How long does it take for milk to spoil in the fridge?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long does it take for milk to spoil in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of different milk variants in the fridge. Moreover, we are going to discuss how long can milk survive at room temperature and the health implications of drinking spoiled milk.

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

How long does it take for milk to spoil in the fridge?

  • Opened carton of milk lasts for 4-7 days in the fridge if stored in an air-tight bottle or air-tight container at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Unopened reduced-fat milk lasts for 7 days in the fridge if stored in an air-tight bottle or air-tight container at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Unopened skimmed milk lasts for 7 days in the fridge if stored in an air-tight bottle or air-tight container at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Unopened whole milk lasts for 5-7 days in the fridge if stored in an air-tight bottle or air-tight container at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Unopened non-fat milk lasts for 7-10 days in the fridge if stored in an air-tight bottle or air-tight container at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Unopened lactose-free milk lasts for 7-10 days in the fridge if stored in an air-tight bottle or air-tight container at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Milk is highly nutritious and contains a good amount of macro and micronutrients. Milk is a rich source of protein and contains about 7.7 grams of proteins per cup (240 ml). Milk contains about 80% of the casein while 20% of the whey protein. 

Moreover, milk is also rich in many vitamins and minerals like vitamin B12, calcium, phosphorus, and riboflavin. Some varieties of milk are also fortified with vitamin D which along with calcium plays an important role in improving bone health. Therefore care should be taken while handling and storing this nutritious commodity. 

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

How long does milk last at room temperature?

Opened milk lasts for about 2 hours when left at room temperature. Moreover, if the temperature outside is more than 90 °F, milk will last for only about an hour. 

Milk is a highly perishable commodity and has a lot of macro and micronutrients present in it. Moreover, the milk 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 the milk and will spoil it. 

Can I store milk in the freezer?

Milk lasts for about 6 months in the freezer when stored properly in an air-tight container or bottle. Owing to the cold temperature of the freezer, the quality, and freshness of milk are preserved for a long time.

Storage tips for milk

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. It is better to store the 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 milk.

Milk should be stored at the lowest shelf of the refrigerator as it is the coldest part of the refrigerator and has its temperature between 38 °F to 40 °F.

You should never leave the milk for more than 2 hours at room temperature or else bacteria will find their way to the milk and will spoil it.

Other FAQs about Milk which you may be interested in.

What does milk do in a cake?

How to spot spoiled milk and the health implications of drinking spoiled milk?

You can tell whether or not milk has spoiled by considering its taste, texture, and smell.

If you notice a sour taste after taking a little sip of milk then it is an indication that the milk has spoiled. If the milk is curdled or has lumps present in it, then it is an indication of spoiled milk and you should get rid of it.

If you smell something foul or rotten while taking a sniff test then it is an indication that the milk has spoiled.

Drinking spoiled milk can put you at the risk of many food-borne illnesses especially food poisoning. Drinking spoiled milk in a large quantity can cause vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramps.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long does it take for milk to spoil in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of different milk variants in the fridge. Moreover, we discussed how long can milk survive at room temperature and the health implications of drinking spoiled milk.

Citations

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

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.