February 2019

No use crying over spilled milk? How inaccurate date labels are driving milk waste and harming the environment

How much of this discarded milk was still safe to drink? Anecdotally we all know that milk kept in a fridge generally remains good to drink for several days after its ‘Use By’ date. But we at Feedback wanted to know if anecdote was backed by science. We commissioned laboratory testing at the University of Chester NOW Food Lab to see how long milk really keeps. The food scientists found that milk from the four UK supermarkets with the largest market share (Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons), kept at the recommended temperature for a household fridge (4° Celsius – the WRAP recommendation is below 5° Celsius) and unopened until tested, remained safe to drink seven days after their ‘Use By’ dates.

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