How Long Can Formula Stay In The Fridge (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Up To 24 Hours

The formula is a life-saving product for many new mothers, but sometimes it can be hard to know how long it can last in the fridge. 

Some new parents may have difficulty determining the time to store baby formula in the fridge before it goes bad. It depends on the type of formula. Powder formulas can last up to 72 hours, while concentrated liquid and ready-to-feed formulas can last in the fridge for up to 24 hours. 

Hence, if one is stocking up on formulas, be sure to check the expiration date to make sure it’s still good to use. Always refrigerate unopened cans of formula after opening. Otherwise, they could spoil. 

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How Long Can Formula Stay In The Fridge?

Type Duration
Ready-to-feed formulasUp to 24 hours
Powder formulasUp to 72 hours

Most unopened cans of formula will stay fresh for up to two years. Once a can is opened, it will last for about one month.

However, the formula can stay in the fridge for up to 24 hours after opening, but it’s best to use it as soon as possible. 

Concentrated formulas must be diluted with water, but ready-made choices do not require any preparation before consumption, making them the simplest formula to prepare. The safest option for very young and medically fragile infants is liquid formulas, which are sterile.

If one doesn’t plan on using all of the formula within 24 hours, they can freeze it for later use. Just make sure to thaw it in the fridge overnight before giving it to the baby.

According to the experts, the formula has a shelf life of 1 month. 

It is best practice to mix up enough for one day at a time and plan when combining leftovers or fresh milk into what’s already made or when feeding the baby. One can also pre-mix large batches of formula.

Infant formula is not designed to be left in the fridge past the time, so make sure to check the label. Also, many say that Formula really shouldn’t be refrigerated because refrigeration can decrease its quality and shelf life. 

Make sure to read the back of the package to know for certain how long it will last. 

Why Would Formula Stay In The Fridge For So Long?

It’s safe for the formula to stay refrigerated for 24 hours after opening, but it will start to lose potency and nutritional value after that time.

Formula’s expiration date is based on its nutritional quality, not spoilage risk. When it passes its use-by date, the nutrients in the formula change so drastically that the body rejects them as “foreign.” 

The regulatory agency regulates these dates according to how long it takes a consumer to see this change in texture or nutritional content. This is why one may add an expired pack to one’s cart because one didn’t notice that it had passed one of these “use by” dates.

The milk proteins in a formula can cause it to spoil more quickly than other liquids. That’s why it’s recommended to keep it in the fridge and use it within 24 hours.

However, parents need to throw it away after that because bacteria can grow and make the baby sick.

Overall, the formula can stay in the fridge for an extended period if it has not been opened. Once the container seal is broken, it is no longer sterile and should be used within 24 hours. The formula that has been left out at room temperature for an extended period or heated should not be used so that the bay can enjoy a healthy formula.


Milk-based items are known for fostering germs. Bacteria are introduced into one’s baby’s milk if they drink from a bottle and not store the formula.

This is why It’s important to know how long one can store formula in the fridge so that the baby never goes hungry. One should store formula at a temperature of 36-40 degrees Fahrenheit, and it needs to stay cold for its entire shelf life. 

If one is storing more than one container of formula, make sure they are not touching each other or anything else because this will cause them all to spoil faster. 



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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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