Why Does My Milk Go Bad Early?

A man in front of an open fridge, smelling a bottle of milk with a repulsed expression.
Mike Focus / Shutterstock

That's half a gallon or half a cup, when the milk goes bad, it's not fun. There are several reasons why your milk may not reach the expiry date. We will take a look.

Bad refrigeration temperature

Good refrigeration is the key to keeping your milk past the expiry date without degenerating or clumping.

the USDA recommends you keep temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for all refrigerated foods to prevent bacteria from multiplying and milk to turn. It is best to store your milk between 35 and 40 degrees. This keeps it pleasantly cool and avoids food poisoning.

Where to store milk in the refrigerator

Even if your refrigerator is at the right temperature, it does not mean that everything is cooled in the same way. The door is not the coldest part of the fridge, so do not store your milk there.

Depending on the style of refrigerator you have, you have some options. Hot air rises, and this is usually the case in your refrigerator. Thus, the lower shelf should be the coldest place of the refrigerator. But if your fridge has a freezer above, the top shelf will be the coldest.

Are you curious about the conditions in your fridge? Well, you do not have to be …refrigerator thermometers are very cheap.

How long is too long?

Does this frustrate you when someone pulls milk out of the fridge and leaves it on the counter for the duration of breakfast? You may think that this allows the milk to adapt to the ambient temperature and immediately begin to grow bacteria.

However, you can leave the milk out of the fridge safely until two o'clock. Of course, it also depends on the ambient temperature. For example, it is much safer to leave milk for a while during a cold winter in Maine rather than a hot summer in Arizona.

The safest bet? Do not leave milk for more than an hour (and preferably less) on a hot summer day.

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