Why won’t my Milk Go Off?

I have always (slightly) believed that whilst Best Before Dates can be ignored Use By Dates should be adhered to. At least that is what I always advise others, to be honest I use my senses and brain to assess the situation for myself which is how I came to be using ten days out of date milk this morning.
milk use by date

Whilst making our hot drinks I had a strokey chin ponder, as I often do, about Use by Dates.  Even though this milk is so very much past its date it tastes fine and doesn’t separate when heated – there is absolutely nothing wrong with it!  At first I was impressed but now I am a little suspicious.  Wtf has happened to this milk to make it so indestructible?

So I looked up what others think about it …

According to the Daily Mail

“Pasteurised milk will keep 50 per cent longer if you store it at a lower temperature. Try storing at the back of the fridge rather than the fridge door.”

However I always keep the milk in the door so it’s not that.
Rose Gray of the River Café says …

"If it's past its use-by date it's inferior, it has started to deteriorate in one way or another. It doesn't mean you can't eat it. It just means it's not as good for you, or won't taste as nice."
I’m not sure about this one – my real man is a bit of a super-taster (in fact he's super in lots of ways) and can taste the slightest change in flavour and he says it is fine.

According to the Beeb …

Milk will smell or taste bad long before it makes you sick”
… which is as I thought.

A chap called Dr Slim Dinsdale, who is an independent food safety and quality consultant, says lots of things on the matter but one that really resonates with me is …

"People don't make their own judgments, I see that as a retrograde step."

So that’s enough quoting (almost – see below!)

What I really, really want to know is why is my milk not going off? Seriously - any ideas?

In Other News ...

The Leftovers Handbook - suzy bowler
Somewhat related to the above I received lovely review of The Leftovers Handbook recently, there is quite a lot of it but the first paragraph pretty well says it all …
“I am a proud owner of your book, which was just delivered today, and wanted to tell you I am thrilled to bits with it! Honestly, I have quite a few books at home and quite of them are the "bible" type all-in-books, but I have the feeling yours will be the only one to be referred to time after time after time after time. I don't mean to belittle the work of Jamie, Hugh, Gordon, Nigel etc. etc., however I am in love with this book because it sort of reminds us what "back to basics" should look like.”

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Sue said...

That's a very nice review :-)

As to why your milk won't go off, well maybe it was pasteurised at a higher temperature or for longer than is usual by accident ... that's all I can think of. I have had milk that we've used long past it's date, but never by the length of time yours has. I would just keep sniffing it every time you use it and see how long it lasts :-)

ceridwen said...

I would agree with your suspicions about it. I would think its had some sort of "mega" treatment of a rather artificial variety - not just pasteurisation. These days I can only find milk in T*sco that has been homogenised, as well as pasteurised (even though I buy organic). That's got me thinking now - that I'd better check my organic milk and see if they've done the same to it (though its organic - so they shouldn't have).

jane said...

Hi, I use Cravendale milk which has a long shelf life to start with but i have found i can still use this up to 3 weeks past its best before date. it tastes and smells exactly the same as any fresh bought milk. I only buy semi skimmed as well. I dont know why this is but im pleased it does last so long, saves me money in the long run and thats always a bonus.
jane xx

Suzy Bowler said...

Just finished it this morning - and it was still fine!