What Does the Date on Milk Mean?
I should have titled this, “What May Send the Dalai’s to Divorce Court.”
Dalai Dan is scared of expiration dates. Little girl in a Halloween haunted house scared. If our milk is even approaching the date, he goes and opens a new bottle.
This, my friends, does not please the Dalai. In fact, it has caused many a’morning argument when he goes to pull the newest bottle of milk out for himself because his precious olfactory senses can’t handle anything but milk straight from the utter.
I have tried and tried again to explain to him these dairy facts:
- All dairy dates are “sell by” dates
- “Sell By” dates are to help retailers rotate their stock, NOT to tell us when to throw it out
- Generally speaking, milk and yogurt are good 5-7 (and up to 10!) days after the “sell by” date
- Cream cheese is good for 2-4 weeks past the date if it is unopened
- Hard cheeses, unopened, can last up to 6 months!
- If a hard cheese has some mold, the only effected part is the molded area, so it is perfectly safe to cut it off. Really.
So, the next time you go to throw out a container of milk or yogurt, do the sniff test. If it smells fine, then it is fine. That is really the only way to identify sour milk. But, even if the milk started to turn and you drank it (let’s say, you put chocolate in it and didn’t notice?) you wouldn’t die. You’ll be just fine.
Trust me, Dalai Dan, you’ll be just fine…