Letter Re: Storing Retort Packaged Ultra High Temperature Pasteurized Milk

Howdy Jim,
For those with sufficient storage space, an item worth considering is the UHT (Ultra High Temperature) pasteurized milk products.

In one-quart containers at around $1.40, they are available in whole milk and the 2% variety. The manufacturers give a shelf life of 6 to 10 months and the product requires no refrigeration until opened.

UHT dairy products have been on the shelves in Europe for more than 20 years. They were previously unavailable to the U.S. consumer because the government felt their availability would “disrupt the milk support program.” Sure beats powdered milk! – Dutch in Wyoming

JWR Replies:  For a short term supply (up to six months), UHT Retort -packaged milk makes a lot of sense. For longer term, you should store nitrogen-packed canned powdered nonfat milk from a competent and reliable vendor such as Ready Made Resources or Walton Feed. I have found that the nonfat variety stores the best because it is the butterfat in whole milk that goes rancid, significantly shortening the shelf life. (BTW, the powdered milk sold at grocery stores that comes in foil-lined boxes goes rancid far too quickly–at times it is borderline rancid even when bought in a brand new package!) The Memsahib has been drinking retort packaged rice milk for about five years now. Rice and soy “milks” store even longer than cow milk. Like any other storage food, be sure to store retort package “bricks” in the coolest (but not ever below freezing) part of your house, and away from vermin. (It is amazing what rats will chew on.) Never stack individual retort bricks horizontally more than five bricks high, or vertically more than seven bricks high, or in cardboard cases (of vertical bricks) more than five cases high.