How to Keep Milk Fresh For Longer

Milk Tout Getty 3/26/20

Want to make your milk last as long as you possibly can? Of course you do. Here’s what you need to know about keeping your milk good to the very last drop: 

1. Buy organic if you can. 

Cooking dinner shouldn't be complicated

Organic Milk Getty 3/26/20

If you’ve ever purchased organic milk, you’ve likely realized it lasts much longer than regular milk. Unopened in the fridge, organic milk can last up to a month—other types of milk go bad in about seven to 10 days. 

The organic status itself isn’t what keeps the milk good for longer. Organic milk actually keeps longer because of the way it’s pasteurized (or, more accurately, ultra-pasteurized). 

You can read more about that right here: Organic Milk Keeps Longer Than Regular. But Why? 

2. Grab milk last at the grocery store—and don’t leave it on the counter.  

Milk Aisle Getty 3/26/20

For some, grocery shopping is a relaxing getaway from their significant other/kids/roomates/etc. 

But, if you plan on taking your time perusing the aisles (no judgment here), make the dairy section your last stop. 

The ideal milk temperature is about 37° or a bit cooler. The longer it’s exposed to warm air, the quicker it will start growing harmful bacteria. 

The same goes for your kitchen: Put the carton in the refrigerator ASAP once you get home. Using it for a recipe? Pour what you need and put the rest directly back in the fridge.

Related: How to Keep Bread Fresh for Longer

3. Keep it in the right spot in the fridge. 

You (hopefully) know that milk should be stored in the fridge—but did you know it needs to be stored in a certain spot in the fridge?   

According to Real Simple, the primo milk storage spot is in the very back on a low shelf (this is the coldest place in your fridge). The worst spot, meanwhile, is in the door. 

4. Freeze it if you don’t plan to use it before it expires. 

Milk in Ice Tray Getty 3/26/20

It can be done! Here’s how: 

  1. If your carton or jug of milk is full, pour it into a larger container. Because milk expands when it freezes, it needs an inch or two of room at the top to grow. You can also use an ice tray.
  2. Write your own expiration date on the carton, jug, or new container. Once you thaw your milk later, the factory’s expiration date will be inaccurate. (Hint: Milk can be frozen for up to two months).
  3. Don’t leave the milk on the counter to thaw. Instead, when you’re ready to use it, move it to the refrigerator or to a sink full of cold water. 
  4. The milk may separate while it thaws, so shake the container well before pouring.

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