It’s common sense that anything you buy in the refrigerated section of the grocery store is going to go bad faster than the shelf-stable stuff. Why trust us? According to Jen Giambroni, Director of Communications at Real California Milk, milk should be stored at 38° to 40°F in the same container it came in, and far away from the door. They do not indicate the exact date the milk will go bad.”. However, there are factors that can determine whether or not milk will spoil before this time. For example, “With raw or unpasteurized milk, these spoilage rates increase, as with milk made without preservatives,” says Pasieka. Acid makes it harder for bacteria to survive. Cold pasteurization kills bacteria in food without using heat. Start smelling it even a few days before its expiration because milk can go bad even before the expiration if left out for too long or sometimes it may last for several days after the date. “Also, be sure to tightly close the lid to your milk cartons,” Pasieka adds. And of course, where and how you store your milk is pivotal to its freshness. he phrase, “best if used by” is used to indicate quality only—even after this date, food is safe to eat. The researchers gathered 88 participants who were presented with half-gallon jugs of milk that were 15, 25, 30, and 40 days past the date of bottling. Depending on the source, milk should be fine to drink up to a week after the expiration date, according to WebMD. For example, milk produced in Schaffner’s state of New Jersey has one expiration date if it’s sold within the state, but that same milk is stamped with a different expiration date if it’s sold just across the state line in New York. “Spoiled foods will develop an off odor, flavor or texture due to naturally occurring spoilage bacteria. Some of the jugs contained sell-by dates while others did not. Yes, really. However, the expiration date is still a good guideline. Pasteurization kills pathogens by heating up milk (and other beverages) to a temperature higher than that which bacteria can withstand. Did you know bottled water has an expiration date? Another phrase, “expires on,” is used to indicate the day that deterioration begins, after which a product may become unsafe to consume,” says Lindsey Pasieka, an investigator for ConsumerSafety.org. For many, ‘use by’ and ‘sell by’ are essentially marketing terms. Taste of Home is America's #1 cooking magazine. It works by applying intense pressure to already bottled beverages to kill off potential pathogens and extend shelf life, but it’s not a replacement for thermal pasteurization. “‘Sell by’ dates tell a milk seller, like a grocery store, when the product should leave the shelves–either in a customer’s arms or in the trash. As a food safety educator, Glass can’t help looking at refrigeration thermometers at the grocery store. They do not indicate the exact date the milk will go bad.”. When milk is stored on the refrigerator door’s shelves, it’s being exposed to warm air each time it’s opened, which encourages bacterial growth. We’ve all taken a swig out of a milk carton that’s a couple days past its expiration date without consequences. "I have been known to find the manager and ask questions if I think something is off," she says, noting that even your refrigerator at home can cause trouble. There’s a huge difference between milk date labels that say “sell by,” “use by,” “best if used by” and “expires on.” “The phrase, “best if used by” is used to indicate quality only—even after this date, food is safe to eat. "If your apple cider was contaminated with E. coli," explains Schaffner, "the bacteria would actually die faster at room temperature because the cider would turn to alcohol and kill it.". Here’s what they say could turn potentially dangerous. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, 25 Hard-to-Kill Indoor Plants Anyone Can Own, What You Need to Know About Collagen Supplements, How to Keep Your Christmas Cactus Blooming, 30 Fall Flowers That'll Spruce Up Your Garden. If a food has developed such spoilage characteristics, it should not be eaten,” says the United States Department of Agriculture. "Expiration dates are something people find confusing and with good reason," says Don Schaffner, a professor of food science at Rutgers University. Another phrase, “expires on,” is used to indicate the day that deterioration begins, after which a product may become unsafe to consume,” says Lindsey Pasieka, an investigator for, Sell by’ dates tell a milk seller, like a grocery store, when the product should leave the shelves–either in a customer’s arms or in the trash. Food scientists say it’s not worth the risk. For example, “With raw or unpasteurized milk, these spoilage rates increase, as with milk made without preservatives,” says Pasieka. According to Eat By Date, once opened, all milk lasts 4-7 days past its printed date, if refrigerated. “This helps reduce accidental contamination and odors from other refrigerated products.”, these non-food items have expiration dates, You’ll never have to worry about these foods ever expiring, The Best and Worst Drinks to Keep You Hydrated, This Is the Best Time to Drink Coffee, Scientists Say, Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents. Interestingly, unpasteurized apple cider (which ferments over time) may actually become safer past its expiration date. Still, there are some drinks that food scientists just don't take chances with. Believe it or not, there’s even a specific location in your fridge where you should be keeping your milk—and it’s not on the door’s shelves. Keeping things at the right temperature is key. According to Eat By Date, once opened, all milk lasts 4-7 days past its printed date, if refrigerated. Anything above that makes it easier for bacteria to grow. Which makes us wonder: Do these dates really mean anything? owever, it’s important to note that expiration dates vary based on what kind of milk you’re purchasing, how it’s stored and how it’s packaged. \"Expiration dates are something people find confusing and with good reason,\" says Don Schaffner, a professor of food science at Rutgers University. These days, the more common technique is high-temperature, short-time pasteurization, which cranks up the heat to 161 degrees for 15 seconds, followed by rapid cooling — which kills potential pathogens and makes beverages much safer to drink. ", 17 Safe Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving This Year, How the 'Today' Hosts Celebrate the Holidays, 30+ Best Holiday Face Masks for Any Gathering, The Truth About Apple's Black Friday Sales, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. These allow milk producers to tell consumers when the peak freshness of the product is. According to Eat By Date, once opened, all milk lasts 4-7 days past its printed date, if refrigerated. There are several methods of cold pasteurization, but high-pressure processing (HPP) is the one most commonly associated with fresh juices. "I always make sure my fridge is between 38 and 40 degrees. But let’s clear some things up. Good Housekeeping participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. A milk carton that is left out at room temperature will spoil faster, and even a refrigerator that is not cool enough can allow the bacteria that causes milk to spoil to do its work faster. These labels vary from state to state, so it’s not unusual for things to get a little confusing and for milk to be thrown out while it’s still good and safe for consumption. They found that 64 percent of the consumers would throw away milk that was dated, while only 45.8 would throw away the same milk without a date on it. According to the, at 38° to 40°F in the same container it came in, and, Also, be sure to tightly close the lid to your milk cartons,” Pasieka adds. In fact, Schaffner says expiration dates are mostly based on product quality, not contamination risk, and often they’re set by legislation that’s not always based on the best scientific evidence. For many, ‘use by’ and ‘sell by’ are essentially marketing terms. “Contamination can also jump-start bacteria growth, leading to sour milk.” By the way, And of course, where and how you store your milk is pivotal to its freshness. FYI: Sunscreen Does Have an Expiration Date, 10 Things Smart Single Moms Do When Dating Again, How Much Water Should You Drink Every Day. Home Recipes Dishes & Beverages Beverages. This was traditionally done in a giant vat, where milk was heated to 145 degrees for 30 minutes, according to the International Dairy Foods Association. According to the FDA, if milk is left unrefrigerated for more than two hours, it’s considered unsafe to consume. On the flip side, You’ll never have to worry about these foods ever expiring. Which makes us wonder: Do these dates really mean anything?
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