Food Storage - How long can you keep...


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12-18 months (best quality)
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3 years


  • How long does a package of unopened powdered milk last? The precise answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions - to maximize the shelf life of unopened powdered milk store in a cool, dry area.
  • How long does unopened powdered milk last at room temperature? Properly stored, a package of unopened powdered milk will generally stay at best quality for about 12 to 18 months at room temperature.
  • Is unopened powdered milk safe to use after the "expiration" date on the package? Yes, provided it is properly stored and the package is undamaged - commercially packaged powdered milk will typically carry a " Best By," "Best if Used By," "Best Before", or "Best When Used By" date but this is not a safety date, it is the manufacturer's estimate of how long the powdered milk will remain at peak quality.
  • Storage time shown is for best quality only - after that, the powdered milk's texture, color or flavor may change, but in most cases, it will still be safe to consume if it has been stored properly, the package is undamaged, and there are no signs of spoilage (see below).
  • Can you keep powdered milk in the freezer? Yes, to further extend the shelf life of powdered milk, freeze it; place the unopened powdered milk inside heavy-duty freezer bags.
  • How long does powdered milk last in the freezer? Properly stored, it will maintain best quality for about 3 years, but will remain safe beyond that time.
  • The freezer time shown is for best quality only — powdered milk that has been kept constantly frozen at 0° F will keep safe indefinitely.
  • How can you tell if powdered milk is bad or spoiled? The best way is to smell and look at the powdered milk: if the powdered milk develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, or if mold or insects appear, it should be discarded.

Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here

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