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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Consultant
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How long is milk still good for past the date. My recipe calls

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How long is milk still good for past the date. My recipe calls for a cup of milk but my milk is past the date by 6 days. Im not a milk drinker so dont wanna taste it. But it smells ok. Do you think its ok to go ahead and use it?
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When you look at the milk, has it started to separate?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No. it doesnt look like it. I also have almond milk in my fridge. If i cant use the milk can i use almond milk. Im making Hamburger Helper and really dont feel like going to the store! But will if i have to.
You should be good to go! Trust me, when milk goes sour, you can smell it. It's horrible.

Here is some insight offered by the Dairy Council of California:

When you get home, quickly transfer your dairy products to the refrigerator. Many consumers ask, "Can I drink milk after the date on the carton?" The answer is "yes." With proper handling, milk should last 5 to 7 days after its "sell-by" date. Factors that reduce the shelf life of milk include having your refrigerator temperature set too high. Ideally, your refrigerator should be at 38° to 40°F, or as cold as you can keep the refrigerator without freezing the fruits and vegetables. The low temperature will slow bacterial growth, while the sealed container will prevent contamination and absorption of flavors from other foods in the fridge. However, if the milk develops an off-odor or taste, it should be discarded. Storing dairy products in their original packaging with a securely closing lid will help decrease spoilage. Drinking properly chilled milk is also generally more enjoyable and better accepted by children.

When drinking or cooking with milk, do not let it sit out for extended periods of time. The longer milk sits on the counter, the higher the chance of contamination and bacterial growth. Unused milk should never be returned to its original container. Re-combining can greatly increase the likelihood of contamination from outside organisms that cause spoilage and illness. The unused milk may also be significantly warmer than the original milk, which promotes bacterial growth. Store milk in the back of the refrigerator and away from the refrigerator door if possible to keep the temperature at a lower and more constant temperature. Frequent opening and closing of the refrigerator door welcomes warm air in, which interacts primarily with foods immediately inside the doors.

Advances in processing and packaging have enabled new milk products with extended lives that are shelf stable (i.e. they do not need to be refrigerated) and can be stored between 33 to 80 °F. This is achieved by higher temperature pasteurization. After opening shelf stable milk, it must be refrigerated and used in seven days. Some manufacturers recommend consuming the milk within 3 days following the sell-by-date stamped on the carton, after which they cannot guarantee the quality and recommend you replace it.

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