I have 1/2 gallon of milk (not raw) that turned sour in fridge (not curdled). Hate to throw it away. Can I safely use it to make cottage cheese or put into a chocolate cake?

  • 3
    I think you don't understand what the definition of "safe" is. There is no way to turn unsafe food into safe, period. If you eat it and don't get sick, this doesn't mean that what you did was safe, it means that you took a risk and got lucky.
    – rumtscho
    Apr 8, 2014 at 12:35
  • 1
    Growing up my mom would use it in baked goods, like pancakes. I don't, but that's because I don't drink milk at all, so don't have it on hand. I would assume that in fully cooked products, the issues would be different than consuming it in some uncooked preparation.
    – Joe
    Apr 9, 2014 at 14:29

3 Answers 3


Is half a gallon of milk that you may not need to throw out worth getting food poisoning over? If I had to choose between possible bloody diarrhea, vomiting, severe pain, seizures and possibly even death and spending a few more dollars, I certainly would spend a few more dollars.

Throw the stuff away. If it's gone sour, you have a lively colony of bacteria in there.

They may or may not be harmful, but I cannot stress enough that it's simply too dangerous to try.

  • Then again, it obviously already had that lively colony of bacteria in it before it went sour. They're not the most dangerous sort. Still, milk is too cheap to bother saving - you'd just waste good ingredients.
    – MSalters
    Apr 8, 2014 at 21:39
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    @MSalters You really have no way to know whether they're the dangerous sort. It could've been contaminated with basically anything after pasteurization, especially after you open it.
    – Cascabel
    May 2, 2016 at 17:08

Cottage Cheese, Buttermilk, Yogurt, Cheese...These are all things that are made in specific conditions, controlled in order to get a desired result.

Milk that has been in a container (that has been opened numerous times in uncontrolled environments) goes sour because of undesirable conditions and should not be confused with properly cultured dairy products. EVER.


You can cook with it in place of buttermilk. If it is NOT curdled and went sour in the fridge there is absolutely nothing wrong with making biscuits, panckes, cornbread etc with it. Honestly there's nothing to be afraid of, make sure whatever you make is cooked through completely and don't use it if it's already separated into curds and whey.

  • While I kiiiind of agree with you and might do this myself at home depending on the circumstance, I protest "absolutely nothing wrong" and "nothing to be afraid of." There are risks and ignoring them doesn't tell the whole story. Those off flavors are waste products generated by bacteria. Killing said bacteria by cooking doesn't necessarily render the waste safe to eat. We tend towards "better safe than sorry" here.
    – Preston
    Jan 11, 2018 at 19:46

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