In this short guide, we’ll address the question “How quickly does milk go bad?” with an in-depth examination of the time it takes for milk to spoil and various methods for detecting rotten milk. Furthermore, we will explore the health consequences of consuming spoilt milk.

So, without further ado, let’s get started and learn more about it.

How quickly does milk go bad?

Open the milk can When stored in an airtight container or bottle in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, whole milk, skim milk, or reduced-fat milk lasts for about 4 to 7 days before spoiling.

Unopened whole milk, on the other hand, lasts for roughly 5-7 days, reduced-fat and skim milk for 7 days, and non-fat and lactose-free milk for 7-10 days after the printed date if kept in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Last but not least, when left out at room temperature, open milk lasts around 2 hours before spoiling.

Because bacterial development is faster between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, milk left out for more than 2 hours should be discarded.

It’s worth noting that these figures just represent the milk’s projected shelf life; you should conduct a sensory evaluation of the milk before making a final decision on whether or not it’s still safe to drink.

There are a few telltale signs that your milk has gone bad. To determine whether or not the milk has soured, assess the appearance, texture, smell, and taste of the product.


If you notice a mold or other organic growth in your milk carton (which is a very unusual occurrence), the best thing you can do is discard it because it indicates spoilt milk.

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If the milk is curdled or has lumps in it, it is spoilt milk, and you should discard it.


If you smell something unpleasant or sour while doing a sniff test, the milk has soured and you should discard it.


You can taste the milk when it has passed the visual and olfactory tests. If you take a small sip of milk and detect a sour or somewhat bitter taste, the milk has deteriorated.

If germs have inadvertently gotten into your milk and spoilt it, the best thing you can do is toss it.

Drinking spoilt milk has negative health consequences.

Food poisoning can occur as a result of consuming tainted milk, and symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, weakness, headaches, and dehydration.

A minor case of food poisoning can linger for a day or two, but a more chronic condition can remain for up to ten days.

So, if you’ve consumed spoilt milk and are experiencing vomiting and diarrhea, you should attempt to drink as much water as possible so that, while your body is ridding itself of toxins through diarrhea and vomiting, the water you drink will protect you from dehydration that vomiting can cause.

If your symptoms worsen or your diarrhea and vomiting last more than three days, you should seek medical attention.

You may learn more about the various types of microbes and their activities in milk by clicking here.

Is it safe to consume milk after the best-before date has passed?

The “best by” or “best before” date on a milk carton relates to the quality of the milk rather than its safety, therefore the milk does not necessarily spoil soon after the best before date.

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It is the time when milk is at its best in terms of quality and flavor, but you can still consume milk that has passed this date as long as it was stored properly, there is no leakage in the carton, and there are no signs of rotting.

Milk’s Advantages

Milk is a food that is considered a complete meal since it has an optimal balance of all nutrients, such as carbs, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Lactose is the most essential sugar, which can be difficult for many people owing to digestion issues. Water is the most abundant natural constituent in milk, accounting for approximately 87 percent of the total volume.

Milk is a nutrient-dense food that is essential for an individual’s healthy growth and development. It signifies that by include this food product in one’s everyday diet, one can obtain all of the nutrients required.

Milk is also recognized for having a high concentration of high-quality proteins that contain nearly all of the essential amino acids needed for good health. These amino acids can aid in the development of body muscle mass throughout one’s life, preventing age-related muscle loss and increasing muscle regeneration.

Different micronutrients, such as calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and phosphorus, are present in sufficient levels in milk and help to maintain bone health. By adding milk to one’s everyday diet, one can avoid diseases like osteoporosis and fractures caused by weak bones.


We answered the topic “how fast does milk deteriorate?” with an in-depth investigation of the time it takes for milk to sour and many techniques to recognize spoilt milk in this quick guide. We also talked about the health risks of consuming spoilt milk.

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