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Oct 12, 2007 04:34 PM

How long will Half & Half last in fridge?

Why does skim milk last days but half and half seem to last forever? We don't use much of it but it hardly ever goes bad. Why??

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  1. Read the package- it may be ultrapasteurized.

    The regular stuff (merely pasteurized) is usually dated about 10 days whereas ultrapasteurized is about 6 weeks...

    They ultrapasteurize some milk products also.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cathy

      I agree with Cathy--probably ultrapasteurized

    2. I've noticed that the more fat it has, the easier it is to spoil. So in my experience, half and half doesn't last as long as skim milk but lasts longer than heavy cream.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Miss Needle

        interesting. I find exactly the opposite. Cream and half and half I can keep for weeks with no sign of deterioration. Milk maybe one week.

      2. Most milk in Toronto is not UHT, and therefore spoils within days of its expiry date - and sometimes earlier if opened or not refrigerated.

        Most major supermarket brands of cream are UHT. These can easily last for months - many months - past the expiry date if sealed and for many weeks past the expiry date once opened. They will last for weeks without refrigeration if fairly fresh and unopened.

        1. But remember... the date on the carton is the date it will last UNOPENED.

          Once it's opened it will go bad.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Jennalynn

            Disagree totally. See my post above.

          2. How often and how long you open the container could be the answer. If microorganisms have less chance to float in, milk or half and half will take longer to spoil.

            1 Reply
            1. re: atheorist

              I have taken to using light cream in my coffee, rather than half&half. I use half the amount, and still the light cream lasts two or three times as long as half&half. I have always bought it in pint cartons kept in the same spot in the fridge, so those variables are omitted. I have the same amount of coffee daily but of course it takes less cream to lighten it than it does half&half. Instead of having to make something like mac&cheese to quickly use up the verge-of-souring half&half, I can use an entire container for just my coffee.

              I rarely buy heavy cream. When I do, both before and after opening, I keep it in the lower rear of the fridge - the coldest spot - where it lasts well over a month before starting to sour. One time I knew it had been in there for months and when I finally excavated back there, intending to throw out what I was sure would be spoiled cream, I discovered that the carton, which wasn't properly closed, now contained what amounted to very usable cream cheese.

              Does anyone know the scientific explanation of why it's true that the higher the fat content in liquid dairy, the longer it takes to spoil?