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Knowing the best way to store your milk is a great way to help reduce food waste. Here you will learn how to properly store milk, how to freeze milk and other tips and tricks to help prevent waste. 

How to store milk

Milk is the third most wasted food and drink product in the UK, and often is thrown away when it is still safe to use.  Knowing the best way to store your milk is a great way to help reduce food waste, following these few simple tips you can ensure your milk stays fresher for longer.

  • Refrigerate milk as soon as you can following collection from your doorstep or buying it elsewhere, ensuring the temperature of your fridge is maintained between 1c - and 5c.

  • Store milk upright, ideally on the shelf inside the main part of the fridge, as this is colder than inside the door. 

  • Refer to the date stamped on the bottle cap or label for the ‘use by’ date and storage period.

  • It is important to keep your milk sealed for freshness so always reseal it after use. If the bottle has a foil top and is damaged on opening then a reusable milk topper is a great way to keep it sealed. You can acquire these from us, click here to see our bottle toppers.

  • If you pour the milk into a jug for serving, do not pour it back into the original container. 

  • Milk keeps best in its original packaging, do not mix milk from different bottles together into one container for storage.​​

  • If you are unsure if the milk is still usable, carry out the ‘sniff test’. This is a useful way to tell if the milk is off. Either sniff the milk in the bottle, or pour a little into a clean glass, if the milk is off, or beginning to spoil, it will smell sour or unpleasant. 

  • Tasting a small amount of milk in conjunction with this is also a good test. If milk doesn’t smell, look lumpy or separated and tastes fine then it may be ok to use. 

  • In warmer weather, you can help keep your delivered milk cooler on the doorstep by leaving out a cool box for your milk to be placed in. You can order a cool box from us, click here for the details.

How to freeze milk

If you have extra milk that you want to preserve, then freezing it is a good option. However it is important to freeze it while it is still fresh and before the ‘use by’ date, but not if it has started to smell or has spoiled.


When milk is frozen it expands like any other liquid, so you should use a freezer-safe container, which has some room for expansion. Do not freeze milk in a glass bottle, however, if you purchase milk in a poly bottle then simply freeze it in that but ensure you leave space for expansion, approximately 5cm of space at the top should be sufficient.  


You can freeze all types of milk including whole milk, semi-skimmed and skimmed.


If you have a small amount of milk to freeze, then ice cube trays can be useful. Once the milk is frozen, transfer them into a freezer bag so that you always have a handy amount of milk to use, should you be required to do so.


Make sure the container your milk is frozen in is clearly dated, as frozen milk is best used within one month of freezing. Once defrosted, consume within 2 days and do not re-freeze. 


To thaw frozen milk it is best to place it in the fridge and allow it to de-frost completely before using. Do not be tempted to speed up the process by leaving it at room temperature as this could encourage bacteria to grow.


Freezing milk should not affect the taste of milk, but you may notice a change in the colour or texture as the fat in the milk can separate and turn grainy. This is more likely to happen with whole milk, so once thawed give it a good shake to re-emulsify it.

How to freeze and store cream

Please also follow the above tips and storage instructions for cream.  

Cream can be frozen as it is or if it has been whipped first. Due to the higher fat content, the texture may become grainy, so it is best to stir thoroughly once thawed. Frozen cream still has many uses including cooking, adding to soups, sauces or mashed potato. 

Consider what recipes you can use your milk and cream up in to help save wastage. We have some ideas on our recipe pages.

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