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Posted in Food Safety on July 31, 2022
If you accidentally leave formula sitting out, you may wonder if it is still safe to feed your baby. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prepared infant formula can sit out for two hours before spoiling. However, this two-hour rule only applies to bottles that are not heated or touched by a baby. If heated or fed to your baby, the formula must be used within one hour.
If you’ve decided to prepare your baby’s daily batch in advance or you’re trying paced bottle feeding, untouched prepared formula can be stored in the fridge for 24 hours. Therefore, it is best only to prepare the amount of formula you will use that same day and not overdo it. Open containers of ready-to-feed formula can be stored in the fridge for up to 48 hours if your baby hasn’t drank from them.
If left out at room temperature, prepared infant formula will quickly spoil as harmful bacteria multiply. Any formula that remains in the bottle after feeding should also be discarded because the baby’s saliva can cause bacteria to grow. The longer formula is left at room temperature, the greater the risk of infection if consumed. If your baby contracts a foodborne illness, it can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases, dehydration. Additionally, their illness will be more severe than how an adult would be affected, and dehydration, especially, can be very dangerous for a baby. If you believe a person or third party was responsible for your child’s illness, speak with a food safety attorney right away. You may be able to recover financial compensation.
Here is how to tell if baby formula has gone bad.
It is best to look at the best-by or use-by date on the tin of the formula. If the formula is not expired, but you are still unsure whether the formula is fine for use, look for these signs:
If formula is not stored properly, it can go bad before its best-by or use-by date. In these cases, it is best to discard it and buy new formula to be safe.
Here are some signs to look for to see if formula in a bottle has spoiled:
If you are unsure how long formula has been sitting out, the safest choice is to toss it.
Here are some tips on how to mix and store infant formula safely.