We’ve all taken a swig the end of a milk carton that’s a couple days past its expiration day without consequences. Which makes us wonder: perform these dates really mean anything?

\"Expiration days are something civilization find confusing and also with good reason,\" claims Don Schaffner, a professor the food scientific research at Rutgers University. \"There room expiration dates, best-by dates, best-before days — and there’s no really a lot of standardization around what those every mean.\"

In fact, Schaffner says expiration dates are mostly based on product quality, not pollution risk, and often they’re set by regulation that’s not constantly based ~ above the finest scientific evidence. Because that example, milk created in Schaffner’s state of brand-new Jersey has one expiration date if it’s offered within the state, but that exact same milk is stamped v a different expiration date if it’s sold just across the state line in brand-new York.

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Still, there space some drink that food scientists just don\"t take chances with. Here’s what lock say might turn perhaps dangerous.

Anything Raw


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E. Coli is the microorganism most commonly associated with unpasteurized drinks, however it’s not the just one. \"Unpasteurized milk have the right to support listeria growth, also in the refrigerator,\" says Kathleen Glass, associate director of the Food study Institute at the university of Wisconsin-Madison.

Pasteurization kills pathogens by heater up milk (and other beverages) come a temperature higher than the which bacteria can withstand. This to be traditionally excellent in a gigantic vat, whereby milk to be heated come 145 levels for 30 minutes, according to the global Dairy foods items Association.

These days, the much more common method is high-temperature, short-time pasteurization, i beg your pardon cranks increase the warm to 161 degrees for 15 seconds, adhered to by quick cooling — which kills potential pathogens and makes beverages lot safer to drink.

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Interestingly, unpasteurized to apologize cider (which ferments end time) might actually become safer past its expiration date. \"If her apple cider was contaminated through E. Coli,\" defines Schaffner, \"the bacteria would certainly actually die much faster at room temperature because the cider would rotate to alcohol and kill it.\"

100% vegetables Juice


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Fruit juices tend to be acidic — think apple, grape, orange, and tomato — and also acid is a great protection against foodborne pathogens, Glass says. Acid makes it harder because that bacteria to survive. Fresh vegetables juices the aren’t combined with fruit juices, top top the various other hand, are an ext likely to become contaminated past their expirations, making them unsafe come drink.

Cold Pasteurized Drinks


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Cold pasteurization death bacteria in food without using heat. There room several techniques of cold pasteurization, however high-pressure handling (HPP) is the one many commonly associated with fresh juices.

It works by applying intense pressure to currently bottled beverages to death off potential pathogens and extend shelf life, however it’s not a replacement because that thermal pasteurization.

\"Cold pasteurization is not fairly as effective,\" states Glass, \"and the shelf life of cold pasteurized juices is still much shorter than those pasteurized through heat, specifically if they don’t save on computer fruit.\"

Beverages stored Improperly


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It’s typical sense that anything girlfriend buy in the refrigerated section of the grocery store is going to go bad faster than the shelf-stable stuff. Keeping things at the ideal temperature is key. Together a food safety educator, Glass can’t aid looking at refrigeration thermometers in ~ the grocery store store.

\"I have actually been recognized to find the manager and ask inquiries if i think other is off,\" she says, note that also your refrigerator at home can reason trouble. \"I constantly make certain my fridge is between 38 and also 40 degrees. Anything over that makes it easier for bacteria to grow.\"


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