Custard powder is a fantastic convenience that makes classic desserts so simple to craft. Custard powder can be used in many ways, and unlike traditional custard, it’s shelf-stable.
There is so much to love about this handy pantry staple, but how long does custard powder actually last?
Custard powder is shelf-stable, and if stored properly, even opened custard powder can last six months or longer. Unopened custard powder can last several years, even if this exceeds the product’s ‘best by’ date.
Read on to find out just how long opened and unopened custard powder can last, how to best store it, and how to tell if it has gone bad.
How Long Does Custard Powder Last?
Custard powder is the ultimate trick to turn an average dessert into a real decadent treat! This handy helper can be used to make quick custard sauces, fillings, and more, but how long can you keep this precious powder?
Generally speaking, most commercial custard powder brands have a lifespan of 3 to 6 months once opened. This will, however, depend on where and how you store it.
But, under perfect conditions, the shelf life of this food product can be extended further, as you’ll find out later in the article.
On the other hand, unopened custard powder typically has a much longer shelf life. And if you keep it dry and airtight, it basically does not expire.
That’s why custard powder typically doesn’t have a “use by” date but only a “best before” date.
And while that date is usually one year away from the date of purchase, most quality custard powders can survive and stay fresh for much longer than that! Again, if you store it the correct way.
Dry custard is an excellent alternative to traditional custard, which must be refrigerated and used quickly.
With custard powder, you can make your favorite sweet treats whenever you want to!
Let’s look closer at how you best store this type of powder!
How Do You Store Custard Powder the Best Way?
Naturally, custard powder already has a long lifespan compared to refrigerated alternatives, but you can make it last even longer if you store it appropriately.
Storage is the key to keeping custard powder fresh and tasty for many months or years!
Overall, you don’t have to worry much about your dry custards if it’s unopened. As mentioned above, it can practically last forever.
Well, maybe not forever, but lab tests have shown that canned custard powder can still be fresh and edible after ten years.
However, once opened, custard powder can start to lose its quality by being exposed to oxygen, moisture, or sunlight.
To prevent spoilage, keep your custard in its original container or move it to your food-safe container.
Whichever method you choose, here are a few tips to help you properly store your it:
- Dry – Keep custard powder somewhere dry to avoid clumps and spoilage.
- Cool – Storing custard powder out of the sun in a nice, cool part of the pantry helps it stay fresh.
- Airtight – Always keep custard powder in an airtight container to keep it dry and away from household pests. The container it comes in is acceptable, but if you want to transfer, be sure the new container has a good seal!
Moisture is probably the most hazardous condition when it comes to powder, as it can render your custard wholly useless or even moldy.
So always keep your custard powder dry!
How Can You Tell If Custard Powder Has Gone Bad?
Dry custard powder can have an extremely long shelf life, but all good things come to an end, including this tasty convenience item.
Always check your custard powder’s quality before using it.
Look out for these telltale signs of spoiled custard powder:
- Discoloration – Changes in the yellowish hue of typical custard powder can indicate that it has turned bad.
- Strong Aroma – Typically, custard powder has a mildly milky and sweet smell. If you open the powder and notice an off odor, toss that powder out!
- Moisture and Mold – It might go without saying, but any moisture or mold in or on top of the powder is a good reason to throw it out. Never try to scoop around the mold. Just discard it!
- Package Issues – Whether you store the powder in the manufacturer’s packaging or your own, dents, rips, and tears all allow for increased bacteria growth, so err on the side of caution and throw away any custard powder in compromised packaging.
Can You Get Food Poisoning From Eating Expired Custard Powder?
Food is essential to us, but if not handled properly, it can also make us very sick.
That is why it’s crucial always to know what you’re serving and never eat food that might pose a risk.
But can a simple pantry convenience like custard powder actually make you ill?
Yes, unfortunately, it can cause severe illness if spoiled!
Custard powder contains powdered versions of eggs and milk, which puts it at risk of carrying harmful bacteria like salmonella!
Spoiled milk and eggs can cause minor to significant food poisoning and make the eater seriously ill.
Eating a bad batch of custard powder can cause stomach issues, headaches, cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and even more severe symptoms.
To avoid getting sick from spoiled custard powder, follow the tips mentioned earlier and always practice good storage habits like keeping a clean and dry pantry.
Always check your custard powder’s appearance, smell, and best-by-date before using, and never serve powder that seems questionable!
Does Custard Powder Need to Be Refrigerated For Longer Shelf-Life?
Every penny counts, so keeping a few good money-saving tricks up your sleeve is essential, especially in the kitchen. If you want a little more bang for your buck from any standard custard powder, why not try refrigerating it?
Custard powder does not need refrigeration, but this easy hack can be an easy way to lengthen the shelf life of this product. Chilling custard powder in the fridge can make it last between 6 and 12 months after opening.
The only catch is keeping the powder dry and sealed throughout refrigeration.
Your fridge is full of moisture; if any water gets into the powder, it can cause deterioration or spoilage.
Bacteria from within the fridge or other foods can also make their way into your powder if it’s not sealed correctly.
So, be extra careful when prepping custard powder for refrigeration.
Ensure your container’s lid is tight to help keep air and moisture out!
PRO TIP: Do not remove chilled custard powder from the fridge for too long. Prolonged exposure to warmer temperatures can cause the chilled powder to condense, which can induce spoilage.
If you want to be sure you’re serving the best custard powder, label the container or package with the date you opened it. This easy extra step helps you monitor the food for freshness.