Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Food & DrinkEthnic Cuisine · 2 months ago

How do people in milk factories know exactly when the precise expiration date of a carton of milk is the accurate expiration?

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  • denise
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    I presume they put a 'standard' use by date on each batch??

  • 2 months ago

    Expiration labels tell you when the food is fresh, it's not a safety limit. Generally it's a statistical estimate of how long the color, taste, texture ... will be maintained. There is no specific standard and it's not precise.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    For the love of Bob, the date is NOT an "expiration" date.  It's a "best by" date.  It is the date by which the manufacturer guarantees top quality taste and texture.

    There is no magical date/time when milk suddenly goes from fresh to sour.

    They know an estimate based on bacteria counts over time in refrigerator conditions.

    Ultra-pasteurized milk lasts quite a bit longer than single-pasteurized milk because more bacteria are knocked out from the get-go.  That would be brands like Darigold and Horizon instead of regular store brand. 

  • 2 months ago

    Alot of people already made great points but I'll add that things rot. We know because someone sat in a lab and watched it, that within a time period at a certain temp range, bacteria start to grow and decomp starts. We have "the body farm" where we can witness that a body in a garbage can vs buried in dirt decomps in different ways all started when, what was investigated as a recent murder turned out to be an ancient burial plot. In shipping, they have live feed thermometers so you know, as per the law, if it is above freezing for more than x amount of mins, you can't sell it. The slight chance of a $1 million lawsuit is worth tossing the $20,000 pallet. 

    So it's not a magic number per se but meat, for example ships frozen and the date is about 7 days after it's set to be taken from frozen to defrost in the display and then in your home fridge. The lab and subsequent food safety laws say after 7 days it's going to be less than perfect when kept above freezing. 

    When kept at typical fridge temps, milk of various fat contents, etc, is likely to be rated as less than ideal. For some items like chips, they'll never go bad in so many words but the issue is branding. A particular crunch is what makes their chip different from the rest. So keeping it in a NOT cool, dry environment and/or passed the best buy date makes it soggy and stale, not quite on-brand. 

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  • kswck2
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    The cows are labeled. 

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Mmm...

    First, there are no “milk factories” - milk isn't manufactured, it's produced by cows. It's then processed and packed.

    Second, milk doesn't have any kind of “expiration date” because it doesn't “expire”. Milk does “go off” though so the container will be marked with a “use by” or “best before” date. 

    Third, these dates do NOT indicate when the milk will “go off”. If the milk is not stored properly it could be bad long before that date or, in cold weather, it could be fine a week or more after it. Even when the milk has “gone off” it has not “expired”. It could still quite easily be used. Most people would not want to though unless they were going to make cheese. Apparently sour milk is also good for making scones. The dates are meant to give the consumer an indication of how fresh a product is before they buy it. By no means is it meant to tell them when it's no longer useable - their eyes, nose, tastebuds and common sense will do that.

    After milk is processed and packed it will be stamped with a date, some time in advance. This will be the date when the company selling the milk feel that they can absolutely guarantee it will still be as good as it was when it was packed (assuming it's stored correctly. No one will try to guess or decide when that date should be - it will be an automatic process with milk being stamped with a date perhaps two weeks hence (maybe a longer or shorter period is allowed, I don't know).

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    There's no real process. Sometimes they just see how long for a carton to go bad either by taste or smell or microbes under a microscope and subtract a couple days to be sure. Your carton of milk could go bad before or after the date. It's not exactly accurate 

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