Take Care of Your Milk: Three Easy Steps

1. Keep it cold

  • Milk is a perishable food. Temperature control is the most important factor in maintaining its quality and freshness.
  • Store milk at 4°C (40°F) or lower. Check the temperature of your refrigerator with a thermometer to make sure it is always at 4°C (40°F) or lower.
  • Return milk to the refrigerator as soon as possible. Just short periods of time out of the refrigerator will increase growth of low temperature bacteria. Although not harmful, these may cause off-flavours and spoilage.    
  • Pick up milk last when shopping and refrigerate it quickly to keep its temperature below 4°C (40°F).

2. Check the best before date

  • Milk is at its peak quality before the “best before” date. Buy and/or consume milk before that date.
  • Rotate your milk: put milk in the fridge so that milk with the closest date is used first.

3. Leave milk in its original container

  • Serve milk from its own handy container. If you do pour milk into another container to serve, don’t pour the unused milk back into the original carton.
  • Milk is sensitive to other food odours. If left in an open container, milk can pick up odours and flavours of other foods in the fridge. Try to store milk away from strong smelling foods like fish, celery, broccoli, oranges, garlic and onion.

Did you know?

When milk warms up, its shelf life is shortened. Letting its temperature increase to even 10°C (50°F) can shorten milk’s shelf life from 10 to 2 days. This could happen when milk sits on the counter after a meal or leaving it in a warm car on the way home from the store.

About BC Dairy

BC Dairy is a not-for-profit organization representing BC’s dairy farmers.