how to tell if milk is off

Want to know how to tell if milk is off?  Let me share with you the very best method so you’ll never unnecessarily waste a drop again.

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?  Food waste is a huge problem.  Particularly when it comes to milk.  Here in the UK, a huge one in six pints of milk is thrown away each year.  This is problematic because, in terms of carbon emissions, land use, water use, dairy milk has the biggest impact on the planet.  Wasting less milk where we can is therefore incredibly important.   

So, If your milk has reached its expiry date and you’ve still got some left then how do you tell if milk is off? 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?

Why The Carton Sniff Test Is 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.  This may have perhaps caused you to bin the milk unnecessarily early.

My 91-year-old grandad has scant regard for expiration dates on food.  Want to know a 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 A little while ago he found a tin of tomatoes 10 years out of date in the back of his cupboard.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, not my grandad. Nope, he used the tomatoes to make them into tomato soup and ate it regardless.  And you know what?  He was perfectly fine! 

His rule for how to tell if milk is off is simple but dubious.  If he puts milk in his tea or coffee and it curdles then it’s off.  If not, then the milk is fine for consumption, regardless of the date on the carton.

I personally think my grandad’s milk testing method is a bit extreme.  I mean, who wants to potentially waste a perfectly good cup of tea?

So What Is The Best Method?

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.  Then sniff the milk in the glass.  This gives you a much 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! And if you’re thinking about switching to oat milk, then here’s my guide to the best oat milk.

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