How Long Does Milk Last?

Understanding Milk Expiration Dates

Milk is one of the original farm-to-table staples — it typically arrives on grocery store shelves in just two days from many family-owned and operated dairy farms. Milk is fresh and ready to serve —and one of the safest and most nutrient-rich foods you can find on store shelves. But do you know the key to serving up the freshest glass at home? Mind the milk expiration date on the container.

Here are six steps to keep your milk cool, fresh and ready to drink:

Make sure your plan of attack while grocery shopping includes picking up milk and other dairy products at the end of the grocery run to keep them as cool as possible until you get home.

How do you enjoy this budget-friendly beverage to its full potential? Keep it at a cool 40 degrees or colder, open it when you need to serve (as long as it’s sealed, it stays fresher longer) and keep an eye on the container.

When you twist the cap, take a look at the date stamped on the side of the container. That’s typically a "sell-by" date. Make sure you purchase the milk before this date.   Your family can drink it within a few days past that date for the best glass of fresh milk

Some other tips to extend milk’s flavor profile? Store it in the back of the refrigerator, not in the door where the temperature fluctuates each time the door opens. Keep the container closed — this keeps milk fresh. And always pour a glass, don’t swig from the carton. That’s just bad manners.

Milk is a top-shelf choice when it comes to breakfast. It’s a natural pair with cereal, oatmeal and scrambled eggs — and fills an 8-ounce glass to add eight grams of high-quality protein to every meal.

Want to know the trip milk takes from the dairy farm to the grocery store? Here are the seven steps farmers take to deliver milk for your family each day.