Milk and Expiration Dates Milk and the Sellby Dates Proper Refridgerator Settings – Yes

Milk and Expiration Dates Milk and the Sellby Dates Proper Refridgerator Settings – Yes

May 20

Nowadays, consumers are pulling out those glasses and checking expiration dates more than ever. The recent outbreaks of E.Coli and salmonella have caused people to be much more conscientious than in previous years. However, milk has always been one of those products where people have been cautious. There is nothing like the surprise of pouring an innocent looking glass of milk and tuning up your taste buds for the flavor, only to recoil when bitterness hits the tip of your tongue. What’s even worse are the people who drink out of the cartoon and get the lumpy, curdled fuzz tickling the top lip once they tip the carton.

So is this what happens after the sell by date? The answer is no. The sell by date denotes the amount of time that the milk can be sold in stores, while a ”use by” date denotes the time when the flavor or quality would began to deteriorate. It doesn’t mean that the milk is going to automatically turn into a blob of nastiness on said date. 

On the contrary,  a lot of it depends on conditions of refrigeration and handling within your own home. Regardless of the date, if you leave the milk cartoon out for an extended period of time, even if the date is one week in the distance, it will expire. Refrigeration also plays a part and it is very important to set the temperature at a high enough temperature to conserve food but not freeze products that shouldn’t be frozen. The recommended temperature is between 35 and 38 degrees F (1.7 to 3.3 degrees C for you folks in Europe). However, there are some people who attempt to cut cost and set the temperature at a less than optimal rate and speed of the bacterial growth. Please note that the control settings on the fridge do not indicate the temperature in most cases. Usually the higher the number the colder the temperature, so remember that when your spendthrift hubby sets it on 1.

If you encounter some milk that is past the expiration date, the best thing to do is the SPOT method. Smell it- you can tell a lot about a cartoon of milk through scent alone. Milk should not have a putrid odor. If it smells like cheese, dump it. If it passes the smell test, then POUR a glass and OBSERVE it. if it appears to be separating, clumped or yellow in appearance, dump it. Finally, TASTE it. Sometimes milk can fool you, and that smooth white liquid can taste as rank as Limburger cheese.  If the milk passes the SPOT method, relax and drink up! You may even save yourself some money in the long run.

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