Does Sweetened Condensed Milk Go Bad? Explained (2023)

How much sweet is too much sweet? 

Well, I have a sweet tooth and am a big fan of all things sweet. Whether it is a hot-baked pie or a fudge, I want it to have a creamy smooth texture. And for that, my go-to option is condensed milk. 

It is one of the best things to enhance a dessert’s taste. I often use it to set the consistency and, of course, to get that extra punch of sweetness. 

But have you ever wondered: Does condensed milk go bad?

YES. Condensed milk, like any other dairy product, can go bad after a while. Opened condensesd milk can last for upto 2 weeks or more if kept it the firdge. If kept for a longer period, it starts to loose its flavour. However, condensed milk last longer than an unsweetened product. The reason behind it is the addition of sugar in the condensed milk. Sugar is a known preservative that extend it;s shelf life.

Let us read further to know how long it lasts. Apart from this, we will also talk about signs of spoilage.

How Long Does Condensed Milk Last?

The shelf life is different for different types of condensed milk. For example, store-bought condensed milk can last longer than homemade condensed milk. It is because store-bought condensed milk passes the heating process during production. This makes the milk sterile and eliminates bacteria from the milk. Mentioned below are different kinds of condensed milk and their shelf-life.

Unopened Condensed Milk 

Have an expired and unopened bottle of condensed milk lain around? You can use it up to one year after the expiration date if you keep it unopened. Good quality milk can last 2-5 years after the expiry date has passed. However, as time passes, it will degrade in quality.

expiry date check

Opened Condensed Milk

Have a half-used bottle of condensed milk lying around for a long time? An opened bottle of condensed milk must be used within a week or two. If you want to use it after 2 weeks, store the sweet condensed milk in an airtight container. Leaving the milk open will make it sour. It will also give off an awful smell, signaling the milk has become inedible.

Homemade Condensed Milk

Homemade condensed milk is made using different ingredients. Therefore, it becomes difficult to confirm its shelf life. One thing common to every homemade condensed milk is that the milk must be stored in the fridge. Also, make sure to put the condensed milk in an airtight container.

Also Read: How Long Does Salsa Last?

Condensed Milk: How To Tell If It’s Bad?

Storing unopened can make it last up to several years. However, once you open the can, it will degrade in quality. So how will you know if it has gone bad?

Below are 6 sure-shot ways to tell if condensed milk has gone bad:

1. Color

A fresh can of condensed milk is pale, yellowish, and creamy in color and texture. If you see signs of discoloration or black spots on the milk, it is time to toss it away.

sweetened condensed milk in a bowl

2. Smell

A fresh batch of milk will have a sweet and pleasant smell. On the other hand, spoiled condensed milk has a sour and unpleasant odor.

3. Texture

Fresh milk has a smooth and creamy texture. Spoiled milk, however, has curd-like consistency. Apart from the thick consistency, the appearance of lumps is also a sign of spoilage. It also becomes difficult to pour the condensed milk from the can. Once this happens, the condensed milk becomes unsafe for consumption.

4. Taste

The best way to tell if the content in the jar is fresh is by tasting it. If the milk tastes stale, sour, or unpleasant in any way, it is time to toss it away.

5. Mold

Mold growth in any edile product signifies that the product is rotten. Molds appear if the product is improperly stored. If you find molds in condensed milk, it is inedible.

6. Canned products

Canned products develop a sterile environment at the time of manufacture. The content in the cans remains safe until they are not exposed to the environment. But once you open the product, the condensed milk can degrade.

Tip: Don’t buy cans that are rusted, leaky, or puffed. A puffed/rusted can indicates that the can is not sealed properly. A product that is not sealed properly can be home to several bacteria.

Risk Of Consuming An Expired Condensed Milk

Usually, well-stored, unopened condensed milk can last for years after its expiry date. Ensure the can is not puffed or leaky before using an expired product. But what would happen if you consumed a spoiled can of condensed milk? Consuming bad condensed milk can cause an upset stomach. A spoiled can of milk can cause food poisoning in severe cases. A few common symptoms of food poisoning include:

  • Low-grade fever
  • Stomachache
  • Stomach cramping
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
sweet milk

In minor cases, symptoms are relatively moderate and pass without treatment. A severe symptom, however, can last more days. In this case, you must visit a doctor as soon as possible.

Also Read: How To Tell If Pineapple Is Bad?

Can You Freeze Sweetened Condensed Milk? 

Yes. Sweet condensed milk, when frozen, can last up to months. Unlike evaporated milk, it doesn’t separate when frozen. It is because it has a high sugar content that retains its original texture. You can also make desserts with it.

To freeze sweet milk, pour the milk into an airtight container. Take out the frozen milk only when you want to use it. To defrost the condensed milk, leave it in the refrigerator for a few hours. Freezing the sweet condensed milk can last for up to 3 to 5  months. So, if you know you won’t use the milk for months, freezing it is a good option

Frequently Asked Question(FAQs)

Q1. Is it OK to use expired condensed milk?

Ans. The expiry date is a tentative date given by the manufacturers to ensure the freshness of their products. When using an expired can, make sure the milk is properly stored. You can use expired condensed milk only if it is stored in an undamaged can. 

Look for signs of spoilage before consuming expired condensed milk.

Q2. How can you tell if condensed milk is bad?

Ans. The first thing to look for signs of spoilage is the appearance of the condensed milk. If you see signs of discoloration or the appearance of molds, it means the condensed milk is rotten. You can also look for a sour taste and an unpleasant smell from a stale can of condensed milk.

Q3. Does condensed milk go bad once opened?

Ans. Sweetened condensed milk has a longer shelf-life than normal condensed milk. Although the sweet condensed milk lasts longer but degrades in quality once opened. Make sure you use the condensed milk 5-6 days after opening the can.

Q4. What if sweetened condensed milk is brown?

Ans. A can of sweet condensed milk is slightly off-white or yellowish. But, as the condensed milk ages, its color darkens, and the consistency becomes thick. The more brown or darker the color, the older the product is. The color, however, can not tell whether the milk is stale. Make sure to taste-test it before using it.

Q5. Can bacteria grow in condensed milk?

Ans. Condensed milk full to the brim will have zero space for air and hence, zero bacteria growth. Similarly, too little condensed milk in the cans boosts the growth of molds and micrococci. Therefore, it is important to seal it properly in a clean, dry can.

The Bottom Line

Now that you know milk can go bad, it is better to use it as soon as possible. But if you have an unopened can of condensed milk, you can leave it for a couple of years. But make sure to give the milk a quick whiff or taste to check if the milk is edible. If you see signs of spoilage, immediately toss away the milk. Remember, taking safety measures is better than looking for a cure. 

If you use homemade condensed milk, store it in an airtight container. Also, ensure that the container is dry and free from moisture. Lastly, if you like baking, you know how milk elevates the taste. So, make sure you use only the best quality milk for the best taste.

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Archana Bisht

Archana Bisht

A foodie with a flair for talking non-stop. You can find me hogging down food or browsing Pinterest for more recipes in my free time. My favorite cuisine is Italian. That being said, I am an excellent pasta cook and love experimenting with ingredients. You can also find me petting strays and feeding them every chance I get