As someone who sometimes struggles to get through goods before the expiration date, I’ve often found myself wondering how long is coffee creamer good for after opening.
So, I’ve spent hours researching the shelf-life of various products, including determining does coffee creamer go bad or what the risks of consuming expired coffee creamer may be.
Coffee creamer does go bad. However, the expiration dates can vary drastically, so I’ve gathered everything you need to know about safely consuming and storing coffee creamer.
Does Coffee Creamer Go Bad?
The bad news is yes, coffee creamer goes off eventually.
Coffee creamer is usually made from sugar, milk, flavorings, and preservatives. It is usually found in liquid form, but a powdered version exists. Dairy-free coffee creamer is also rising in popularity.
Whether there is actual dairy in the creamer or not, the coffee creamer will not last indefinitely. These products do not always have the same shelf-life as each other, so always look for the expiration date on the packaging and storage instructions.
Preservatives  help curb the spread of food-borne illnesses such as salmonella, but nothing can preserve coffee creamer indefinitely.
How Long Does Coffee Creamer Last?
Stored at pantry
Stored in fridge
Unopened dairy creamer
Used-by + 10 days
Opened dairy creamer
Unopened non-dairy creamer
Best-by + 30 days
Opened non-dairy creamer
Powered coffee creamer
Best-by + 4 months
Unopened Coffee Creamer
Coffee creamer can last for months if it is unopened. After opening, the shelf life can vary depending on whether it’s powder-based, liquid-based, contains dairy or not, and on the brand itself.
Unopened coffee creamers can have a shelf life of between six and twelve months. Be sure to read the label first, as different brands will have different best-before dates.
Unopened coffee creamer may be good for an additional up to a month after the best before date is passed.
Opened Coffee Creamer
So how long is coffee creamer good for in the fridge?
If it has been opened, a refrigerated liquid coffee creamer should be consumed within a week regardless of the best before date. This rule applies whether it contains dairy or not.
A big canister of powdered coffee creamer will likely have a longer shelf-life even when opened, as they are intended for multiple uses.
Single-Use Coffee Creamer
If you struggle to finish your coffee creamer before the best-before date, then your best bet is to rely on small single-use pods of liquid coffee creamer.
These come in multipacks, which could last for almost a year in your pantry when unopened. So, you’re less likely to need to throw expired creamer away.
How To Tell If Coffee Creamer Has Gone Off
Coffee creamer after the expiration date may not always look any different.
So, if you’re wondering how long is coffee creamer good after expiration, the safest thing is to err on the side of caution if the product is long expired.
Liquid Coffee Creamer
As for liquid coffee creamer, it should be more apparent if it has gone off.
A milk-based coffee creamer could have a sour taste, lumpy texture, and foul smell. You’re likely to notice this when opening the creamer or after the very first sip.
You may also notice a creamer has gone off if it tastes stale or much weaker than usual.
Powder Coffee Creamer
A powder-based creamer may also start clumping together or no longer mix as thoroughly in your drink.
It can be harder to determine if powdered-based products expired just by looks alone, which is why it’s important to pay attention to the expiration date.
Do not consume powder coffee creamer if you see mold on the top – even if you scrape off the top layer or scoop it out, the spores may have already dug deep into the creamer and make you sick, so it will need to be binned.
The color of the powder may change after expiration, or it may not smell as strong.
Plant-Based Coffee Creamer
As for plant-based milk, a liquid creamer could smell or taste sour, become clumpy or even adopt a gel-like consistency when expired.
How To Store Coffee Creamer
Storing Unopened Coffee Creamer
1. Unopened coffee creamer can be stored almost anywhere in your kitchen or pantry.
2. Do not place any kind of coffee creamer in an area that receives direct sunlight or near any hot appliances like the oven, kettle, or toaster.
The heat can impact the flavor and make the creamer go off sooner as a warm environment allows bacteria to thrive, especially in products that have been opened.
Storing Opened Coffee Creamer
1. Once opened, store liquid coffee creamer in the fridge with the lid tightly sealed.
2. Powdered coffee creamer can be stored in a cupboard or anywhere in your kitchen away from direct light and heat with the lid tightly sealed.
3. Small single-use pods of coffee creamer cannot be stored after opening, so in the unlikely case of not using it all, you will have to discard it immediately.
4. Do not put a damp spoon into a powder coffee creamer when serving it.
Add the coffee creamer to your mug before stirring your coffee, or use a different spoon. Damp food is a great environment for mold to thrive, which could shorten the creamer’s lifespan.
Storing Coffee Creamer In The Freezer
So, can you freeze coffee creamer instead? Some people also opt to freeze their liquid coffee creamer to buy some extra time.
Frozen coffee creamer can last up to six months, whether it’s dairy-free or not. When you decide it’s time to use it, allow it to thaw out in the fridge over the course of a few hours.
What Are The Risks Of Eating Expired Coffee Creamer?
All kinds of expired coffee creamer can make you sick.
Best Before Date Vs. Use-By Date
A best-before date and a use-by date are not the same thing.
The best before date indicates optimal freshness for a product. After that time has passed, the creamer is still edible – within a reasonable timeframe – but will not be as good as when it was fresher.
Use-by is more akin to an expiration date, a coffee creamer past this date may no longer be safe to consume.
Symptoms Of Consuming Expired Coffee Creamer
A rancid liquid coffee creamer made from dairy can also make you ill.
Consuming large amounts of expired dairy products can cause food poisoning  and symptoms such as nausea, bloating, indigestion, vomiting, cramps, and diarrhea.
While research has found vegans are less likely to get food poisoning ; they are not immune, so expired plant-based creamer can still leave you feeling unwell.
You can typically tell that a dairy product has expired by smell or after the first sip, so expired coffee creamer is unlikely to make you very sick in this instance.
Now that you know how long coffee creamer is good for after opening, you can use this information to determine just how much is worth using and buying in the one go.
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