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How Long Does Half and Half Last? Does it Go Bad?

Finding a pack of half and half at home is common, as everyone loves it.

But this situation becomes confusing when you do not know how long it has been stored there.

Therefore one thinks that do half and half go bad, or can we use it? The packet, however, contains a best-by date on it.

But that is only an estimation, and the milk can stay longer than the date or even go bad before the date lapses.

Half and half contain 50% of milk, due to which it does not have a longer life.

What is Half and Half?

It is milk that contains 50% of milk and 50% cream, which not only increases the flavor but also provides more nutrients.

The milk includes whole milk and heavy cream that offers a fat content that ranges from 10.5% to 18%.

There are numerous recipes where you can use this milk except for whipped cream, as its fat content is low to prepare.

Milk is most commonly used in coffee, tea, sauces, and other baking recipes.

The milk is rich in calcium and fat and can also offer 17 g of saturated fats.

Adding just a spoon of half and half can provide you with 2g of fats and 1 g of carbohydrates.

Besides that, vitamins C, A, and E and potassium, magnesium, and pantothenic acid are also present in them.

Thus adding a half cup to your tea or coffee with make it entirely delightful and full of nutritional elements.

How Long Does Half and Half Last? Does Half and Half Go Bad?

When it comes to the shelf life, then many people only consider the best by date, which is only an indicator of spoilage.

But you cannot only rely on that date; thus, one must know about the period till half and half retain its quality to the peak.

Usually, milk lasts only 2-3 days, but this can serve you for ten days or more if you keep an unopened pack in the refrigerator.

But if you have bought tiny canned cups instead of tetra packs, you can expect them to last five months after the manufacturing date.

That is because they have added preservatives, increasing their shelf life.

If you have an opened pack, then the shelf life will reduce to 7 to 10 days.

There is a higher possibility that the milk will lose all its nutrients and flavor once the pack is opened.

All types of half and half packages should not be kept at room temperature as they will not last even for a few hours.

If you are buying them in advance but want them to last for months, then choose canned cups, as they can even last for two months in the pantry.

How to Tell if Half and Half Has Gone Bad?

  • Formation of Lumps

When you are not sure about the storage period, you have to look for signs indicating that it has gone bad.

The significant difference that one can notice is the formation of lumps.

When the consistency of milk becomes different, and it develops lumps, then milk has undoubtedly been mishandled by you and needs to be discarded immediately.

  • Bad Odor

Do your half and half has developed a bad smell, which can be because the milk has gone bad.

This is a noticeable change as when the milk is new, it has an aroma of lactose.

But when the milk interacts with other elements like air or heat, then develops bacteria in milk.

Therefore it starts to stink, and you should throw out or discard the pack.

  • Appearance Becomes Curdled

When you store this milk for an extended period of time, then its appearance will become curdling.

This happens if the protein content begins to form clusters together and changes the PH.

If bacteria have entered the pack and you keep storing it, the milk becomes curdled.

This can be because of excessive exposure to air or high-temperature storage.

Avoid having milk if it is curdled, as this can lead to food poisoning.

How to Store Half and Half?

  • Seal the Container

As excess air is not suitable for your milk, thus you should seal the container properly if you have leftovers.

Only keeping them in the refrigerator will not work for them, so you can either take a Ziploc bag or an airtight container to keep them sealed.

Many manufacturers are aware of this problem, so they are now producing resealable bags to provide ease of storage.

  • Avoid Storage in the Fridge Door

Most people store their half and half packs in the fridge door as it offers easy access.

However, that spot is not suitable for storing your milk because as the door is opened frequently, the temperature keeps decreasing, and your milk goes bad.

  • Store Away From Strongly Scented Food

The milk can pick up the scent of strong foods easily.

Therefore you need to be cautious that it is not surrounded by foods with a strong smell.

Bad odor can make the cream foul and ruin the taste of milk.


Before using long-stored half and half, you should look for the bad signs.

That is because having bad milk can cause severe stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and other problems.

Freezer, the pack can increase its shelf life but will not retain its original flavor for long.

Therefore try to store the milk in the fridge or finish it before the pack go bad.

How Long Does Half and Half Last? Does it Go Bad?

Wondering about the longevity of your half and half? Learn how long half and half lasts and whether it spoils.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Shelf Life
Servings 1 Serving


  • Half and Half
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


  • Store your product in an labelled container in a cool, dark place like the pantry or fridge.
  • If your food is frozen, allow it to thaw in the fridge before cooking.
  • Make sure to look for signs that your food has gone bad before eating it.
Keyword How Long Does Half and Half Last
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