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Q&A: Does organic milk last longer?

Consumer Reports News: October 17, 2008 10:18 AM

Why does the organic milk I buy last so much longer than regular milk? —J.H., Holden, Mass.

Organic milk often undergoes "ultrapasteurization," in which the milk is heated to a very hot 280° F (137.8° C) for 2 seconds, rather than the 161° F (71.7° C) for 15 seconds used in conventional pasteurization. By killing more bacteria, the extra heat extends the milk's expiration date. It's not clear whether organic-milk producers ultrapasteurize as an additional safeguard against bacteria, since organic cows consume no antibiotics, or simply to extend shelf life. Properly refrigerated, ultrapasteurized milk has a shelf life of 40 to 60 days unopened, compared with 15 to 17 days for milk pasteurized the regular way. But you should consume all milk within 7 to 10 days after opening.

Read more about organic fruits and veggies, and test your organic IQ.


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