How Long Does It Take For Milk To Spoil Outside The Fridge?

Everyone always wants to know how long it takes for milk to spoil outside of the refrigerator.

That’s because milk is an essential part of many American households’ daily meals, and because it is a perishable staple that can be found at supermarkets, diners, and even coffee shops, it is even more important to preserve it.

As a result, being extra cautious to make sure that milk does not spoil and acquiring knowledge of how long milk lasts is essential.

This article offers a thorough explanation of the life expectancy of milk and how to best store it.

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

Milk should not be left out of the fridge or cooler for more than two hours. In the summer, if the temperature rises above 90°F, reduce that time to one hour. Bacteria can begin to grow after that period.

SEE: Does Milk Have Water In It?

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

Once opened, milk can be refrigerated for 5-7 days, after which it will go bad.

How long does it take for milk to spoil at 50 degrees?

Milk won’t last very long if kept above 40°F – 50°F because it will start to show signs of spoilage like a sour smell, an off flavor, and a curdled consistency. You should stack milk high in its display case and keep it at temps below 40°F.

SEE: Are Condensed Milk and Sweetened Condensed The Same?

How long does it take for milk to spoil in a hot car?

You shouldn’t leave the milk in the car for longer than an hour when it’s hot outside, especially when the temperature is over 90°F (30°C).

When temperatures rise above 60°F (15°C), the FDA recommends against leaving chilled items in a moving vehicle for longer than two hours.

How long does it take for milk to spoil when the power goes out?

Opened milk will go bad without a power source in 4 hours. As a result, you will have to throw it out.

SEE: Find Out If Almond Milk Needs To Be Refrigerated

How long will it take for milk to go bad?

The shelf life of milk after opening is only seven days in the refrigerator and 2 hours outside.

If you’re lucky, unopened milk will last longer than seven days in the refrigerator, but it’s always best to consume them before then for the top quality.

SEE: Why Does Milk Expire So Fast?

How can you tell when milk is bad?

Drinking spoiled milk may result in gastrointestinal problems or even food poisoning. Here are some telltale signs that will let you know whether milk is still safe to consume:

  • You might need to discard your milk if it was left out of the refrigerator for longer than two hours at a temperature higher than 37°F.
  • When milk has an unpleasant or off smell it is no longer safe to drink.
  • To see if it has a sour taste, try a tiny bit. If the milk has started to taste sour, it has spoiled.
  • When milk ferments and form lumps it mean it has gone bad. Additionally, it will thicken and become stickier.
  • You can also pour some milk into a glass to check if the coloring is white and clear under good lighting. If there is a change in color to yellow, light blue, or reddish, it means the milk has gone bad.
  • Milk should be thrown away if there are any signs of dairy mold.

Can spoilt milk make you sick?

When you consume spoiled milk, you run the risk of developing food poisoning, which can cause unpleasant digestive symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain.

However, you need not worry too much if you accidentally drank a small amount of spoiled milk because it won’t cause much harm. Although, it is best to refrain from consuming it in huge amounts.

SEE: Is Sweetened Condensed Milk Gluten-Free?

How to preserve milk at home

Milk will last longer and taste better if you take care to keep it out of warm temperatures the entire time you have it.

Purchase milk last at the supermarket

Once you’ve finished your grocery shopping, stop by the milk aisle last to grab your gallon before moving on to the register. In this manner, the milk will spend less time in the warm moist air and will be less likely to develop dangerous bacteria.

SEE: Get A Chance To Win a $500 Gift Card At Giant Foods

Keep milk at the ideal level of refrigeration

You should keep milk refrigerated to 37 °F. Foods will begin to develop and multiply harmful bacteria more quickly the closer they are to 40 °F.

Place milk in the interior part of the fridge

Milk should be kept in the innermost of your refrigerator where it has the coldest temperatures there.

SEE: The Difference Between Creamer And Milk

Put the milk back in the refrigerator after use

Avoid leaving the gallon on your counter or kitchen table while you enjoy your breakfast of pancakes and bacon or your morning cereal. Once you are done eating, immediately place the milk back in its place after filling everyone’s glasses or the amount needed for a recipe.

Close the fridge door

Everything in your fridge suffers when you stand by it with the door open while looking for snack or dinner ideas.

Just a little time is allowed to retrieve or store your necessary items before closing the door behind you to avoid changes in temperature, which can affect the milk.

SEE: Here’s Why Lactose-Free Milk Still Makes You Sick


What is the worst spot for milk in the fridge?

The worst spot for milk is the door of your refrigerator. That’s because it is the area of your fridge that is the warmest.

Every time you open your refrigerator, you bring everything inside into the hot room. Warmer conditions and frequent temperature changes increase the risk of food spoilage, especially for milk and cream.

What preservatives are used to preserve milk?

Natamycin, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate are the main preservatives found in dairy products.

What should you do if you drank spoiled milk?

Most of the time, after you may have drunk spoilt milk, the symptoms go away within 12 to 24 hours.

To do this, you need to avoid being dehydrated by drinking small amounts of sugar- or electrolyte-containing liquids, such as popsicles and oral rehydration fluids throughout the day.

SEE: Can You Substitute Half And Half For Milk?

What is the difference between sour milk and spoiled milk?

Milk that has gone bad naturally due to bacterial infestation is spoiled, while sour milk is a dairy product made from milk that has been acidified. Both milk varieties have an acidic and sour flavor.


It is best to always keep your milk in the interior of the refrigerator and to keep it closed. Bacteria will multiply more quickly in milk left in the kitchen for a longer period.

Equally, avoid placing milk in the door compartments of your refrigerator. The temperature of the refrigerator fluctuates as it is opened and closed, which could be bad for milk.

As a result, you can only keep the least perishable foods, such as ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, salad dressing, jam, and bottled beverages such as sparkling water.

Thanks for reading.

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