How Long Does Milk Last?
A staple in most homes, milk is involved in starting the day for many of us. Milk can however be very complex when it comes to storing it properly, so it is important that you understand all of the precautions that you need to take before consuming it. A delicious bowl of cereal only starts off a day well if your milk is cold and fresh. Milk is also the key ingredient of many much-loved homemade desserts. For so many delightful and nutritious recipes, milk is the faultless ingredient. So, because it is so important to so many of us, it is good to know exactly how long milk lasts in your fridge. You ought to also know milk spoilage signs and understand how to extend your milks shelf life.
How Long Does Milk Last
The exact answer to this fundamental question hinges on the storage conditions of your milk. To take full advantage of the possible shelf life of milk, you need to keep your milk refrigerated all the time. The minute it has been opened, milk will usually only last for up to 7 days, depending on what time of milk it is, after its expiration date. But only if you keep it refrigerated.
- Whole milk will last between 5 to 7 days once opened and kept in the fridge.
- Skim milk will last for as long as 7 days.
- Fat free milks including lactose-free milk will last in your refrigerator for between 6 to 10 days.
How Long Does Milk Last in the Fridge
It is still possible that you can drink milk once the sell-by date has passed if it has been stored correctly. The sell-by date is simply an indication that your local store ought to have sold the milk by this date. Your milks shelf life once you get it home can be extended by using your fridge. If you drink milk after its sell-by date has passed, as long as it tastes sweet, then you probably still have at least another day before your milk is going to turn sour. This sweetness means that your milk is still safe to drink and on the whole milk is usually drinkable for around a week past the date. This assumes that your milk has been uninterruptedly refrigerated. The temperature of your refrigerator also impacts on how long milk lasts in the fridge. Ensure that you maintain the temperature of your refrigerator to keep it cool.
Why Worry About Milk?
Why do you have to be cautious about how you store milk, and just how long does it take for milk to spoil, are very common questions. If you leave your milk out of the refrigerator for any length of time it will unfortunately become a safety matter. This is because bacteria will begin to grow if the temperature of the milk gets too high. These bacteria will give you rotten milk and if you drink milk that has not been refrigerated properly you may even become ill. Milk must never be left at room temperature for more than a couple hours in order to remain safe to drink. Milk must not be left out in hotter weather for more than 1 hour before it spoils. It is recommended that when you plan to buy milk, you should plan to go straight home after shopping and instantly pop your milk in your refrigerator.
Why Does Milk Go Bad?
Each time you use your milk you will be opening the container and letting air into it which will stimulate the growth of bacteria. The lactose which exists in the milk turns to an acid which is what gives your milk that sour taste when it is out of date. Milk contains lots of protein which will be broken down by bacteria. These grow when milk comes into contact with the air causing milk to spoil. Bacterial growth results in a sour smell from your milk which is how you know that is has gone bad.
How Do You Store Milk?
Your milk must be stored at around 40°F in your refrigerator. Milk shelf life can be extended if you keep it in the same container that you bought it in. Surprisingly you need to keep your milk away from the door. This is because when milk is kept in the door it will be in contact with warm air which boosts bacterial growth. Make certain that you tightly close all of the lids on milk cartons as this will stop any cross contamination from other refrigerated foods.
How Do You Work out If Milk Is Spoilt?
The best thing to do when you have a suspicion that your milk may have gone bad is rely on your senses. Spoiled milk will have a really horrible aroma, taste and even texture because of how the natural bacteria ruins your milk. If your milk has developed any kind of strange smells or tastes it should not be consumed.
Can You Freeze Milk?
Luckily milk can be frozen to make it last longer. It will usually develop a strange texture once frozen, but it is typically fine for use in cooking and baking once defrosted. Simply freeze milk in its container and when ready thaw it in your refrigerator. Correctly stored, milk will stay good for around 3 months.
How to Use up Extra Milk
You can use milk in a variety of drinks as your main protein to give you that all important boost first thing in the morning. Use it to make shakes and smoothies with lots of added fruit. Milk also adds extra depth to all kinds of stews, soups, sauces and can be used to make pie fillings creamier. It is also a main ingredient in lots of baked goods and makes helps to make delicious creamy desserts.
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Overall, if you do not refrigerate milk quickly and correctly it will not last. So, either drink your milk or cook with it as soon as you can.