Aussies throw out up to $8 billion worth of edible food every year and milk is the most wasted individual fresh item, followed by lettuce, bread, tomatoes and yoghurt, according to a study commissioned by appliance maker Panasonic Australia.
If you find yourself pouring sour milk down the drain all the time because you don’t know how to store milk properly that it always turns bad, here are some tips for you (provided by Dairygoodness):
At the supermarket:
- When shopping, pick up the milk last so it doesn’t warm up while you fill your basket. Refrigerate at a temperature of between 0 °C and 4 °C as soon as possible after purchase.
- Check the milk’s best before date and choose the product with the furthest date.
- Once opened, milk is safe to consume for up to 3 days. This is why it is better to buy smaller amounts more often rather than keeping larger containers open in the refrigerator for too long.
- Remember to open new milk containers in the same order in which you bought them. First in the fridge, first out.
- Keep milk containers closed and stored away from strong-smelling food items in the fridge—the milk can pick up these odours.
- Store milk on refrigerator shelves where it is cooler, rather than in the refrigerator doors.
- Whenever possible, leave milk in its original container to safeguard its flavour and nutritional value.
- Avoid exposing milk to light, as light destroys certain vitamins, such as vitamin D and riboflavin.
- To avoid spoilage, do not return unused milk from a serving pitcher to the original container.
- UHT and canned milk found in the non-refrigerated aisle are perishable once opened. Opened UHT and canned milk must therefore be refrigerated. After opening canned milk, immediately transfer any unused portions to a clean, opaque and airtight container. These milk products should be used within 3 days of opening.
- If stored in a cool, dry place, powdered milk will keep for up to 6 months. Once the package is opened, it should be used within 1 month. After being reconstituted, it should be stored and treated in the same way as regular fluid milk, meaning it should be refrigerated and used within 3 days.
- Milk can be frozen for up to 6 weeks without any impact on its flavour and nutritional value; however, upon thawing, it can separate and lose its smooth texture. Partly skimmed and skim milk freeze better than whole milk (3.25%). Thaw milk in the fridge. If the milk separates upon thawing, beat it with an electric mixer or an immersion blender with the whip attachment.
- Leftover evaporated milk can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 6 weeks with no adverse effects.
- If you freeze foods such as soups or stews, add the milk after you reheat the thawed food.