For some people, the day starts as soon as their alarm goes off. For others, it is only after they’ve had their first sip of coffee. While several people swear by their black coffee, individuals like me prefer it with coffee creamer.
That brings us to our main question- Does a coffee creamer go bad? Well, of course. Whether dairy or non-dairy, liquid or powder, every type of coffee creamer can go bad after a certain time threshold.
So, if you are somebody who likes to have their daily coffee, it is necessary to understand when and how your coffee creamer can lose its quality. Read ahead to learn more about the shelf life of coffee creamers and the risks involved in consuming an expired one.
Can Coffee Creamer Go Bad?
Coffee creamers can go bad after a specific period. Moreover, inappropriate storage conditions can accelerate lactic acid build-up, causing quality deterioration. It can also be due to issues with the packaging or excess exposure to heat.
This can make it a bit chunky and change its taste drastically. So whether you own a liquid coffee creamer or a powered one, storing correctly before and after opening is extremely important.
Know This Before You Buy Coffee Creamer
When you visit a supermarket, it’s obvious to have various options to choose from. And this can often make you confused. Well, there are a few interesting facts you should know about coffee creamers so you can buy yourself the right one.
Most coffee creamers are dairy-free, but not all are. They are often made of sugar. So check the product description to know about it if you are lactose intolerant or on a diet.
Talking about shelf life, coffee creamers last long compared to milk products when in powder form. You get to choose from a variety of flavors, which makes them a good substitute for milk powder or half-and-half.
There are basically five types of coffee creamers that you can get: liquid, powdered, sugar-free, fat-free, and flavored. Out of these, the two main forms are powdered coffee creamer or liquid. They are ready to use no matter what time of the day you want to have them both in liquid and powdered varieties.
So it won’t be ideally wrong to say that coffee creamers are for all days and moods. Now that this seems quite interesting, let us know a bit more about its shelf life so that you can enjoy them till then.
Shelf Life Of Coffee Creamers
Since there are general types of coffee creamers, it is obvious that both of these types have a different shelf life.
This does not always mean that you cannot consume past it. Talking about powdered coffee creamers, you will see a best-by-date mentioned on the packaging. They mean that flavors might start to deteriorate once it is past their best-by date, so it’s advisable to consume them sooner.
So if your powdered coffee creamer is not wet, sticky, or pale in taste, you can surely have them post that. Generally, the shelf life of powdered coffee creamers is around 4 to 6 months if you use and store them right.
With liquid coffee creamers, things are a bit different in the case of shelf life. It also has the best by the date mentioned on the packaging, just like powdered coffee creamers, but it doesn’t last six months or so.
Liquid coffee creamers generally lack preservatives and last up to a couple of months when left unopened. Once opened, liquid coffee creamers will last around a week to two weeks after opening.
So it won’t be ideally wrong to say that if you are not planning to use coffee creamer regularly, it is advisable to get powdered coffee creamer than liquid ones.
A coffee creamer that comes in mini sealed cups is great while traveling and lasts for approximately six months. At the same time, most dairy-based creamers and whiteners last for a couple of weeks, depending upon their best-by-date.
Storing your coffee creamers, depending on their type, is essential. So here are a few tips that will help you store your coffee creams appropriately.
Tips For Storing Your Coffee Creamer Right
Coffee creamers in plastic bottles or tetra packs need to be refrigerated. This is because they will most likely be in liquid form and contain an ample amount of milk, cream, sugar, and added flavors. So milk, cream, and sugar directly call out for refrigeration.
So store them in a fridge as soon as you get them and bring them out only when you want to use them. Also, sealing the container is exceptionally essential, as the rest edibles in the refrigerator can spoil it quite quickly.
Many dairy-free coffee creamers are available in the market that does not require refrigeration until opened. They are generally the ones kept on shelves in supermarkets. They, when unopened, are perfectly fine on your kitchen shelf as it contains no milk. You need to make sure they are stored away from direct sunlight.
So a cool, dry, and dark place would work fine. Once opened, it is mandatory that you store them in a refrigerator. The same is with tiny cups. You can keep them in your kitchen cabinet until opened and refrigerate them once opened.
However, powdered coffee creamers can always be stored out on a kitchen shelf or pantry. You need to make sure it is sealed tightly, as moisture can lead to spoilage, which we need to avoid. If your original packaging isn’t resealable, make sure you transfer it into another air-tight container.
And that’s all you should know when it comes to storing coffee creamers or, say, whiteners. Even tiny mistakes can lead to spoilage. The only good side is you will quickly know when coffee creamers go bad, and here’s how.
How To Tell If Coffee Creamers Have Gone Bad?
Since coffee creamers are available in two different forms, they show different signs of spoilage. However, signs are pretty easily visible.
Talking about liquid coffee creamers, a texture change is a clear sign of spoilage. Generally, when liquid coffee creamers go bad, they big to start forming clumps. These clumps typically happen due to improper storage conditions or when they age a lot.
Also, when liquid coffee creamers go bad, they can have runny consistency or sometimes taste changes. If you find it even slightly different from earlier, try tasting it. If it tastes fine and the texture is just normal, go ahead and have your coffee.
Things with powdered coffee creamers are a bit different. When powdered coffee creamers go bad, it starts to form lumps and throws off a bad smell. Since it has a pretty long shelf life, powdered coffee creamers have been fine for years. But watch out for moisture.
Moisture can lead to formations of molds and can even make powdered coffee creamers sticky. This clearly means they have gone bad, and you should definitely avoid their consumption.
The only way to check your old powdered coffee creamer is by brewing a cup of coffee. If it tastes and smells okay, enjoy your coffee.
Irrespective of type, we do not recommend the consumption of coffee creamers that have been months past their expiry date. There are certain risks associated with consuming spoiled or expired coffee creamers, so make sure you avoid them.
What Happens if you Consume Expired Coffee Creamers?
Consuming spoiled or expired coffee creamers can lead to food poisoning, upset stomach, and skin problems as well. Although people haven’t complained about anything more severe than that, since it contains at least some amount of sugar, it is better to avoid it rather than risk your health. Get yourself a new jar or bottle of coffee creamer and brew yourself a simmering cup of heaven. Oh, we mean coffee.
Can you Freeze Coffee Creamers?
If you want to store coffee creamers for a long period, you can try freezing them.
Even though freezing is not recommended by the majority of the brands, non-dairy coffee creamer can be easily frozen and thawed while retaining the taste and texture.
You can start by transferring the coffee creamer to the ice cube section and freeze them. Once they are frozen, you can transfer the coffee creamer ice cubes to a sealable freezer bag and pop them back into the freezer.
The next time you make coffee, you can simply use one of the ice cubes to sweeten your coffee. It will add a creamy consistency to coffee, smoothies, and milkshakes as well.
If you want to thaw the cubes, simply place the cubes in the refrigerator section for a few hours.
Alternatives for Coffee Creamers if They Go Bad
In case your coffee creamer has gone bad, or you want a healthy alternative, you can choose any of the following substitutes:
- Plant-based milk
- Maple syrup
- Vanilla extract
How long can coffee creamer be used after expiration?
Generally, coffee creamers have a shelf life of 6 months, but they can last for 2-3 months after their expiration date. If you do not notice any spoilage signs, you can use the coffee creamer even after expiration.
Can coffee creamer make you sick?
Certain coffee creamers contain ingredients like Dipotassium phosphate or high fructose corn syrup that can cause food poisoning or nausea. It is best to check the label and ingredients before making any purchase.
Can you get food poisoning from expired creamer?
An expired creamer with molds denotes the growth of bacteria. Such coffee creamers must be tossed out as they can cause food poisoning and other illnesses.
So the answer to does coffee creamer goes bad is yes. Definitely, coffee creamers can go bad when they are months past their expiry date, stored in direct sunlight, near a heat source, or under other bad storage conditions.
Since powdered coffee creamers have a longer shelf life compared to liquid ones, please make your choice depending on your usage. Powdered coffee creamers last for a year when kept in a tightly sealed container, whereas liquid coffee creamers will last for two to three weeks when refrigerated.
We hope now you know anything and everything you need to about coffee creamers. Enjoy your coffee before it goes bad or loses its flavors over time.
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Michael A. Antoine is a Sr. Chef at one of the leading chains of restaurants in the USA. He might raise hell in his kitchen, but his deep and practical knowledge about food and recipes helps us give you the best and tastiest recipes.