When does Neocate actually expire?

Posted 12.30.11 | Nutrition Specialist

Q: I’ve found a few cans of Neocate at the back of my pantry that I’d forgotten about. The expiration date was last week, but they’re still okay to use, right?

A: We get questions about using Neocate past the expiration date often. Here’s what you need to know:

The expiration date

For our powdered Neocate products you can find the expiration date on the bottom of the can. If you’re looking at a drink box of Splash, you can find the expiration date on the top of the drink box. The expiration dates on the Neocate family of products follow the standard North American format, which is Month/Day/Year. Technically, the product is good to use through midnight on that date.

How are your expiration dates determined?

The expiration date on any product, not just Nutricia products, is based on several factors. One is the integrity of the packaging materials. We want to ensure they will keep the contents fresh until the expiration date. Another is the stability of the ingredients. For instance, some fats lose quality faster than others – think fresh walnuts versus vegetable oil for cooking. We want to ensure that the product is fresh for the full shelf-life.

A related factor is to ensure that the nutrients in the product are going to be present at the levels printed on the label. Many nutrients, particularly vitamins, have a tendency to naturally break down over time, some faster than others. Especially since many children use Neocate to meet their full nutritional needs, it’s very important that the right amount of each nutrient is in the product. We conduct extensive testing under a number of conditions to ensure that the nutrients hold up until the expiration date.

What we recommend

The ultimate intent of an expiration date is to ensure our customers receive quality products containing the nutrients they're supposed to. We cannot recommend using any of our products past the expiration date. Period!

If you have further questions about this, we’d recommend discussing this with your health care team. It may help to provide them with the above information to get their informed opinion.

Read Comments (14)

  • 2012-11-04 | Duane Buchanan

    Found a can with the exp date of 3013! A hundred year shelf life would be pretty cool.

  • 2012-11-05 | Rob


    Really? Wow - that’s a mistake! Would you mind giving us a call when you get a chance? We’d love to let our production team know about this mistake so that it doesn’t happen again! You can reach us at (800) 365-7354, option 2. We look forward to hearing from you!


  • 2013-06-12 | Kayla

    i have found that i have like 2 cases of neocate infant and about a case or so of jr. they are out of date like up to a couple days ago but they are all unopened. I hate to let them go unused and thow them away. what can i do? is there some use for them??

  • 2013-06-14 | Christine

    Dear Kayla,
    We can not recommend using the products after the expiration date. If you were to use them, it is at your discretion. It may help to speak with your health care team to see what they think. The main concerns are the nutrients. After the expiration date, the nutrients may not as what is listed on the label. We also can not guarantee the product after the expiration time.
    If you were to discard the products, just remember the cans and lids are recyclable, so no need to trash them all. smile  We hope this helps!

  • 2014-05-28 | Matt

    My son had been drinking Splash which was past its due date when he was infected with Salmonella. We threw out the rest once we saw this, but any chance the infection and outdated Splash could be linked?

  • 2014-05-30 | Christine Graham-Garo

    Dear Matt,
    We have not received any similar reports for our Splash products.  Our products and packaging are thoroughly tested and heat treated before distribution.  If you have further questions or concerns, please contact our medical team at 800-365-7354. We hope your son is doing well.

    Best wishes,

  • 2015-11-29 | Ariel

    I have boxes of neocate that my cousin left behind when he moved. Also it is all past experation. What is the best way to dispose of this stuff?

  • 2015-11-30 | Neocate Admin

    Our Neocate products can be disposed of along with your every day trash. However, we encourage you to recycle the Neocate cans and lids as they are both recyclable. Hope this helps!
    - Kendra

  • 2015-12-30 | Rebecca

    Recently I made four bottles at 8:00pm with room temp water and put them in the fridge. The next morning at 8:00am I noticed there were little black dots of something. What could have caused this? My son is on Neocate for infants. We receive a shipment of this formula monthly.

  • 2015-12-31 | Nutrition Specialist

    Hi Rebecca,
      Good question! It isn’t unusual for powdered formulas like Neocate to exhibit an occasional color change after being mixed with water, like what you’re describing. The degree can vary between batches, and often may not be present at all. The color change is completely natural, and results from a harmless interaction between the essential vitamins and minerals (vitamins causing minerals to change color, or “oxidize”), all of which are safe and essential for good health. This can appear as a residue or spots at the bottom of the formula. We’ve seen this ourselves, and have found the color usually disappears if you stir or shake the formula. Hope this helps!

  • 2016-08-30 | Juan buitrago

    I Want to know what will be the effect if for mistake I give Neocate LCP to my baby two months after expired day?!I made that mistake and I just find out when finished all the splash (box) my baby took this box like two week this milk, any suggestion!??

  • 2016-08-31 | Nutrition Specialist

    Hi Juan,
      The best thing to do is to check with your healthcare team if you have concerns. We certainly don’t recommend giving expired product, but accidents happen!
      Giving your little one product that expired two months ago - as long as it hasn’t been for an extended period of time - probably does not pose a large risk. It could help to tell your healthcare team that product that is 2 months past the expiration date might smell or taste “off” as some of the ingredients break down over time, such as the fats and some of the vitamins. Also, some nutrient levels could be below the levels listed on the label.
      Thanks for your questions!

  • 2016-10-05 | Peggy

    Just received 54 Neocate splash from and online order. The expiration date is March 2017. Please let me know how long is the shelf life for a new Neocate just made in the facility. I am just wondering how long the neocate splash I just purchased has been sitting on the shelf as they will expire in just a few months. Thanks!

  • 2016-10-07 | Nutrition Specialist

    Hi Peggy,
      The flavored Neocate E028 Spash liquid products have a shelf life of 15 months from the date of manufacture. Hope this helps!

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Food Allergy Living is a resource for parents of children with food allergies, brought to you by Nutricia, the makers of Neocate. For more in-depth information about our purpose & authors, see our About Food Allergy Living page.