Fresh Milk – The 3 Days Freshness Mark
Grocery shopping is an endless quest of stocking up nutritious foods for the family, which is why milk often ends up at the checkout counter. As a healthy beverage with a wealth of benefits and uses, milk should be consumed at its freshest to ensure that you receive the full spectrum of its nutritional goodness.
Is your fresh milk at its freshest?
You may diligently consume your milk before its expiration date, store raw meats and vegetables separately from your milk, and even have refrigerators with top-notch technology – all in a bid to prevent contamination and keep harmful bacteria at bay. But is that enough to keep your milk at its freshest? Not quite.
Fresh milk does not contain any preservatives, hence it has to go through a pasteurization process to extend its shelf life. However, once the milk pack is opened, the milk is unable to retain its freshness throughout the shelf life.
Fresh milk: the 3-day freshness mark
This may come as a surprise to most people – but based on the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore’s (AVA) guidelines*, fresh milk is best consumed within three days of opening. It is a common misconception that milk will stay fresh as long as it is consumed prior to the expiration date. In reality, the expiration date on a milk pack only reflects the end date an unopened carton of milk will be able to retain its freshness and quality.
From the moment a milk pack is opened, the milk is exposed to the external environment, causing potential cross-contamination and oxidation, which reduces its freshness. Changes in temperature from opening your refrigerator and also from taking out your milk to drink will increase the chances of bacteria growth as well.
Consider the number of times you remove your fresh milk from the refrigerator daily, and multiply it by the total number of days that you keep an opened milk pack in your fridge. Now, imagine the potential amount of bacteria that can build up over a prolonged period, and lead to higher risk of food poisoning.
Buy what you can consume within a few days
In the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, it is difficult to keep track of the erratic consumption habits of everyone within the family. So how do we ensure our family enjoys the freshest milk that is safe for consumption? Here’s a simple solution that we recommend to every household: Buy two one-litre packs of fresh milk instead of a two-litre bottle.
A smaller pack caters particularly to our busy urban lifestyles as it can be easily consumed within three days. By adopting this approach, it not only ensures that your family enjoys the freshest milk, but also minimizes any risk of food poisoning from milk spoilage.
Don’t break the cold chain – keep your fresh milk chilled constantly
Here are some additional tips by blogger, Rachell Tan, on how she keeps milk fresh:
- Buy milk or dairy products last so that they do not warm up while shopping for other items.
- Refrigerate milk immediately upon reaching home, at temperatures between 2°C and 4°C. These are simple steps that can make a huge difference to ensure that your loved ones consume fresh milk at its best. Start drinking your milk fresh today!
These are simple steps that can make a huge difference to ensure that your loved ones consume fresh milk at its best. Start drinking your milk fresh today!
*For full details on the AVA’s recommended food safety practices of milk and other foods, click here.