We’ve all done it. Crusty eyed and in desperate need of coffee, you reach into the refrigerator, grab the milk and pour the last creamy drops into that steaming, delicious, alarm clock of caffeine. You draw the cup to your lips and hazily notice the expiration date on your milk pressing the snooze button. Its two days past the sell by date, is it ok? If it’s expired can you drink expired milk? If you can’t drink expired milk, is there any use for it other than dumping your hard earned money down the drain?
When is milk expired?
Most milk containers contain at least one date, called a sell by date, stamped usually near the top. Some milk takes the guess work out by also containing an expiration date as well though. If your milk only has a sell by date, this is the date the store has to sell the milk by or remove it from the shelves. Generally, if kept cold, milk will still be good three days to a week after this date. The colder milk is kept the longer the milk will stay good.
Milk that has expired will sour. Usually good sniff is sufficient to tell if milk is expired as a result. If you can’t tell by the smell, take a small sip, it will taste just odd, bitter, or well, sour. Another dead give away is curdling or lumps. The bitter taste will precede chunks, at this point its sometimes called “Bajaxed.” Sometimes the surface of bajaxed milk looks almost textured, like it’s begun to separate a bit.
Can you drink expired milk? What happens if you do?
If the milk has just begun to sour, you may not notice the bitter taste and continue to drink, chances are this will have no effect on an adult. On the other hand, a child could possibly continue drinking milk that has gone chunky even. If so symptoms could be equal to food poisoning, but a tummy ache is more likely if any side effects present at all beyond a gross flavor. Food poisoning lasts around 48 hours and can include; vomiting, nausea, stomach pain, and diarrhea. In severe cases, blurred vision and dizziness. If any symptoms exceed 48 hours medical care should be found.
Ok, so the milk is expired, is there anything I can use it for?
Soured milk is great for baking. In fact, some recipes actually call for it. It’s also an ingredient for many ethnic foods. You could make your own yogurt. (recipe) Bajaxed milk makes wonderful cocoa when boiled too. Some people will pour soured milk into septic tanks to create decomposing bacteria. Soured milk can be used to make paint and was by American pioneers. (I have a link for that too!) Expired milk is also better for milk baths, because the increase in lactic acid, though you may want to catch it before it curdles for that use. It can be used to clean leather and will restore its luster. Expired milk is even rumored to be wonderful for trees and rose bushes, but I couldn’t find back up information of that one.
So there you have it, and answer to can you drink expired milk–you likely don’t want to drink straight expired milk, but as an adult it probably won’t do much to you unless its really soured. If it is expired, no worries it has a world of uses.