Important Things to Know About Expired Baby Formula

Baby formula has been helping parents feed their babies more quickly and conveniently for years. Since it has all the required nutrients to make your baby grow healthy, it is a perfect alternative to breast milk

However, to ensure your child is well taken care of and safe from bacteria, you must remember to maintain good handling practices. To avoid putting their wellbeing in danger, you need to know the signs that the formula is going bad.

While baby formula can be shelf-stable for a long period, it will not last a lifetime. Here are some essential things to know about baby formula that has expired.

Important Things to Know About Expired Baby Formula
Image source: Happy Family Organics

Does Baby Formula Expire?

Commonly, unopened cans of formula last a year. This is the one product you wouldn’t want to prepare for your baby past its use-by date.

More than anything to do with food safety, the formula’s nutrients will begin deteriorating past the use-by date. Because it’s the only provider of nutrition if you’re not breastfeeding, the nutrients must be adequate. 

The unmixed formula should normally be used within a month after opening and any prepared formula must be used within an hour if left out or within two days if refrigerated within two hours after mixing.

Check Expiration Dates

Baby formula can go bad, as with any other food and beverages, and you wouldn’t want to feed your baby expired formula. You can make your child sick with an expired formula and not get all the nutrients they should have. 

Don’t ever buy a formula that has already expired and make sure you have ample time to use it. Here’s a short guide to some of the most popular labels for expiry dates that you can see in the grocery shops.

  • Use-by dates for infant formula products are required. This means that before the date written, which is the last day the food will be at its highest quality, you should use the product.
  • The most popular label is best-by dates, indicating that by the date on the label or shortly after, the food would be fine. This does not necessarily imply that after that date the food is dangerous to eat, but that after the date, its quality could decrease.
  • Sell-by dates are a guide for the seller, making them aware that if it is sold at a certain date, the food is less susceptible to spoilage. If a product is not sold on that date, it should be withdrawn from the shelves by retailers.

If you have mistakenly bought an expired baby formula, you might be able to swap it for another box in the shop. This will depend on the seller and the date the expired formula was bought by you.

Most stores should permit you to return your formula or swap it if it is unopened and you can explain that it was expired when you got it. 

If you cannot exchange your item, let the manufacturer know that expired items are being sold by the store you visited, and they can cooperate with you for replacement.

Important Things to Know About Expired Baby Formula


Indeed, baby formula will expire. There are many precautions you can take, though, to ensure that your baby’s formula is good and safe. It’s wise to make a habit of checking the expiry date on every can of formula you buy, for starters. 

It is a great practice to ensure that you use the can of formula by the use-by date” and also inspect the can for any dents or defects. And if you come across a can of expired formula, then you should be able to swap it for a new one.