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Does Sweetened Condensed Milk Need to Be Refrigerated?

Last Updated on November 28, 2022 by Lauren Beck

Are you wondering if you need to refrigerate sweetened condensed milk? The answer is yes! Sweetened condensed milk does need to be stored in the refrigerator.

Unopened, unrefrigerated cans of sweetened condensed milk can last several months, but once opened must be refrigerated and used within five days. Sweetened condensed milk has a high sugar content, which makes it especially prone to spoiling and developing off-flavors if not stored properly.

When refrigerating sweetened condensed milk, make sure that the lid is tightly secured and that there’s no air leakage. Air can cause spoilage or oxidation of the sugars in sweetened condensed milk. It’s also important to keep the can away from other sources of heat, as this may cause spoilage.

How Long Does Sweetened Condensed Milk Last?

When stored in the refrigerator, opened cans of sweetened condensed milk can last up to five days. Unopened cans can last for several months. If you want to extend the shelf life of your sweetened condensed milk, store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and temperatures below freezing.

5 Ways to Store Condensed Milk

Here are five tips to help you store sweetened condensed milk the right way:

  1. Make sure the lid is tightly secured when storing sweetened condensed milk in the refrigerator.
  2. Keep the can away from other sources of heat, as this may cause spoilage.
  3. Check for air leakage around the lid before putting the can into the refrigerator.
  4. Store condensed milk in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and temperatures below freezing.
  5. Use opened cans of sweetened condensed milk within five days or discard them if they have been sitting out at room temperature for more than two hours.

Can You Freeze Condensed Milk?

Yes, you can freeze sweetened condensed milk. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when doing so. Freezing does not kill bacteria or other microorganisms, so it’s important to store frozen cans of condensed milk in an airtight container and use them within two months for best results. Additionally, the sugar content in sweetened condensed milk may cause the can to burst if not stored properly. To prevent this, make sure to freeze in a container with some headspace or place the cans of sweetened condensed milk into a sealed plastic bag before freezing.

Does Sweetened Condensed Milk Go Bad?

Yes, sweetened condensed milk does go bad. Unopened cans of sweetened condensed milk can last for several months, but once opened must be refrigerated and used within five days. Sweetened condensed milk has a high sugar content which makes it especially prone to spoiling and developing off-flavors if not stored properly. If your sweetened condensed milk smells sour or has a strange texture, it is best to discard it.

How To Tell If Sweetened Condensed Milk Is Bad?

pouring condensed milk into a jar

Here are a few tips to help you determine if your sweetened condensed milk has gone bad:

  • Look for any signs of spoilage, such as a sour smell or discoloration.
  • Check the consistency of the milk – if it is thicker or lumpy than usual it has likely gone bad.
  • Taste a small amount of the sweetened condensed milk and discard if it does not taste right.

If in doubt, throw it out to avoid any risk of food poisoning.

The Risk of Consuming an Expired Condensed Milk

Here are some of the risks associated with consuming expired sweetened condensed milk:

  • Risk of food poisoning – if not stored properly, sweetened condensed milk can spoil and become a breeding ground for bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause food poisoning.
  • Risk of developing an allergic reaction– consuming expired sweetened condensed milk may increase your risk of developing an allergic reaction due to the breakdown of proteins and sugars.
  • Risk of botulism – consuming sweetened condensed milk that has gone bad can lead to a type of food poisoning known as botulism, which can be fatal in some cases.

What Color Is Sweetened Condensed Milk?

Sweetened condensed milk is a creamy, yellowish-white color. The color can vary slightly depending on the brand and type of milk used in its production.

Can You Still Use Expired Condensed Milk?

It is not recommended to use expired sweetened condensed milk as it can be a risk to your health. If you suspect your condensed milk has gone bad, discard it immediately.

How to Make Homemade Condensed Milk?

Here is a simple recipe for making homemade condensed milk [1]:

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of butter (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the milk over medium heat until it just begins to boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and add in the sugar slowly while stirring constantly.
  3. Simmer the mixture for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add in the butter (optional) and stir until fully incorporated.
  5. Continue to simmer until the mixture has reduced by half and is a thick consistency.
  6. Allow the condensed milk to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  7. Enjoy your homemade sweetened condensed milk!

Conclusion

In conclusion, does sweetened condensed milk need to be refrigerated? Yes, it does. Sweetened condensed milk should always be stored in the refrigerator once opened and used within five days for best results. Additionally, you can freeze condensed milk but make sure to place it into a sealed container or plastic bag before doing so. If you have any doubts about the freshness of your sweetened condensed milk, discard it immediately and make some from scratch!

Reference:

  1. https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/11233/homemade-condensed-milk/
Lauren Beck
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