It is important to pay close attention to how milk is handled and stored at home in order to safeguard against spoilage and disease, say experts.
Before National Milk Day, which falls on November 26, Ashwini K. Bajaj, Managing Director, Amrit Corp. Ltd. and Vikram Ogale, Director – Supply Chain and Quality Assurance, McDonald’s India, list a few tips one can keep in mind while handling and storing milk at home.
Tips to keep in mind while purchasing milk
* Buy milk and milk products only from reputed and trustworthy manufacturers.
* Purchase only those milk and milk products whose packages clearly mention details pertaining to manufacturing and expiry date, contact details of the manufacturing facility or company.
* When buying packaged milk, check for the expiry date, which is usually stamped at the top of the carton/ body of pouch. Make sure the date hasn’t already passed (most grocery stores ensure their stock is up-to-date) and then decide whether you will be able to finish the milk within a few days before the expiry date.
* Buy milk in smaller quantities if you’re not sure of using it immediately or use it within three days from the date of purchase, if stored well.
* Do not buy puffed or leaked packets of milk.
Easy ways to prevent spoilage of milk, and ensuring lasting quality
* Milk should never be left out on the kitchen counter or table for extended periods of time.
* Milk should be stored in the refrigerator. The refrigerator should be set between 3.5 and 4.5 degrees Celsius, or as cold as possible without freezing your fruits and vegetables.
* If you have a second refrigerator that isn’t opened as regularly, storing milk there, before it is used, can also extend its life. This would prevent development or growth of bacteria.
* If your milk pack is nearing its expiration date, you can consider freezing it or planning some recipes like pudding, cream soups or oatmeal to use it up. Please remember that milk will expand when it’s frozen, so be sure to leave room in the container to prevent it from bursting.
* Store milk on the refrigerator shelves where it is cooler, rather than in the refrigerator doors.
* Avoid exposing milk to light, as light destroys certain vitamins, such as vitamin D and riboflavin.
* Remember to open new milk containers in the same order in which you bought them – first in the fridge, first out.