How Long Can Milk Stay Out

Milk is one of the most nutritious and refreshing staple foods. Milk is rich in calcium and vitamin D as well as other minerals and vitamins essential for the human body. It's, therefore, many people store a gallon of milk and is used for the whole day.

It is important to note that foods that go bad should not be left outside the refrigerator or the cooling equipment, for longer than two hours. If it is summer that the answer to how long can mils stays out is just one-hour thanks to the temperature reaches as high as 90 F. We’ll discuss here how long can milk stay out and various important aspects in it.

How to store milk in refrigeration

There are clear guidelines of the US Food and Drugs Administration for storing milk. As per these guidelines, the milk needs refrigeration at a temperature below 40F. In case the refrigerator doesn't come with an inbuilt-thermometer calibrated, you can use as per the FDA’s advice to place a freestanding thermometer in the refrigerator. This will enable you to monitor the temperature.

Avoid storing milk in the fridge again after it is outside above 40 F for a period of two hours or more you have to just dispose of it.

Can milk be subjected to high temperatures?

The US FDA presents stringent guidelines with respect to unrefrigerated milk and treated with high temperature. According to the guidelines of FDA, if milk is stored at temperature of 90 F or more, it will stay fit for consumption for an hour before accumulation of dangerous bacteria associated with food caused sickness becomes a health risk.

Why is refrigeration of milk important?

Milk, in general, contains many harmful organisms that are responsible for causing food-borne illnesses.

This organism parthenogenesis is found in both milk and milk related products.

Make sure you keep milk cold by retaining it in the preferred temperature. Doing this will inhibit the growth of harmful microorganisms.

According to FDA, the outside environment that is the environment outside the refrigerator is full of harmful organisms. They can double in just a short period of 20 minutes.

Note that healthy adults recover when they are exposed to put bone illnesses caused by the microorganisms in milk. However, people like the elderly, young children, pregnant women, and people who’ve weak immune systems are likely to become seriously ill when they’re exposed to the microorganisms in milk ok and milk foods. It may be life-threatening.

Therefore, it is important to prevent the danger by referee refrigerating milk because the process removes all the harmful microorganisms.

How long does milk last after opening?

Studies by Eat By Date shows that once opened milk lasts four to seven days following its date printed on the label. If you keep the pack unopened, whole milk goes for five to seven days, skimmed milk lasts seven days. Nonfat and milk with no lactose lasts seven to ten days from the date printed on the label.

Thus, the answer to the query how long does milk last after opening?’ depends on the type of milk.

Be aware the time mentioned here is valid only when milk is refrigerated properly.

In this context, it is important to know the difference in date labels: sell by, best if used by, use by, and expires on.

Best if used by shows the quality of the product even after the due date, the food is safe to consume.

'Expires on' is used to show the day that falls in quality starts. After this, the product is no longer safe to consume.

'Sell by' dates shows a milk seller such as grocery store when the product should go out of the shelves either to a customer or to the trash.

Many people think 'used by' and 'sell by' are terms used in marketing. These enable milk producers to sell the product when there is the maximum freshness of the product. However, they cannot say when the milk becomes bad.

What is unpasteurized milk?

The milk you buy in the packaged form is subject to the heating process at a temperature such that it is strong enough destroy the harmful organisms that are likely to cause, tuberculosis, typhoid, and other serious condition. There is a misconception that the process of pasteurization results in loss of nutrients. As per the assertion by the FDA, it's misleading.

A few consumers choose to drink unpasteurized milk. This is the milk that has not been treated to destroy the harmful microbes such as Listeria monocytogenes. This microorganism can grow in the refrigerator, thus exposing consumers to the risk of listeriosis. Listeriosis is a serious illness and is fatal.

However, though pasteurized milk is safe for health, you cannot keep it outside refrigerator longer than the duration suggested by guidelines of the FDA. Unpasteurized milk may also contain e coli and salmonella.

What is organic milk?

Organic milk is the milk obtained from livestock raised as per organic farming practices. While regular milk lasts less than a week, organic milk lasts much longer – close to a month.

What are the causative factors that keep the milk fresh for such as a long time?

The reason is that the firm getting organic milk does not use any employ antibiotics to combat infection in chows. They do not use even hormones on the livestock to stimulate the production of milk. This explains the query why does organic milk last longer?’

Organic milk lasts longer because of the milk producers use a distinct process to store the milk. As per the Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (the United States), the milk has to be kept fresh for a longer period because organic products will have to traverse longer to reach store shelves to go to the end user as it is not produced in a particular geographic area.

The process tendering a longer life to is called ultrahigh temperature (UHT) treatment or process. The process involves heating the milk to 280 F (138 C) for two to four seconds. This is likely to destroy the bacteria in the milk.


When it comes to considering how long milk can stay out, the answer is two hours to seven days. It depends upon the nature of the milk - unpasteurized milk, pasteurized milk, organic milk. In each case, milk is subjected to different conditions of heating to a prefixed temperature to ensure maximum usability for the maximum possible time. The diverse processes can be used depending on the purpose for which the milk is going to be used.

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