My fridge was not properly closed last night. Is my milk safe to drink?
April 8, 2017 4:32 PM   Subscribe

Milk jug was bought last night, but my fridge door was left ajar. The milk jug was slightly cool, but definitely not cold. Is the milk safe to drink?
posted by Beholder to Food & Drink (21 answers total)
Does it smell ok? If so, yes.
posted by blnkfrnk at 4:37 PM on April 8, 2017 [4 favorites]

A weekly occurrence at my house. The milk is fine.
posted by ReluctantViking at 4:39 PM on April 8, 2017 [5 favorites]

Does it smell ok? If so, yes.

I thought the smell test had been debunked?
posted by Beholder at 4:43 PM on April 8, 2017

posted by pravit at 4:46 PM on April 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

I would drink/use it today, but you've probably shortened its shelf life.
posted by she's not there at 4:55 PM on April 8, 2017 [6 favorites]

I would drink it if it smelled okay, but I have a pretty strong stomach -- if you tend to get a stomach ache with slightly off stuff (my husband is this way), maybe don't risk it...I find we can both eat the same slightly old food and I'll be totally fine while he feels sick. So, know thyself with this one.
posted by rainbowbrite at 5:03 PM on April 8, 2017

Yes it's fine, yes drink it sooner than you would had it been kept fully refrigerated.
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:04 PM on April 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

If the milk isn't safe to drink, you will know. If you don't immediately know, it's fine. Off milk is so obvious.
posted by Samarium at 5:15 PM on April 8, 2017 [3 favorites]

It's fine. In the 50s, living in Holland with no fridge, we kept milk on the shelf for days. Nobody died. Your fridge ran overtime and probably maintained its temperature, no problem.
posted by beagle at 5:16 PM on April 8, 2017 [4 favorites]

It's pasteurized, so there aren't any harmful bacteria in it. It might taste off or get an off taste faster, but that's a quality issue and not a safety one.
posted by Small Dollar at 5:17 PM on April 8, 2017 [8 favorites]

As far as the smell test goes, take care on the first whiff as it's really pretty clear/safe unless "OMG my sinuses, gahh, no no no, gag, going straight to the shower/neti pot to rinse the nose". Oh, what Samarium said more politely.
posted by sammyo at 6:14 PM on April 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Milk left at non-refrigerated temperatures isn't like raw chicken or leftovers sitting overnight at non-refrigerated temperatures -- milk goes bad, but even "gone bad" milk is unlikely to make you sick, it just tastes gross. Unless the milk tastes funny, it's just fine.
posted by AzraelBrown at 6:15 PM on April 8, 2017 [7 favorites]

posted by pompomtom at 6:25 PM on April 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you don't swig from that jug, and if you are good about leaving it in the fridge, unless you are pouring it, and if it isn't more than a week old...smell it, then taste it.
posted by Oyéah at 6:38 PM on April 8, 2017

With milk, I usually do the "consistency" test because I am a little sensitive to milk that's turning. Pour a little in the sink, and look at the texture. If you see anything but smooth, slippery rivulets it is starting to turn. As long as it isn't curdling it's still fine to drink. And even if it is starting to turn, what you actually have is perfectly edible milk that you want to use to make mac and cheese for dinner and then some pancakes for breakfast.
posted by DoubleLune at 6:43 PM on April 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Even sour milk is safe to drink - you just won't want to. Don't throw it out, use it in baking, etc.

I thought the smell test had been debunked?

It's my experience that milk's still fine a day or two after the nearing-empty carton smells sour - the real test is to pour some into a glass and taste it.
posted by Rash at 6:45 PM on April 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

If it was pasteurized, it's fine. If it was unpasteurized, I wouldn't drink it.
posted by pearshaped at 7:51 PM on April 8, 2017

It's true that the smell test is not reliable for most foods, but there are a few things--eggs and milk among them--that will not spoil without first going so bad that you will be repulsed by them. Accidentally drinking spoiled milk is just not a thing that's going to happen, unless you have zero sense of smell and taste (and possibly texture, depending on how far gone the spoilage is).
posted by tiger tiger at 12:29 AM on April 9, 2017

Yes. In the days before refrigeration, people would keep milk in a larder, which was relatively cool compared to the rest of the house, but almost certainly warmer than your slightly-ajar fridge door. The excellent Back in Time for Dinner allows the camera to linger lovingly on a pint of milk in the larder, circa 1950.

If you're worried, pour a little of the milk into a bowl and taste it. If it's gone off, you'll know immediately.
posted by basalganglia at 4:40 AM on April 9, 2017

I'm rural, so I buy a lot of milk at once and freeze it, and leave the individual bag out overnight when we're in need of a new bag. We are not infrequently lazy/out for the day, and don't get it into the fridge until it's totally thawed and at room temp. We are still alive. You do lose a bit of shelf life this way, though.
posted by kmennie at 6:39 AM on April 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Smell test works for milk but not for meat or any other food, in my opinion.
posted by mareli at 8:34 AM on April 10, 2017

« Older Audio for Madeleine by Ludwig Bemelmans?   |   What's "very last credit" worthy on Audible? Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments