from settling to the top of the milk.

Separation: The amount of fat needed depends on the type of milk. As a result, the cream is spun out from the milk using a centrifuge before being blended again.

Additional filtration procedures or extremely hot temperature treatments can also be required.

Pasteurization kills most milk germs, but not all of them; some bacteria can withstand processing and even flourish. After being opened, home milk might become contaminated by fresh bacteria, which can eventually cause the milk to degrade.

How to Identify Milk has Gone Bad?

Smell Check

Smelling the milk is the first and simplest way to determine whether it has gone sour. The primary sign of spoiled milk is an offensive odor. A container of fresh milk wouldn’t smell strange at all.

Examine the Texture and Consistency

Milk is a clear, thin liquid. The milk is not fresh or fit for consumption if it happens to have lumps or is more brownish than pure white. You can also do a straightforward test to determine the milk’s texture. If milk starts curling or takes on a texture and consistency similar to yogurt or cottage cheese, pour some milk into a glass.

Verify The Color Fresh; pure milk is a bright white color. It is probably unsafe for consumption if your milk is slightly yellow or pale white. Pour the milk into a clear glass and hold it to the light to better examine the color. Your milk has gone bad if it’s not white anymore.

Determine if the milk was left out at room temperature for excessive time. You have therefore looked at the expiration date on the carton’s rear. Your milk has at least two days left before it spoils. However, it has begun to taste, smell, and appear strange. Who knows why? This may result in your milk being left out at room temperature for excessive time. Ensure the milk is only at the recommended temperature of 39 degrees F if it is left outside (4 degrees C). Keep the milk in the refrigerator if it is not being used to keep it fresh for a long time.

Heat Up

A Sample A straightforward microwave test is a quick test you can perform. Some of your milk should be poured into a glass container and microwaved for one minute. Look at the milk after removing the container. It is unsafe to ingest milk if it has lumps or has an unusual texture or color.

What are the Side Effects of Consuming Milk?


According to a 2016 study, teens with acne drank more low-fat or skim milk. Adult acne may also be triggered by dairy.

Other Research

Acne has been connected to skim and low-fat milk by a reliable source. This might be because milk impacts insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1, two hormones (IGF-1).

The relationship between nutrition and acne still requires more study.

Other Skin Issues

According to a professional review, certain foods like milk and dairy may worsen eczema.

The likelihood of eczema and other food-related allergy reactions in children was found to be decreased in a 2018 study of pregnant and nursing women who included probiotics in their diet.

For some individuals with rosacea, dairy products may act as trigger foods. However, according to a recent study, dairy consumption may help treat rosacea.

Up to 5% of people have allergies.

Some specialists believe that youngsters have a milk allergy. Eczema-like skin responses and gastrointestinal symptoms, such as:

  • Colic
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

Other grave responses include:

  • Wheezing, trouble breathing, anaphylaxis, bloody stools
  • A milk allergy may go away in children. A milk allergy can also appear in adults.

Broken bones

  • The risk of bone fractures in women may rise if they consume three or more glasses of milk each day.
  • According to research, milk’s D-galactose sugar may be blamed for this. The study did note, however, that additional investigation is required before dietary recommendations can be made.
  • Another study found that regions with higher dairy, animal protein, and calcium consumption have higher rates of bone fractures in older persons due to osteoporosis.


Prostate cancer risk may increase with excessive calcium intake from milk and other foods. Milk sugars may modestly increase the risk of ovarian cancer.


The first thing to consider is how fresh the milk is. Milk sitting in the fridge for days will not taste as good as it was when it was freshly purchased. Also, the shelf life of organic milk depends on the amount of heat applied during the milking process.

Pasteurization is the standard treatment for dairy products. Milk is heated to a temperature of 63 degC for thirty to sixty seconds. The heat treatment is followed by a period of agitation and then homogenization. During the process, the viscosity of the milk is reduced, preventing the separation of fat from the milk.