One has to be extra careful when buying fresh milk from supermarkets. When in a cold country like England, milk used to be delivered daily and left outside the house with no problems as to freshness. We took for granted the quality of the pasteurised milk.
In Malaysia, initially we used UHT milk for our English tea until we tasted the difference using fresh milk instead. Since then, we buy fresh milk from the supermarket. Fresh milk has to be refrigerated and has limited shelf life, unlike the UHT milk in cartons which can be left on the shelves in ordinary shops. I had several bad experiences when buying fresh milk.
First of all, the date of expiry cannot be relied upon because of the likely lapses in quality control at the factory, during tranportation to retailers and while being stored on their shelves. There are differences in temperature where milk is being kept between different supermarkets.
Then there are differences in efficiency when taking delivery and finally putting them on the shelves. There is also the occasional risk of mischief of tampering by irresponsible people. If the goods are not properly inspected by staff, purchasers who bought them would feel cheated and the supermarket would get the blame.
I had the experience of having bought milk to be cleared (within 2 days of expiry) thinking I could use them for making 'milky coffee or tea' by boiling them first, but found some already bad when taken home. How to complain when it could be argued that it might be due to us having left it in the car for too long without air-conditioning? I suspect it was more because of poor control on their part especially when labelling the dates of expiry. I have never tried complaining about milk knowing how useless it can be when complaining.
I had just bought a 2-litre carton of milk (well within a week of expiry) which I did not check on the cap. It had been opened before (judging from the seal later) and gone bad when my wife opened it. There goes Rm12 down the drain!
By the way, I find it amusing (though it is not funny) when I see friends trying their level best in controlling their diets. There is this continual debate on saturated and unsaturated fats and their effects on our health. It used to be convincing but alternating between contradictory reports, by medical and nutritional experts, each claiming the goodness or otherwise of saturated or unsaturated fats. What if saturated fat is not really bad and you have been trying so hard to avoid it? What is even worse is when say, cholesterol is actually needed for our brain and the lack of which has actual harmful effects? When in doubt, MODERATION seems to be the compromising answer!
Sometimes, we do not have a choice when having meals outside our home. We have no control over where the meat or vegetable was from; how they had been reared or grown; how they had been cleaned before cooking, whether fresh or recycled oil had been used, or even whether they had been properly cooked before we put it in our mouth.
As to milk, because condensed creamer is cheaper than condensed milk, we are bound to get the former in our tea or coffee in coffee shops. Same with evaporated creamer and evaporaed milk. So I take it with a pinch of salt when a stall holder said her curry is prepared from evaporated milk instead of coconut milk, which is supposedly healthier.