Does Baby Formula Go Bad?
Does Baby Formula Go Bad?
Does baby formula expire? How long after you prepare it can it sit out? Find out all of the formula facts you need to know.
As a parent, you have many questions. Many of those questions are about your baby's formula. You want to make sure that you give your little one the best, fresh milk without any concerns. The following guidelines will inform you as well as help you follow food safety for your baby's nutritional needs.
Baby Formula in the Package
Baby formula comes with expiration or “use by” dates on the packaging so that there is no confusion or guess work when it is no longer good for consumption. Federal guidelines in the United States required all packages to have a “use by” date”. Infants should not be fed anything past its expiration date because the quality would be inferior, the nutrient content may not be as stated in the package, and it can be a safety issue. When formula starts to go bad, it can break down. Another sign is that the smell will be off. Your child can have a food-born illness with symptoms such as gas and vomiting. It is important to be mindful of the shelf life of your baby formula.
When you purchase your organic baby formula that was manufactured in Europe, keep in mind that the expiration dates are stamped DD MM YYYY instead of the U.S. format MM DD YYYY. There is a big difference between May 12th and December 5th so keep that information in mind as well.
Prepared Baby Formula at Room Temperature
Once you open a container of formula, you have a specific amount of time before it goes bad. It does not matter if you prepare ready-to-eat, liquid concentrate, or powdered baby formula. Once you prepare the bottle, you have to throw it out if it has been out at room temperature for at least an hour. If you wouldn't drink a cup of milk that has been out of the refrigerator for over an hour, you shouldn't offer a bottle that has done the same.
What happens if your baby is not ready for the bottle that you prepared? You can refrigerate it until your baby is ready. If your baby drank most of the bottle but there are still a few ounces left, do not plan on having your baby finish it. The saliva mixed in with the formula can harbor bacteria and make it unsafe for your baby to consume later. When your baby is done, the bottle is done too.
Prepared Baby Formula in the Refrigerator
Did you prepare a bottle and then put it in the refrigerator? That bottle, no matter how it started out, is good for 24 hours. You can even prepare a day's worth of formula to save time, then keep it chilled for faster bottle preparation.
If you use ready-to-eat or liquid concentrate, it must be refrigerated once you have broken the safety seal. After that, those containers must be used within 48 hours or it must be thrown out.
Prepared Baby Formula in the Freezer
Even though breast milk can be frozen, the FDA and baby formula manufacturers do not recommend baby formula of any kind. This is because the composition will break down and affect the balance of nutrients that your baby needs to grow and thrive.