IN.gov - Skip Navigation

Note: This message is displayed if (1) your browser is not standards-compliant or (2) you have you disabled CSS. Read our Policies for more information.

Indiana State Board of Animal Health

BOAH > Consumer Information > Frequently Asked Questions About Milk & Dairy Products Frequently Asked Questions About Milk & Dairy Products

  1. Is milk still good after the date on the carton?
    Indiana has no legal requirement for dairies to put a "sell by" or "use by" date on their containers. As such the state does not guarantee the wholesomeness of dairy products for any length of time. However, dairies routinely perform testing to assure that their products will retain an acceptable level of quality and wholesomeness at least through the date listed on the container. Of course, temperature-abusing the product, such as leaving the container of milk on the counter while cooking, will cause the product to lose quality and wholesomeness at an accelerated rate.
  2. Can I eat cheese that has mold on it?
    Eating mold from cheese or any other source can be risky. The rule of thumb for moldy hard cheese is to cut off the moldy portions at least an inch from the visible mold. Moldy soft cheese products should not be consumed.
  3. Can I buy raw milk from a farm?
    Indiana allows two ways to purchase legally raw milk from a farm. Raw milk can be purchased from farms that will be subjecting the milk to a legal pasteurization process. Individuals who plan to use the milk for animal feed may also purchase raw milk. In either case, the person purchasing the milk must take all of the milk in the bulk tank at the time he/she is collecting the milk. Individuals cannot purchase small amounts, such as one or two gallons of milk, at a time. Any milk destined for human consumption must be pasteurized.
  4. Does pasteurization kill the nutrients in milk?
    Pasteurization does change the chemistry of the milk. Whether this change reduces the nutrient level or health benefits of the milk is a question better answered by a nutritionists, dietician, or food scientists. For more information on milk nutrition visit Why Milk?
  5. Will unpasteurized milk hurt me?
    Unpasteurized milk can contain the organisms responsible for many different diseases. Some of these diseases are: brucellosis, Q-fever, campylobateriosis, strep infections, staph intoxications, E. coli, salmonellosis, yersiniosis, toxoplasmosis, listeriosis, cryptosporidiosis, and tuberculosis. Consuming unpasteurized milk is not a recommended practice.
  6. How is milk pasteurized?
    You will need to meet the Grade A processing requirements for structures and equipment. Your facilities must be inspected and approved of by BOAH. For more information on regulatory requirements.
  7. How do I start a dairy farm?
    You will need to submit drawings of your planned structures and equipment for approval by BOAH's Dairy Division and be inspected and approved for a permit. For information on dairy regulatory requirements.
  8. Can I bottle and sell my own milk?
    You may pasteurize and bottle your own milk; however, you must meet the Grade A processing requirements for structures and equipment. Your facilities must be inspected and approved (including a permit) by the BOAH. For information on dairy regulatory requirements.
  9. Can I make ice cream from my house and sell it?
    Homemade ice cream will not meet the requirements of the state's regulations. Individuals can't sell or distribute homemade ice cream. However, those who do make their own ice cream for their own enjoyment should use pasteurized eggs or cook the mixture prior to freezing.
  10. Is goat milk better for you than cow milk?
    Goat milk and cow milk are different products. They differ not only in taste but also in composition. Whether one is better than the other depends on the nutritional needs of the person consuming the product. This is a question individuals should ask a doctor, a nutritionist, or dietician.
  11. Does sunlight destroy the nutrients in milk?
    Light will accelerate the breakdown of vitamins A and D. To prevent the breakdown of these vitamins, some firms bottle their products in containers designed to reduce the amount of light reaching the milk. These typically are the dark or opaque plastic or have an overwrap that completely covers the milk area of the containers.
  12. Is milk tested for animal drug residues?
    Every load of milk must be tested for antibiotic drugs before the dairy plant receives it.