FAQs

We’ve found that people are really curious about our urban dairy! Please see below for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

More FAQs coming soon!

 

Where can I buy Elmhurst Dairy milk?

You can find Elmhurst Dairy milk at many grocery and corner stores throughout metro New York. If your neighborhood store doesn’t carry Elmhurst Dairy, we’d love for you to talk to your grocer about supporting New York City’s local dairy! If you’d like to find a store that does carry our milk, please fill out the contact form including your address or neighborhood and we will get back to you as soon as possible with the closest store.

Are there cows at your dairy?

Not anymore. When our business was started in 1919, there were still active dairy farms in Queens. As the New York City landscape changed over the years, so did the dairy’s operations. Our current location in Jamaica, Queens is home to the Elmhurst Dairy milk plant. Every day we receive tanker trucks of milk exclusively from upstate New York dairy farms, which is the best place to look to find dairy cows these days. We are proud to support many family farms and assist them with getting milk from their farm to your table!

What do you do to the milk at your plant?

Milk at Elmhurst Dairy is first tested for any residues of antibiotics in the milk, then it is pasteurized, homogenized, and packaged in either cartons or plastic jugs. Occasionally some of the milk is mixed with chocolate to make chocolate milk!

What does “pasteurization” mean? What kind of pasteurization do you use?

Pasteurization is the process of heating milk in order to kill microbes and reduce the number of pathogens that could cause disease. Here at our plant in Jamaica, we utilize “high temperature, short time” (HTST) pasteurization, which means the milk is heated to approximately 171 degrees for 27 seconds by putting the milk through plates heated utilizing hot water, after which it is immediately cooled back down. The method of pasteurization was created in 1862 by the French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur, after whom it was named. Today, pasteurization methods are standardized and controlled by the USDA.

What does “homogenization” mean?

Normally if milk is left to sit, the fat, which is less dense than water, will separate and rise to the top of the container giving you skim milk with a layer of cream. Homogenization is the process of breaking up the fat globules in cream to such a small size that they remain suspended evenly in the milk rather than separating out and floating to the surface. This is accomplished through the use of homogenizers which pump the milk through plates at high pressures.