What happens if you eat expired evaporated milk?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “what happens if you eat expired evaporated milk?”. Moreover, we will discuss how to detect expired evaporated milk that has spoiled and the health consequences of consuming expired evaporated milk.

What happens if you eat expired evaporated milk?

Eating expired evaporated milk can pose risks to your health and lead to food poisoning (1-2). 

Expired milk may contain harmful bacteria or toxins that can cause foodborne illnesses such as Salmonella or Clostridium (3-5). 

Those microorganisms produce dangerous toxins that can make you very sick (6). They can lead to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, which are typical of food poisoning (7). So, you should avoid consuming expired evaporated milk!

What are the health risks of eating expired evaporated milk?

Eating expired evaporated milk can expose you to different health risks, including:

  • Bacterial contamination: Expired milk may harbor harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, or Listeria monocytogenes (2). These bacteria can cause foodborne illnesses, resulting in symptoms like stomach cramps, diarrhea, and fever (6).
  • Toxin formation: As evaporated milk ages, it can undergo chemical changes that lead to the growth of microorganisms that produce dangerous toxins. 

One such example is the production of botulinum toxin, which can cause botulism—a severe illness that affects the nervous system and can lead to muscle weakness, difficulty swallowing, and even paralysis (8).

  • Reduced nutritional value: Over time, the nutritional content of evaporated milk can degrade. Vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial compounds may diminish, leading to a decreased nutritional value compared to fresh milk.
  • Allergic reactions: Expired evaporated milk can trigger allergic reactions in individuals with milk allergies intolerance (9).

To safeguard your health, it is essential to adhere to expiration dates and properly store and handle your perishable food items. 

Remember that when in doubt, it is best to err on the side of caution and discard your food product to avoid potential health complications.

What should you do if you accidentally eat expired evaporated milk?

If you accidentally consume expired evaporated milk, you can follow the next three key recommendations to minimize potential health risks:

  1. Check for symptoms: Monitor your body for any signs of foodborne illness such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain (7). If you experience severe or persistent symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
  1. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water, to stay hydrated and help flush out any toxins or bacteria that may be present (10).
  1. Dispose of remaining expired milk: Safely discard any remaining expired evaporated milk to prevent accidental consumption or contamination of other food items.

Remember that it is always best to prioritize your health and safety by avoiding the consumption of expired or potentially contaminated food.

What are the signs of spoilage in expired evaporated milk?

When evaluating whether evaporated milk has spoiled, there are several signs to look out for, for example:

  • Foul odor: A distinct unpleasant smell, different from the normal odor of fresh milk, is a clear indication of spoilage.
  • Off color: If the evaporated milk has changed in color, such as appearing darker or having unusual discoloration, it is likely spoiled.
  • Unusual texture: Spoiled evaporated milk may develop lumps, curdles, or a grainy texture, indicating bacterial growth or breakdown of the milk’s structure.
  • Separation: If the milk has separated into solid chunks or watery liquid, it is a sign of spoilage and should not be consumed.
  • Abnormal taste: Spoiled evaporated milk may have a sour or bitter taste, significantly different from its usual creamy and sweet flavor.
  • Mold or growth: The presence of mold, visible clumps, or any other signs of visible growth on the surface or within the container indicates spoilage and renders the milk unsafe to consume.

You should always trust your senses and exercise caution to ensure your safety when consuming dairy products. If any of these signs are present in expired evaporated milk, it is best to discard it to prevent potential health risks!

What is the most efficient method of storing evaporated milk to prevent its spoilage?

To maximize the shelf life and prevent spoilage of evaporated milk, you can follow the next recommendations:

  1. Refrigeration: Evaporated milk should be stored in the refrigerator at a temperature of 40°F (4°C) or below. Keeping it cold helps slow down the growth of bacteria and extends its freshness.
  1. Sealed container: Transfer any unused evaporated milk from the can to an airtight container before refrigerating. This prevents exposure to odors and contamination from other foods, maintaining its quality.
  1. Avoid temperature fluctuations: Fluctuating temperatures can accelerate spoilage. Ensure the refrigerator maintains a consistent temperature, avoiding exposure to warm or fluctuating environments.
  1. First in, first out (FIFO): Practice FIFO by placing newer cans or containers behind older ones. This way, you consume the oldest evaporated milk first, reducing the risk of using expired products.
  1. Check the expiration date: Always check the expiration date before purchasing or using evaporated milk. Avoid buying products with a close expiration date to allow for a longer storage period.
  1. Store in original packaging: If unopened, store the evaporated milk in its original packaging until use. The cans are designed to protect the milk from light and air, ensuring better preservation.

By following these guidelines, you can significantly extend the shelf life of evaporated milk and maintain its quality and safety for a longer period.


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question “what happens if you eat expired evaporated milk?”. Moreover, we discussed how to detect expired evaporated milk that has spoiled and the health consequences of consuming expired evaporated milk.


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