Shelf Life of
Sweetened Condensed Milk

How Long Does Sweetened Condensed Milk Last?

Sweetened Condensed MilkHow long does sweetened condensed milk last? Does sweetened condensed milk go bad? What is sweetened condensed milk? All good questions, because it really is a unigue product make with milk and sugar put through a special vacuum process which removes the water.  Sweetened condensed milk was first conceived by Gail Borden on a transatlantic ship when the cows became too seasick to milk – he was able to stabilize milk for 3 days (a big deal in the late 1800′s). A high heat process kills the bacteria in milk and then sugar helps to further preserve the milk. The resulting milk is very sweet and when used to make desserts, no additional sugar is need in the recipe. The shelf life of sweetened condensed milk is influenced mostly by the best before date and how it is stored. So how long does sweetened condensed milk last?

When properly stored, cans of sweetened condensed milk last for …

(Unopened) Pantry
Past Printed Date
Sweetened Condensed Milk lasts for 1 Year
(Opened) Refrigerator
Sweetened Condensed Milk lasts for 2-3 Weeks




Of course, all food and drink products last for a shorter period of time if they are not stored properly. But remember sweetened condensed milk, like many canned goods, usually has a best by date  which is the last date by which a manufacturer will vouch for a product’s quality, not its safety. Because of this distinction, you may safely use sweetened condensed milk to compliment your favorite meals even after its best by date has lapsed.

How to tell if sweetened condensed milk is bad, rotten or spoiled?

Practicing proper hygiene and food safety techniques will help prevent food borne illness. It is the color and texture of the sweetened condensed milk that will change as the product gets older. The sweetened condensed milk will become more yellowish in color (originally it’s a light cream color) and will thicken (originally it pours well when started with a knife or spoon) but is still safe to consume for some time. 
There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled sweetened condensed milk, so always remember to practice proper food safety and enjoy prior to its expiration.
If your milk has gone bad, check our substitution page.

How to store sweetened condensed milk to extend its shelf life?

Proper food storage is the key to extending the shelf life of sweetened condensed milk. Cans should be kept at a constant temperature in a cool dry place like the pantry. In addition, opened sweetened condensed milk should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Unfortunately, freezing sweetened condensed milk isn’t a great option as it destabilizes its structure. Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.


What to do with too much sweetened condensed milk before it goes bad?

What if there was a great sale on sweetened condensed milk and then you forgot about it in the back of your pantry? You don’t want it to spoil and go to waste, so put it to waist! Here’s a simple suggestion to use up your sweetened condensed milk:

  • Follow the recipe idea on our blog page to make sweetened condensed fudge.
  • Remember, sweetened condensed milk is not the same as evaporated milk.

  • How long is sweetened condensed milk good for when prepared in a dish?

    How long does sweetened condensed milk last? That depends. How long does chocolate last? In general, sweetened condensed milk lasts only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the recipe. To find out how long those other ingredients are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or search below!

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    What are our shelf life resources?

    Our content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scour the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of sweetened condensed milk.

    *An important note about expiration dates …

    Although the sweetened condensed milk shelf life information provided by Eat By Date is generally reliable, it is only intended as general guideline and opinion and not a substitute for the advice of your qualified health care provider.