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I opened up a can of coconut milk the other day and was unable to use it all. I placed the remainder of the coconut milk into a sealed container in the fridge. I was wondering how long this would be good for?

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There are 2 ways of looking at it; how long it will be safe to eat (ie from food poisoning) and how long it will still be appetizing and taste alright (ie not gone rancid).

As you've taken it from the tin it won't get that tinny flavour but as time goes on may absorb other flavours from the fridge so make sure you keep it away from anything that is strongly smelling. Also as around 87% of the coconut milk is fats it will soon go rancid, so keep that in mind, (you'll know when it does by giving it a quick sniff).

In terms of food safety, if it's UHT which most are, then it could probably last for a long time (as long as UHT milk) so about 2 1/2 weeks I'd say. Otherwise if it's not UHT then not as long. I would say about the same time as fresh milk so around a week as it contains sugars and fats and so is a very compelling proposition for any bacteria.

Other sites discussing this: http://community.cookinglight.com/showthread.php?t=14563, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/291163 and http://forums.lowcarber.org/archive/index.php/t-418419.html.

Hope this helps!

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I have no idea how long it's safe to eat, but every time I store coconut milk in my fridge (leftovers from the can, saved in food-safe containers) it goes bad overnight. I would freeze it regardless of how soon you intend to use it. Coconut milk defrosts fairly quickly, just set it by the warm stove and it should be ready to go in short order.

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    Strange, it has never gone bad for me so soon. It separates in two phases, but this is a normal physical process and can be reversed with heating+stirring. – rumtscho Apr 18 '13 at 12:30
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I've eaten canned coconut milk after its been left out of the fridge for a day and smells a bit sour...and I was fine! I made it into an avocado smoothie and it tasted just like proper yoghurt...the type my mum used to make with yeast cultures! NB. I'd left it in a shady spot in the kitchen in a sealed cup. I would never recommend eating it if it's been left in the can either in or out of the fridge because once it's opened the lining of the can oxidises and can penetrate the food that's in the can. That goes for any canned food. Keep enjoying your coconut milk...manna from heaven!

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I've left coconut milk opened in the (cardboard) container with the screwcap on for weeks and possibly months in the fridge and never had any issues...smells and tastes the same as when it was first opened... even though it says to consume within 5 days of opening...

protected by Community Jun 18 at 21:26

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