Caring for Fresh Milk

Any perishable food can cause sickness if not properly cared for.

Fresh milk, like all foods, contains bacteria that can become harmful.

1. Drink it fresh.

If you’re buying fresh milk to drink, then you need to drink it while it’s still fresh.  Storage is the cause of most milk problems, so don’t get in that habit of keeping milk around.  

Tip:  We offer our milk in half-gallon jars.  Rather than bringing home several gallons and storing in the refrigerator for days, make more frequent pick-ups of smaller quantities of fresh milk.  Even better, arrange home delivery for the freshest milk.

2.  Keep it cold.

If you do need to store milk for a short time, it has to be kept cold–always.  Bacteria reproduce rapidly in warm milk, which is why milk spoils quickly if left on the counter.  By keeping milk cold, this reproduction is slowed and milk can be stored safely. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t plan on storing milk.

Tip:  Keep milk in the coldest part of the refrigerator, towards the back–not in the door–and never leave milk on the counter or table.

3. Cook it well.

If you are cooking with milk, be sure to bring it to a boil not only when you cook, but also if you reheat any such foods.  Boiling will kill harmful bacteria present in milk.  Most people who farm don’t drink milk as much as they cook with it, which is why it’s rarely a problem.

4.  Don’t blame fresh milk.

If you don’t handle fresh milk properly, you may make yourself sick, but that has nothing to do with fresh milk.  Any food not properly handled or prepared can cause sickness and the same will be true for milk bought from the supermarket.    Our dairy work here on the farm is always clean.  We cool and bottle our milk within minutes after it is collected at milking time.  We do not store milk on the farm, so whenever you pick up a bottle of milk, it’s less than 24 hours old.  By following these guidelines, you should be able to enjoy safe fresh milk at home.  

God bless,
Bill Michael
Michael Family Farm


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