The Shocking Substance Boston Schools Found In Their Milk Cartons

A couple of Boston schools recently got more than calcium and delicious dairy in their milk cartons. An undetermined number of the beverages were actually filled with "food grade sanitizer diluted with water during production," says Boston area news station WCVB-TV. All together now: yuck!

Don't fret too much that you or your child might wind up with an affected half-pint carton of Dairy Pure 1% low fat, as the manufacturer, Garelick Farms says that "all potentially affected product has been retrieved." They also note that there is no food safety or health risk associated with the blunder, which was discovered when consumers noticed that clear liquid filled the cartons of what should have been regular old milk.

Just to be on the safe side, the affected school department has disposed of all milk with a use-by date of April 10 or 11. People who buy milk cartons in stores need not worry, either, as the batch in question is not sold in stores.

What is food grade sanitizer and is it harmful?

There are many types of sanitizers out there, some far more potent than others. Garelik Farms hasn't disclosed exactly what brand of sanitizer got into the milk cartons, but food-grade, or food-safe versions can come in contact with food without posing a harmful threat. However, per EBP Supply, they can be toxic when consumed. So, they're fine to spray the kitchen counters with, but not so appropriate to drink.

Such was the case only one week before the Boston milk scare when a non-toxic sanitizer made its way into cartons from Guida's Dairy in Camden, New Jersey, says Milford Daily News. The mishap affected two schools and hospitalized one staff member and 45 students.

Following these two frightening incidents, the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) are investigating both plants, however, they noted, "These are unrelated incidents with different circumstances." In the meantime, it's always a good idea to use a sniff test to tell if milk has gone bad.