How Long After Date Is Milk Good (And Why)?

Exact Answer: For about 5 days

The first thing which a baby consumes after stepping out of the mother’s womb is milk. Being a liquid food, it is easy to be consumed. The nutrition content and health benefits derived from milk are even high. This is why it is recommended for newborns. A glass of milk in a day can provide enough nutrients to the body. The fat content is even low.

The newborn generally feeds on the mother’s milk. It is the most fruitful for the baby. It is enough to supplement the nutrients required by the body. However, milk from cows and powdered milk are even available.

How Long After Date Is Milk Good?

TypeTime
Opened milk2-3 days
Unopened milk5-7 days

Sometimes, our daily meals do not contain enough required nutrients. This deficiency of nutrients can be filled up by taking milk. Calcium, iron, phosphorus, and various vitamins are present in it. It is even an active source of fatty acids and proteins. However, the number of nutrients may vary. This mainly depends on the cow the milk is extracted from. The cow’s milk from the dairy is collectively sold as packets. One can get these milk packets from the market easily. However, milk from packets is not as nutritious as cow’s milk.

However, while buying packet milk, one can notice some phrases with dates on the label. There is the use of phrases like “Best If Used By”. This means that the milk will lose its freshman by the mentioned date. This phrase is even sometimes mentioned as “Use By”. If there is mention of the “Sell By” date, it means that the milk can be used for commercial purposes up to the mentioned date. If there is mention of a “Freeze By” date, it means that the milk can be frozen up to a specific date. However, sometimes customers fail to understand the meaning of these phrases. They misunderstand the word. This leads to wastage of good milk too.

After the expiration of the milk, it is not healthy for consumption. Serious health problems like food poisoning may occur. Hence, it is generally advised not to take foods after expiration. The dates of the above-mentioned phrases determine the date of expiry. The milk products or milk shouldn’t be consumed after this date. However, the expiry date of the milk depends on whether it is opened or unopened. However, after expiry, the milk remains consumable for some days. This is generally for about 2 days at maximum.


Why Is Milk Good For So Long After Date?

Whatever the food item is, it goes bad after the expiry date. This is because pathogens and microbes start growing on the food. Food with high moisture content has a low shelf life. Milk contains a high amount of moisture. Hence, it cannot be stored for long. One can easily know if milk turns bad. The sour taste and smell of the milk is the preliminary test. The milk may even taste acidic. If you come to know that your milk has turned sour, then you should throw it. Such expired products shouldn’t be used for consumption.

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Milk stored in frozen condition lasts longer than usual. However, this doesn’t mean that it can be preserved for months. Even after proper storage in refrigeration, milk turns bad after 7 days. Hence, before consuming or using stored milk, make sure to check the date. The date of expiry is generally mentioned on the label. However, the time at which milk can be stored depends on the medium of storage. If the packet is opened, then it will be good for 3 days at maximum. If the packet is unopened, then it will be good for 5 days at maximum. However, proper care and hygiene should also be taken into account.

The milk should generally be stored in a cool condition. If proper precautions are taken, the milk can be stored longer. Generally, it’s advisable not to consume food products after the expiry date. They may be harmful to the body. However, they do not have such major impacts. So, milk stays good for about 2 days after its expiry date. However, if you sense some changes in the milk, then do not take it.

Conclusion

Milk always does not stay good after the expiry date. Hence, one should check the condition of milk. If it doesn’t taste or smell differently, then one can use it for consumption. However, if such awkward sensations arise, then it’s better not to consume the product.

However, by taking some precautions, you can lengthen the shelf longevity of milk. If the milk is stored at a temperature ranging between 45°F to 38°F, then it can be stored longer. The milk should be kept on the interior shelf of the refrigerator. After use of milk, it should be immediately kept in the refrigerator. These steps can help you prolong the shelf life of your milk.

Reference

  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/nature07180?app=true
  2. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/wk/mpg/2018/00000066/00000003/art00034
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