How long can chocolate milk sit out?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long can chocolate milk sit out” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of chocolate milk at room temperature. Moreover, we are going to discuss different ways to spot bad chocolate milk.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How long can chocolate milk sit out?

Chocolate milk lasts for about 2 hours if left out at room temperature.

Chocolate milk is a perishable commodity and has a lot of water present in its formulation so if it is kept out for more than 2 hours, bacteria and other microbes will find their way into your chocolate milk and will spoil it. 

You should discard the chocolate milk that has been left in open for more than 2 hours as bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore there are greater chances of the chocolate milk being already contaminated with bacteria when left out for more than 2 hours.

Moreover, if the temperature of the surroundings is about 90 degrees Fahrenheit, then the process of spoilage takes place at a faster pace and it is recommended to discard chocolate milk that is left out in the open for more than an hour at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is worth mentioning that the figures mentioned above are the estimated shelf life of chocolate milk.

How long can chocolate milk stay good in the fridge?

Unopened chocolate milk lasts for about one week after the “sell by” date written on the package if stored properly in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

How long can chocolate milk stay good in the freezer?

Chocolate milk lasts for about 4 months when stored properly in the freezer.

What is the optimum temperature to store chocolate milk?

You should always store your chocolate milk at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below in the fridge. Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore it is always advised to store chocolate milk at a lower temperature to preserve its freshness and quality for a long time.

Is chocolate milk safe to use after the best-before date?

The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the carton of chocolate milk refers to the quality rather than safety so chocolate milk doesn’t necessarily go bad immediately after the best before date. 

This date refers to the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality and flavor of chocolate milk but you can still use chocolate milk that is past this date as long as it was stored properly, there is no leakage in the carton and no signs of mold are present.

You can read how to make chocolate milk here.

Other FAQs about Milk which you may be interested in.

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Can milk help you gain weight?

Ways to spot bad chocolate milk

There are a couple of indicators that point out bad chocolate milk. You should consider the appearance, texture, smell, and taste of the chocolate milk to give a final verdict of whether or not it has gone bad.

Appearance

If you spot a mold or any other organic growth in your chocolate milk carton (it is a really rare phenomenon), then the best thing you can do is to get rid of this chocolate milk as it is an indication of bad chocolate milk.

Texture

If the chocolate milk is curdled or has lumps present in it, then it is an indication of bad chocolate milk and you should get rid of it.

Smell

If you smell something foul or sour while taking a sniff test then it is an indication that the chocolate milk has gone bad and the best thing to do is to discard it.

Taste

If the chocolate milk has passed the visual and smell test, then you can go ahead and taste it. If you notice a sour or slightly bitter taste after taking a little sip of milk then it is an indication that the chocolate milk has gone bad. 

Tips to properly store chocolate milk

  1. Chocolate milk can pick up odors therefore it should be stored in an air-tight container or bottle in the fridge. Moreover, it should be stored away from strong-smelling food items like garlic, onion, etc. 
  1. It is better to store chocolate milk on a shelf of the refrigerator rather than the door as there is a lot of temperature fluctuation at the door of the fridge and that can harm the quality of chocolate milk.
  1. Chocolate milk should be stored on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator as it is the coldest part of the refrigerator and has a temperature between 38 °F to 40 °F.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long can chocolate milk sit out” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of chocolate milk at room temperature. Moreover, we discussed different ways to spot bad chocolate milk.

Citations

https://www.usdairy.com/news-articles/how-long-can-milk-sit-out

https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/17681#:~:text=If%20kept%20at%20temperatures%20above,4%20hours%20at%20room%20temperature.

https://www.myrecipes.com/extracrispy/how-long-can-milk-be-out-of-the-fridge