Strive for 35 – How to Keep Milk Safe

Cold Milk Tastes Best! Strive for 35!

Milk is most safe and tastes best when served cold – at temperatures of 35 to 40°F. Milk is a perishable food and therefore is at risk when kept at temperatures in the food safety danger zone (40 to 140°F). Milk must be stored below 40°F for proper safety.

At Home – Pre-pour and Don’t store in the door!

  • Always return milk immediately to the refrigerator after serving. Many families are encouraged to keep the gallon of milk on the table while they share a meal together. This habit can cause milk to warm up- putting it at risk of reaching a non-safe temperature.
  • Never return milk to its original container. Once milk is out of its safe and sanitary container, it should never be returned for risk of contaminating the whole gallon.

Don’t store in the door – The door is one of the warmest places in the refrigerator, which makes it one of the worst places to store milk. Try storing milk on the shelves of the refrigerator–when the fridge door is opened and closed, the contents on the shelves tend to remain at a cool, constant temperature.

At the Grocery Store

  • Planning on picking up a lot of groceries? Try to pick up your refrigerated items close to the end of the shopping trip.

At School

  • Keeping milk cold helps students to enjoy and drink school milk. Factors such as long lunch periods, coolers left open for easy access and insufficient ice replacement in non-electric coolers allow temperatures to climb, degrading milk’s flavor.
  • Milk at schools always remains safe and under 40°F, but milk served at 35°F might make it taste different than it does at home.
  • Click here for our milk safety checklist for schools!

keep milk safe infographic