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May 4, 2014 10:37 AM

I can't tell when milk is spoiled

Does anyone else have this problem?

Milk always has an odor that seems off to me. I just never learned to tell when it is bad. Not having a lot of it growing up in a house with lactose-intolerant Asian parents is probably why.

I buy it when I plan on cooking something with milk and I am often left with half a container of milk that I end up forgetting to use. I hate how wasteful it makes me feel.

Even though I don't like the smell, I have no problems eating cereal with it. I just have zero confidence in being able to tell if it has gone bad and is more likely to cause stomach problems as it approaches the "sell by" date on the container.

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  1. If you are not a regular milk drinker you can freeze what you don't need for later use. I use ice trays and then transfer to plastic bags. Then I can take out only what I need.

    1. We only use milk on very rare occasions and find it very convenient and less costly to keep a bag of powdered milk in the pantry.

      1. I wonder if you haven't really smelled spoiled milk before? The smell is unmistakeable

        7 Replies
        1. re: scubadoo97

          I was getting ready to say...I don't drink much milk either but spoiled milk is pretty distinct either in smell, texture or taste.

          1. re: scubadoo97

            There seems to be some point in the aging of milk where it starts to cause cramps, flatulence, and other symptoms of lactose intolerance.

            I don't have problems when it is milk that is recently bought. I am more likely to have problems when the milk has been there for a while. I suspect it has gone bad somehow, but I can't really tell when it has passed that point based on odor and taste.

            1. re: FoodPopulist

              I can't explain that, maybe someone can. Lactose content doesn't change over time, if it did it would decrease perhaps if bacteria got into the milk.

              1. re: FoodPopulist

                your phrase above about "lactose-intolerant Asian people" is, I think, the biggest hint here....

                Lactose intolerance can be genetic.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  "Can be?" Most lactose intolerance is genetic, nearly all Asians and most Africans.

                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    I was trying not to wield the sledgehammer...

              2. re: scubadoo97

                Unless milk is very fresh, I usually find its smell offensively ripe, bordering on spoiled. Whether it is curdled and separated or just a week old, milk generally smells unpleasant to me.

              3. Spoiled milk smells like strawberries.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Chinon00

                  Yes, when it's starting to go bad it has a sweet odor like ripe fruit

                2. I have lots of fresh milk in the fridge at all times for baking and cooking and coffee.
                  Sour milk won't hurt you so tasting it usually is the best way to see if it's 'gone bad'.