Have you noticed the numbers at the bottom of the packaging of the milk and have you ever thought of its meaning? They are not just mere numbers.
They have a meaning that only a few people know.
If you look at the bottom of the carton, you’ll notice the numbers from to 1 to 5 (in some countries from 1 to 6). There are many possibilities of the meaning of this numbers. However, one has caused serious panic among consumers, because the numbers usually represent how many times the milk is processed and recycled.
There’s even a legislation that allows the milk to be reprocessed at 190 Celsius degrees and sent back to the store. This procedure (permitted by law) can be repeated up to 5 times so that the factories have to print the exact number of times that the milk has been processed. As we said, if you look at the printed numbers (123456) and if a number is missing, you will know how many times the milk has been recycled.
For example, in 12456, you can see that number 3 is missing, which means that the shelf life of the milk passed 3 times, or pasteurized again 3 times.
So, it is true that in some countries are allowed to re-package the processed milk, i.e. recycle.