Does Sweetened Condensed Milk Need To Be Refrigerated? Surprising Facts Inside!

Sweetened condensed milk does not need to be refrigerated before opening but it should be refrigerated after opening. Sweetened condensed milk is a popular ingredient in many recipes that require a rich and creamy taste.

However, if you ever find yourself with leftover sweetened condensed milk after cooking or baking, you may wonder whether it needs to be kept in the refrigerator. The answer is yes, but it mainly depends on if the can has been opened or not.

Unopened cans of sweetened condensed milk should be stored in a cool and dry place at room temperature but once opened, it should be stored in the refrigerator to prevent spoilage and avoid bacterial growth. In this article, we will dive into the reasons why sweetened condensed milk needs to be refrigerated after it has been opened.

Does Sweetened Condensed Milk Need Refrigeration? Surprising Facts Inside!


Shelf Life Of Sweetened Condensed Milk

The shelf life of sweetened condensed milk (scm) is defined as the period between its production and the time it becomes unstable for consumption. The factors affecting the shelf life of scm are the quality of milk and sugar used, the processing method employed, and storage conditions.

Manufacturers determine the expiration date of scm based on microbiological and chemical analyses. However, the shelf life may vary depending on the storage temperature and humidity, exposure to light, and the container used for storage. To extend the shelf life of scm, store it in a cool, dry place away from sunlight, and use a clean utensil to scoop from the container.

Additionally, refrigerating the product after opening can also prolong its shelf life. So, it is better to take care of these factors for the better shelf life of sweetened condensed milk.

The Need For Refrigeration

Refrigeration is significant in preserving food products. Milk and dairy products need refrigeration to avoid spoilage. The scientific explanation behind this is that low temperature slows down bacterial growth. On the other hand, scm can be stored at room temperature because the sugar in it acts as a preservative.

However, it is not recommended to store it for too long. It is sweeter than regular milk and other dairy products, making it a common ingredient for desserts and baked goods. Compared to milk and other dairy products, sweetened condensed milk has a longer shelf life.

Nevertheless, it is still important to exercise caution and follow proper storage guidelines for it to remain safe to consume.

Misconceptions About Refrigeration And Scm

Refrigeration is often thought to be necessary for sweetened condensed milk (scm), but it’s a common misconception. Despite what some people believe, scm doesn’t need to be refrigerated. This contradicts what many believe, but it is the truth. However, it’s understandable why people might think that refrigeration is needed.

Scm is incredibly versatile and can last for months, but it is better to store it at a moderate temperature. Nevertheless, not everyone is convinced that it is safe to store scm outside the refrigerator. While there are legitimate concerns regarding scm, the facts are clear that it doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

Scm lasts a long time, and with proper storage, it will remain safe to consume.

The Risk Of Not Refrigerating Scm

Sweetened condensed milk (scm) is a popular ingredient in many desserts and baked goods. However, one question that often arises is whether scm needs to be refrigerated. The answer is yes, scm should be refrigerated to avoid health risks. Consuming spoiled scm can lead to food poisoning, which can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

The risks of consuming spoiled scm are similar to those of other dairy products. The signs of spoiled scm include discoloration, an off smell, and a sour taste. It is important to check the expiration date and to refrigerate any unused portions promptly.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your scm remains fresh and safe to consume.

Frequently Asked Questions For Does Sweetened Condensed Milk Need To Be Refrigerated

Is It Safe To Leave Sweetened Condensed Milk Out Of The Fridge?

Sweetened condensed milk is shelf-stable due to its high sugar content. It can be safe to leave it at room temperature but lasts longer when stored in the fridge.

How Long Can Sweetened Condensed Milk Last Unopened?

Unopened cans of sweetened condensed milk can last up to two years in a cool, dry place like a pantry. Be sure to check the expiration date before using.

Can Sweetened Condensed Milk Go Bad?

Sweetened condensed milk can go bad if it is left opened or unrefrigerated for too long. Signs of spoilage include discoloration or a sour smell.

How Should I Store An Opened Can Of Sweetened Condensed Milk?

Once opened, sweetened condensed milk can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Make sure to use it before the expiration date.

Can Sweetened Condensed Milk Be Frozen?

Yes, sweetened condensed milk can be frozen for up to three months. Transfer it to an airtight container and allow it to thaw in the fridge before using.


To sum up, sweetened condensed milk definitely needs to be refrigerated after opening. It is a perishable product that can spoil quickly if not stored properly. The best way to extend its shelf life is to keep it chilled and tightly sealed.

If you notice any odd smells, colors, or textures, discard the product immediately. Always check the expiration date before purchasing and consume within a reasonable time frame. Remember to handle sweetened condensed milk with care, as it is high in sugar and can be a breeding ground for bacteria if not handled properly.

Follow these guidelines, and you should be able to enjoy your favorite recipes that require sweetened condensed milk safely and deliciously. So, keep a stock of this creamy goodness handy, but keep it refrigerated too to use it for your desserts and everything that needs a dose of sweetness!

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