Speaking about dairy, what comes to your mind? Milk? Cheese? Yogurt? Exactly! Not only those, piimä (cultured milk), ice cream, butter, sherbet, and many other desserts are also dairy-based products.
Many of us think that the date printed on the dairy products is an expiration date. Well, they are not, instead they are usually a ‘sell-by’ date. Therefore, fresh dairy products, eg. pasteurized milk, are in fact safe to be consumed up to one week after the ‘sell-by’ date, with the condition that the product is STORED PROPERLY at all times i.e. refrigerate as soon as possible after purchasing them, cover the opened product nicely after each use and refrigerate promptly. Despite being safe to consume, nutrient content (for example, vitamin C is gradually oxidized over time) and the amount of probiotics (in case of yogurt, for instance) are lower than the values labeled on the container.
But how do you tell whether it has gone bad? Can you tell which one looks like a spoiled milk in the picture below?
Yes, the answer is: the picture on the left. Common traits of spoiled dairy products are distinctive sour smell, off-color, and lumpy texture. All these are the result of fermentation by various lactic acid bacteria. They are no longer safe to be consumed because you may end up getting diarrhea or even worse!
In a nut shell, dairy products are generally safe to be consumed when they had passed the ‘sell-by’ date but are stored properly at all times. So don’t hesitate to buy a yogurt that has today’s date printed on its label!
The information provided here is served as a general guideline.
Nutritionist of The Froodly Team
Wan Lih Ching