Packaged food items such as milk and milk products come with a use-by date, which indicates their shelf life. The use-by date informs the consumer that the milk should be consumed within the date mentioned on the package. But what actually happens to milk beyond its use-by date? Does the milk turn sour or become undrinkable? Well, the answer to that is not so clear, as it depends on various factors. Normally, it is advisable that you should not consume milk and milk products beyond their use-by date. This is because there is a risk of the milk turning sour or developing harmful microbes. If you consume such milk, you may face an increased risk of compromising your health. Here are some key things you need to be aware of in terms of consuming milk beyond its use-by date.
Refrigeration: It is important to note that refrigeration only slows down the growth of microorganisms. It does not entirely stop the growth of microorganisms. So, refrigeration is necessary to ensure a longer shelf life for milk and milk products, but it does not guarantee 100 percent safety when you consume milk beyond its use-by date. The argument that milk is safe to consume beyond its use-by date if kept properly refrigerated does not stand the test of scientific scrutiny. It may be agreeable in terms of human perceptions, but it may not be successfully tested in a laboratory. Consuming milk beyond its use-by date is likely to create health issues.
Smell & taste: Some people opine that if the milk tastes and smells fine, it may be okay to drink even if it has crossed its use-by date. However, this may not be entirely true since milk can still contain harmful pathogens. The milk may smell and taste okay, but that does not certify that it is fit to drink. It is possible that the milk has recently started turning sour and is yet to acquire the bad smell and taste. It is possible that the level of pathogens is still low, but they may multiply when they get inside your body. Due to these potential risks, it is advisable that milk and milk products should not be consumed beyondtheir use-by date.
Sometimes, people may feel a sense of guilt when they have to throw milk that has crossed its use-by date. However, people need to realize that if they get sick after consuming bad milk, the associated costs of treatment and stress will be substantially more. So, it’s better to throw milk and milk products that have crossed their use-by date. Milk isquiteaffordable and you can easily get a fresh packet from the nearest grocery store.