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Another big food-safety scandal has made news media headlines and worried millions of consumers. This time a cake factory has committed the unforgivable crime of using 60 liters of milk that had passed its expiration date by one day.

This demonstrates the Japanese news media’s sense of proportion and its ability to judge what is important and what is not. The expiration date on milk has clearly been set far on the safe side by the dairies to ensure that their milk tastes fresh. The expiration date on milk is clearly not dictated by safety.

I can keep my milk in the refrigerator for at least one month after the expiration date without any problems. Do ordinary consumers dispose of their milk if it has passed the expiration date by just one day? What happens to milk when it gets too old? It just become sour, but it doesn’t pose any dangers to health unless it is very, very old. It is amazing how Japanese media and consumers can get upset about such meaningless small things while remaining indifferent to corruption and incompetence at public institutions.

joergen jensen

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