Does evaporated milk go bad?

In this article, we will answer the question “Does evaporated milk go bad?”, how to tell if the evaporated milk has gone bad and how to store evaporated milk. 

Does evaporated milk go bad?

Yes, evaporated milk can go bad. Evaporated milk is formed by partial dehydration of fresh milk. So, it naturally has a longer shelf life than regular milk. But it has a limited shelf-life and only goes bad faster if mishandled or stored incorrectly. 

How to store evaporated milk?

The store-bought evaporated milk comes in tin cans that block the sunlight and preserve the quality of the evaporated milk. 

An unopened can of evaporated milk should be kept in a cool, dry, and dark place away from direct sunlight. Make sure the temperature of the storage place is stable. 

The best place for keeping the unopened cans of evaporated milk is in the pantry or the kitchen cupboards. 

You could also keep them in the fridge but it would be a waste of energy and fridge space since refrigerating barely adds to the shelf-life of the unopened cans of evaporated milk.

Once opened, you need to store your evaporated milk in the fridge. Ideally, you should pour your evaporated milk into an air-tight container for a better seal and easy handling. Alternatively, you can cover the original tin can with a makeshift seal. 

For the makeshift seal, you need to wrap the top of the tin can with plastic or foil and secure it in place using a rubber band.

Can you freeze evaporated milk?

Yes, you can freeze the evaporated milk but it is not recommended. Freezing tends to irreversibly alter the consistency and flavor of the evaporated milk. 

If you have already frozen your evaporated milk before you came to read this article, do not worry because all is not lost.

Thaw the frozen evaporated milk and stir, whip, or whisk it to homogenize the separated ingredients. Frozen and thawed evaporated milk works best for cooking and baking.

How to freeze evaporated milk?

In case you were wondering, you should not freeze unopened cans of evaporated milk. Freezing temperatures badly affect the organoleptic properties of the evaporated milk and do not play any role in extending the shelf-life. 

For storing the leftovers from an opened can of evaporated milk, use an ice-cube tray. This allows you to defrost as much evaporated milk as you need at a time.

How long does evaporated milk last?

An unopened can of evaporated milk stays good for months past the printed date. Once opened, it should be consumed within 3-5 days. If you do not intend to use the evaporated milk within 5 days of opening it, freezing is the way to go.

It is important to note that the best-by date printed on the can of the evaporated milk is just an estimation of how long the product will preserve its peak quality. The product remains safe to use past this date as long as it is stored correctly. 

In the pantry In the fridge 
Evaporated milk (unopened)Best by + 3-6 months 
Evaporated milk (opened)3-5 days 

How to tell if the evaporated milk has gone bad?

Milk skin: You may have observed a layer of fat separating and collecting on the surface of the canned evaporated milk. This is a common phenomenon that occurs due to improper sealing. Thus it does not indicate spoilage. Heat and stir the evaporated milk to dissolve the separated layer.

Smell: The smell of bad evaporated milk may not be as sharp as that of fresh milk. But you will know when you need to discard the evaporated milk due to a bad smell.

Color: If the color of the evaporated milk deviates from the original white, something is fishy. The presence of green, black, gray, or any other discoloration is a sign of spoilage. However, sweetened condensed milk is naturally yellow. 

Taste: If the evaporated milk under inspection clears the visible spoilage test, taste a bit of it to make the final decision about its safety. If the taste is sour, the milk is done for. 

Mold: If you see any colored fuzzy growth on the surface of the evaporated milk, it has gone bad and should be discarded immediately.

Can: Reject any cans that are damaged, rusted, dented, or leaking. 

What are the risks of drinking expired evaporated milk?

If you intentionally or unintentionally use spoiled evaporated milk, you will experience symptoms of food poisoning. Common symptoms of food poisoning include fever, stomach upset, nausea, and diarrhea.

Bloated cans are the leading cause of botulism, which is characterized by muscle paralysis and difficulty in breathing. Botulism can be fatal if immediate medical care is not provided.

Other FAQs about Milk that you may be interested in.

What does bad milk taste like?

Can you put milk in an electric kettle?

How do I know if milk is spoiled?

What happens if you eat expired evaporated milk?


In this article, we answered the question “Does evaporated milk go bad?”, how to tell if the evaporated milk has gone bad and how to store evaporated milk.