How to Store Milk Safely in a Cafeteria Setting

Boy with tray

Why do Schools Serve Milk Instead of Water?

Growing up, we never gave much thought as to why school cafeterias always served milk from milk case coolers for lunch. Milk provides a bang for the buck, packed with nine different nutrients that growing children need to support a healthy body, while water only provides hydration. For about 25¢ a cup, milk provides:

  • Calcium: essential for strong bones
  • Vitamin A: healthy eyesight, immune system
  • Vitamin D: assists with calcium absorption
  • Vitamin B12: energy booster, nervous system
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): aids with nutrient processing
  • Protein: full-body health
  • Potassium: regulates blood pressure
  • Niacin: regulates cholesterol
  • Phosphorus: assists with calcium absorption

Baby take milk

In 1946, President Harry Truman signed the National School Lunch Act providing federal assistance to meal programs in public schools. In 1966, Congress passed the School Breakfast Program that currently assists schools in providing over 15 million children milk and a nutritional breakfast five days a week. The Special Milk Program complements the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, ensuring students get the calcium they need to grow up healthy with strong bones. Today, milk served from milk case coolers is an essential component in the USDA’s strict school meal guidelines aimed to help to bridge the nutritional gap for underprivileged children.

How Much Milk do Schools Use Each Year?

Even if milk is available to each student from the milk case cooler in the lunch line, not all will grab that carton. However, a study conducted by the National Dairy Council found that 76-85% of the students actually do drink flavored (usually chocolate) or regular milk with their lunch or breakfast. It is then inferred that over 4.4 billion half-pints are consumed through public school lunches—that’s 550 million gallons or 150,000 swimming pools!

Happy girl

How do you Store Milk Safely?

Keep it cool! Milk is a perishable good and should be stored at or below 40°F (4°C) to keep the milk fresh. From the moment when the milk is pasteurized, it’s given a 14 day “SELL BY” date and since it takes about 48 hours for the milk to travel from the cow to the plant to your store or cafeteria, every effort is made to keep the milk from spoiling. Every 5° over 40°F halves the milk’s remaining shelf life, giving bacteria a chance to grow causing milk to smell and taste sour. Milk case coolers are a great way to keep milk cool while still accessible in cafeteria lines and similar environments.

How do Cafeterias Display Milk for Sale?

Cafeterias use milk case coolers during lunch hours and then close the lid for more efficient refrigerated milk storage. Milk case coolers with front, top or side access can be left open and work well for the little hands reaching in to grab a cold carton of milk. As an able-bodied adult, we don’t think twice about opening a refrigerator door for a glass of milk. However little arms aren’t able to maneuver a heavy door while balancing a lunch tray!

As we get older, milk has stood the test of time providing us with essential nutrients to keep our bodies strong and our minds healthy. Whether serving flavored or unflavored milk in cartons or bottles, company cafeterias use the same types of milk case coolers for easy access to the milk for sale as our hands are now full with bags, briefcases, keys, and phones!

How do Milk Case Coolers from Powers Equipment Help Preserve Milk for Sale?

Whether your students, employees, or customers know it or not, years of experience and technology have gone into engineering the design and reliability of milk coolers. Milk case coolers from Powers Equipment are exceptionally designed with a quiet exterior fan design and a sleek stainless steel interior.

These units double as the perfect milk display cooler keeping its contents cool with a 1/5 horsepower condensing unit and efficient R-290 hydrocarbon refrigeration system meeting strict Energy Star certification standards. Available in three different sizes to accommodate the demand of a lunchtime rush with minimal restocking while keeping the milk fresh.

Milk case coolers

The USDA estimates 30-40% of our perishable food and beverages are wasted each year in this country. A Powers Equipment milk case cooler saves time, energy, and money with consistent storage temperatures. Their cold wall cooling system prevents bacteria from growing with a stable 40°F temperature and can be easily monitored by adding a two-inch dial thermometer. Cleaning the interior is easy and convenient with the large hinged folding lids, removable plastic drainage pans, and bottom drain.

Call 1-800-673-7868 or email to upgrade your milk storage system today for a healthier, happier community.