How to Tell if Milk is Bad

how to tell if milk is bad

I’ve talked before about expiration dates on eggs, and how to check to see if you can eat them past their date.  But what about milk?  If your milk has reached it’s expiry date and you’ve still got some left then how do you tell if  milk is bad, or if it is still safe to drink?  Do you sniff the carton to see how it smells?  If you do then what if I tell you then that you’ve been doing it all wrong?

It’s true, if you’ve been sniffing the carton/bottle then chances are, unless the milk is definitely off, then you will have been getting a false picture of how the milk actually smells.  Instead of the milk, you’ll actually have been getting a whiff of the horrible dried up bits of milk around the rim of the carton, perhaps causing you to bin the milk unnecessarily early.

My 91 year old grandad has scant regard for expiration dates on food (true story – a little while ago he found a tin of tomatoes 10 years out of date in the back of his cupboard.  A lesser person might have put the can in the bin, but no, my grandad used the tomatoes to make them into tomato soup and ate it regardless.  And you know what?  He was perfectly fine).  His rule for milk is if he puts it in his tea or coffee and it curdles then it’s off, otherwise it’s fine for consumption, regardless of the date on the carton.

I think my grandad’s method is a bit extreme (who wants to potentially waste a perfectly good cup of tea?!).  In actual fact the best way to tell if milk is off or not is to pour a little bit of milk into a clean glass, and then sniff that, giving you a better idea of if the milk is off or not.

It’s fail safe – you’ll never throw out perfectly good milk again!

Do you have any tips to reduce food waste?  Do share in the comments below!

Image from here.

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1 comment

  1. I’m the milk and cream tester in our house, my OH has no idea. Luckily we’ve got stray farm cats that get fed daily and have milk put out, so unless the milk’s curdled, they’ll still drink it. Save a lot being thrown out, although I’m the only one who now has milk.

    Mind you, my toddler is lactose intolerant, so needs ‘milk’ on cereal, but won’t drink any of the lactose free milk types on its own. It’s extremely hard to buy small cartons (and expensive), but would save so much waste for us on his milk (because there’s no way I’d drink it either!).

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