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Germs also in UHT milk: Isn't milk that is heated up really stable forever?


Spoiled UHT milk is difficult to identify
Whether in kindergarten, the shopping cart of the extended family or in the office kitchen: A pallet of UHT milk can be found everywhere, because many consumers appreciate the supposedly long shelf life. However, a call back was not started until the beginning of the week after bacteria had been found in Lidl's Milbona UHT milk. The find shows that even the heated milk is not safe from pathogens. The tricky thing about H products: it is very difficult for consumers to recognize that they are perishable.

Recall for Lidl milk
UHT milk is popular with many consumers because its long shelf life enables uncomplicated storage. However, the products repeatedly hit the headlines due to contamination with germs, which could lead to health problems.

Earlier this week, discounter Lidl announced a recall for whole milk. The product "Milbona Durable Whole Milk 3.5% Fat, 1L" is affected with the best before dates 07.05.2017 and 08.05.2017. According to a message from the company, the germ "Bacillus cereus" had been detected in internal tests by the manufacturer Fude + Serrahn Milchprodukte GmbH. The pathogen is able to form toxins that can cause nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Therefore, the affected products should not be consumed and can be returned to all Lidl branches (even without a receipt), according to the information.

Products go through a special heating process
Germs in UHT milk? For many consumers, the news comes as a surprise. Because the "H" stands for "preserved", which is done by a special heat treatment process, in which all pathogens capable of reproduction are killed. In this process, the milk is heated to temperatures of at least 135 to 150 ° C for a few seconds, making it practically germ-free. Sealed, the products therefore remain stable for several months without refrigeration.

Can be kept for a few days after opening
But the appearance of infinite shelf life is deceptive: because if the milk is opened, it can spoil after a few days. As with fresh milk, after opening the cap, air and germs get inside the milk carton, where they can multiply quickly. The problem with this: If UHT milk is bad, it is usually difficult to determine. Because the ultra-high heating means there are no lactic acid bacteria in it like in fresh milk. "UHT milk spoils [.] Without acidification, so that you don't taste the spoilage", according to the information from the nutrition service "aid".

On the advice of the aid, opened UHT milk should "always be well sealed, stored in a cool place and consumed within 2-3 days". Durable milk that has been on for a long time does not have to be spoiled, but it cannot be “one hundred percent” excluded, according to the association. In the case of fresh milk, it can usually be seen when pouring out whether it is still good. Because spoiled fresh milk quickly becomes lumpy and smells unpleasant due to the lactic acid bacteria it contains, at the latest when drinking the typical sour taste is noticeable. (No)

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