Milk Sell Date – Expiration Date


Milk Sell DateQuestion:

I have two questions concerning milk:

1. How long after the “sell by” date is an opened container of milk good?

2. How long after the “sell by” date is an UNOPENED container of milk good?



Sell date – The final date the product should be sold.  It allows for storage time at home.  Examples of products that display sell dates are refrigerated dough products, luncheon meats and milk.  This is the last day that the product can be sold in the grocery store.

Recommend Storing Milk between 34 F and 38 F: Milk stays fresh and tastes best longest at these temperatures, and will often be of good quality beyond the sell-date if maintained cold.  Much depends on how a product was handled before you bought it.  Milk past its sell-date may still be fine if it’s been kept very cold.  At warmer temperatures, spoilage bacteria are more likely to grow, shortening the practical shelf-life of the product.  Always return unused containers or portions of milk promptly to the refrigerator.

Buy milk fresh, keep it cold and protect It from light.  Though properly held milk should still be acceptable beyond the code date, milk does not improve with age and will not be as fresh tasting.  Unopened containers of food can be kept longer than opened containers.  Opened containers of milk can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 week after they have been opened.  Be sure to check the date on the carton.

Linda’s Rule:  If milk is close to the “sell date,” let your nose be the guide and smell it.  If it does not smell right, toss it!


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