An unopened carton of fresh half-and-half generally stays cool and safe for consumption about 5-7 days past the use-by date, provided that it has been kept refrigerated consistently between 32degF to 40degF (0degC). Otherwise, you can use the half & half within days to a week of opening and store refrigerated thereafter. If you want to be sure that you can use it for longer, do not open your half and half until it is needed. If half and half is on sale and you are looking to buy a large quantity, the carton without opening lasts for about 1 to 2 weeks past the package date, provided you keep it refrigerated.
Some organic products really do have an expiration date that comes sooner, so be sure to check the carton. Expiration dates can be a tricky thing: They are really the last days that the product is in the best possible condition. While most grocery items will have an expiration date printed on it, this is not true for some ingredients, like milk, butter, cream cheese, and eggs. Dairy-based creamers must be refrigerated once opened, and they are subject to an expiration date of one or two weeks from purchase.
Be sure to store non-dairy creamers away from any heat sources, as this will make them spoil even before you open them. Once opened, they are safer stored in the fridge, where they will keep for a week or two. Non-dairy creamers last a lot longer, and you can keep them room temperature for one or two months before opening. The smaller size of the half-and-half single-serving creamers means that they are generally consumed shortly after they are opened, otherwise, store the remaining portion in the refrigerator and use it within seven to 10 days.
If unopened, tiny cups of half & half individual creamers last for at least 1 month past their best-by date. While larger containers of half and half should go into the fridge to keep them from spoiling, some small cups do not require refrigeration and you can store them safely in your pantry. Because the half and half cups that are unopened are ultra-pasteurized and heated at a very high temperature in the UHT process, they will keep for a lot longer without refrigeration.
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The amount of time a half & half will last may also vary depending on where you keep it, and as with all dairy products, you will want to test before using. After a product has passed its expiration date, half and half usually keeps its quality for several days longer than other types of milk. Half-and-half can keep about three to five days after the due date unopened, or seven to 10 days after opening, if using larger containers.
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In the case of the unopened container, its due date will fall between three to five days, counting from the best-by date. The reference is made because a best by date indicates the time for which the product is fit for storage in an ideal environment, such as refrigeration. Creams may be available from 1 to 3 weeks past their best by date, depending on type, care, and the way they are intended to be used.
Its shelf life will also vary depending on the additives, manufacturing processes, and pasteurization levels — so check the box for more details. Once opened, the flavor and quality of the opened carton will slowly degrade, but you will be able to continue using it. The shelf life of an opened carton will greatly depend on the manufacturer, proper storage, and consistent refrigeration.
Generally, if a product has been kept in a cooler longer than five or seven days, it will become lumpy and acidic. If you open a package and let it get exposed to air, the milk will start to lose its milky qualities and deteriorate more quickly. Some sources say that your milk is fine beyond its shelf life, while others say throw it away within just a few days of opening.
According to Eat By Date, once opened, all milk will be good for four to seven days after the date on the label, as long as it is refrigerated. If not opened, whole milk lasts five to seven days, reduced-fat and skimmed milk lasts seven days, and fat-free and lactose-free milk lasts seven to 10 days past its printed date, if refrigerated. If you drive an hour to your house after leaving a grocery store carrying a gallon of regular milk, and the temperature of your milk goes up to 45 degrees, it will be a day short of its listed freshness date. The key to ensuring that any milk can last a lot longer is keeping it refrigerated: never leave your milk sitting out on the counter, and strive to finish off single servings within one hour of drinking.
How long home-made half-and-half will last depends on if your full fat milk and/or cream are open. Half heavy cream, half whole milk, you may find cartons of half & half stored in your fridge with your other dairy products. A special dairy product made of equal parts full fat milk and cream, half and half is a popular addition to coffee, baked goods, and certain dishes, depending on what results you are looking for. Half and half is a versatile product and not only can it be used to make your morning coffee extra special, but half and half serves a purpose in ice-creams and even cocktails.
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Keep your milk and cream cheeses in your fridge or freezer, and other dairy products like yogurt and cottage cheese in your refrigerator. Make sure that your container has an inch-and-a-half of excess room, so that you are protected from your milk expanding when frozen. Let large containers sit in your pantry or anywhere else, and somehow it will still stay nice even one month after the labeled date, that is the best-by date, or so.
Do you have to use half-and-half within 7 days of opening?
Half and half usually last at least 3 to 5 days after the “date of expiry” date. When you open a bottle, you get a generosity of 7 to 10 days. It depends on the producer, so it is critical to read the label. That means your unopened half and a half from two days ago is probably still safe to use.
How to know if half and half is bad?
There are a few key signs to look for. First, half and half will typically separate into two layers when it’s bad. You’ll also notice that the bad half and half will have a sour smell, and it may even have mold growing on it. If you see any of these signs, it’s best to throw the half-and-half away.
What happens if you drink expired half and half?
If the half and half is only a few days past the expiration date, it’s probably still safe to drink. However, if it’s several weeks or months past the expiration date, it’s best to err on the side of caution and throw it out as it might cause stomach problems.