I'm sure that you've seen a can of evaporated milk and thought, "does evaporated milk go bad?" It's a common question. You may also be wondering why it has an expiration date on the tin if it doesn't expire?
This article will answer all of your questions about the shelf life of canned evaporated milk and how to store it properly.
Does Evaporated Milk Go Bad? (is my milk expired)
Yes, if it is not stored correctly or left out in the open for a long time. It's best to keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
The expiration date on evaporated milk is simply an indicator of how long that particular can should be good for, once opened.
If your canned evaporated milk has been exposed to heat or light, then chances are that bacteria have invaded and started growing inside the can making the milk spoil.
What is evaporated milk?
Evaporated milk is a type of canned milk that has been processed to remove all the water. This gives it a sweeter, richer flavor than regular milk because sugar is added back into it.
The process also removes about 60% of the fat content from the original whole milk which makes evaporated milk much lower in calories and cholesterol.
You can find canned milk at your local grocery store or Walmart even if you don't have access to a canning center! The shelf-life for this type of product is up to two years, so it will probably still be on the shelves long after other types of dry powdered ingredients like flour and baking soda.
But does evaporated milk go bad? It's actually hard for this kind of food product to spoil since there are no bacteria in it if it is unopened, However, It will eventually lose its potency and flavor if it goes bad or if it's past its best before date, but you won't have any problems with safety.
This is because the canning process also kills off all of the bacteria in evaporated milk so there are no microorganisms to cause illness or infection.
What does an expired tin look like?
Canned goods typically last for months or years after their “best by/before” date, but the quality of your food will begin to diminish over time.
That said, If you've noticed that evaporated milk has lost its potency or doesn't taste as rich after opening it, then it's probably expired and should be thrown away.
The can might also look bloated at the top like it's about to explode which is a sign that something is not right.
Related post: does hot sauce go bad?
How are you able to tell an expired evaporated milk
Firstly, do you know what good evaporated milk look like? it is creamy white with a golden tint, smells fresh, caramelized, and easily pourable at the same time.
The most common way to do it is by checking the expiration date on the can since evaporated milk will usually last for about one year when stored at room temperature.
Most likely, your evaporated milk will still be good for some couple of weeks or even months after the date on the can since the shelf life uses 'best before'.
In order to be sure that the canned milk is still safe for consumption then all you need to do is open the lid and take a look at its color.
if you see the milk has turned yellowish or brown, then it's most likely gone bad, and if there's any sour smell from the milk. I wouldn't taste it at this point, also if you see any mold on top of the milk, don't be tempted to scoop it off and use the unaffected bits.
This can be dangerous to your health and may lead to food poisoning. Therefore at this point, I would recommend that you throw away the expired canned product even if it looks safe for use.
How to Read Expiration Dates
It is important to understand what the shelf life on the label says, here is a quick overview.
Use by date: use this product by the date listed on the package. the safety of the food can't be guaranteed after this date. Even if the food still looks good, you should not eat it as it may give you food poisoning.
Best by date: this is an estimate for when you'll stop getting the best flavor from the food but the safety of the food will be unaffected as long as it is properly stored. It is best to freeze or use the food at that point. best by date may also be referred to as best if used by date
Expiration date-throw away any uneaten canned goods after this time since they may not taste the same or might even make you sick.
Freeze by date: this is a recommendation for when to freeze or refrigerate this product.
How long does evaporated milk last after opening??
As long as it's been stored properly, evaporated milk can last for about a week in the refrigerator after being opened. This is assuming that you use a clean utensil to get your portion of milk each time and no cross-contamination.
Cover any remaining milk immediately with a plastic wrap so it doesn't go bad from exposure to air or bacteria on surfaces around your kitchen. There is no need to empty the milk into a container if storing in the fridge, it will stay fine and fresh in the tin for a few days, see tip below,
Tip: instead of opening the top of the can, punch two holes at the top end for easy pour and this would also minimize the contact to air exposure. wrap the top with plastic wrap just before you place it in the fridge. see photo for reference.
How to store evaporated milk after opening?
Storing evaporated milk in the fridge after opening will extend its shelf life for about 5 to 7 days.
Can I freeze evaporated milk ?
Yes, you can freeze evaporated milk. Empty the content from the tin into a small container, ice tray, or Ziploc freezer bag. however, the texture of the milk will change once thawed. Do not refreeze evaporated milk once thawed. you can freeze it for between 3 to 6 months
Tips on what to do with leftover evaporated milk
- Make evaporated milk coffee or tea. substitute regular milk for evaporated milk, trust me it might change your mind about fresh milk forever.
- use it in cooking or baking! make rice pudding, delicious vanilla fudge, cakes, flans, etc
- You can drink evaporated milk on its own or add water to reconstitute it to make it regular milk.
- Add it to smoothies, cereal, porridge, and many more
In conclusion, evaporated milk can go bad if not stored properly or if it's expired.
If opened, it will keep in the fridge for 5 to 7 days and up to 3 months in the freezer. Use leftovers milk as you would use your regular fresh milk.
Do you think your canned milk is expired, the following are the spoilage indication you should look out for. Do a sight test for change in color or any visible molds and co.
If the milk smells funky then please, discard it immediately. trust me, you’ll never want to taste sour milk.