When to throw milk away

Many milk packages will only have ‘sell-by’ dates, but not ‘Use by‘ dates. You can confidently drink it after the ‘sell-by date as long as these conditions are met:

Follow the storage instructions very well. Milk should always be stored in your fridge (not fridge door) with temperatures between 38-40F (3.33 – 4.44C) Colder is even better but not too cold to freeze your vegetables.

At the grocery shop always check the sell-by date to ensure that it not already past it. (Milk is usually the last thing people get before checkout). From the grocery shop, go straight home and store it right away. At home, never leave it for long periods out of the fridge.

You can freeze milk if you think it may take longer to finish it. Remember freezing will affect the texture and flavor a bit. When you thaw it, try consuming it in a day or two. You can make a milk-based dish just to speed up consumption.

Try to minimize handling of the milk. Keep it in its original bottle or box. Do not put fingers or cutlery in it, as it easily gets contaminated. Close it well after each open.


If after a week, you still have it in your fridge, you can take a quick sniff test each time you want to use it. If it is going off, you can tell by a sharp rancid small. At this stage, DO NOT DRINK it. There are many things you can do with sour milk (or milk going bad) but for this particular time, we are only sharing ideas on fresh milk, not sour milk. Be careful about milk that is gone bad.

In summary, milk is ok to consume even days after the wall by date, as long as it is stored properly.