Frequently Asked Questions

Why do fluid milk products not last until the “best before” date?
Temperature control for dairy products is extremely important. The temperature in most home refrigerators is set at 4.4°C or 40°F. Ideally, milk should be stored at 4°C or 39°F for optimum shelf life.

Unrefrigerated milk spoils quickly. For example, for every 5°C rise in temperature over the ideal 4°C, the shelf-life is shortened by 50%. When serving milk during a meal, keep the container out just long enough to pour and serve, and return the unused container to the refrigerator immediately. Leaving the carton or bag of milk on your table for the duration of a meal is not recommended.

Other ways to maintain the freshness of your products:

  • Purchase milk and dairy products from enclosed cabinets. If your retailer has open shelves, take milk from the rear where the milk has not been compromised by warmer room temperatures and/or light.
    Note: milk exposed to light can also spoil early. This is especially important to note when purchasing milk in glass bottles.
  • Keep the product in the original container to safeguard the flavour and food value. When we process and pack our products, we take every measure to ensure the integrity of our finished product by sanitizing and preparing our equipment and the packaging.
  • Rotate products properly, using older milk first.
  • Store all milk (unopened and opened) away from strong smelling foods (eg. citrus, onions). Milk is like a sponge and is extremely sensitive to odours of other foods.

What is the difference between table cream and half & half cream?
Table cream is made with cream having a milk fat of 18%.  Half ‘n half cream is made with cream having 10% milk fat.  Many people prefer table cream for a richer taste, and smoother feel.  Try some table cream in a pasta sauce for a lovely, rich dish.

Can I substitute light sour cream for regular sour cream in my baking?
Unless your recipe states that you may use light sour cream as a substitute, it is best to use regular sour cream. Baking uses chemistry, so any change in an ingredient can impact the end result of your dish.

However, substituting light sour cream in dips or for dressings is an acceptable practice.

Why won’t my whipping cream whip?
First, it is extremely important to be patient in preparing your whipped cream. It is also very important to keep your cream in the refrigerator until you are ready to whip. It is highly recommended to cool your bowl (tall and narrow bowls are suggested) as well as your beaters in the refrigerator or freezer in advance. Finally, if you are adding vanilla extract and/or sugar, do not add until the end.

What do you feed your animals?
Cow Milk:
Hewitt’s Dairy Limited has not had its own dairy herd since 1950. The supply of cow milk in Ontario is currently managed and marketed through Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO), formerly known as the Ontario Milk Marketing Board (OMMB). For specific information regarding milk production, please email Dairy Farmers of Ontario with your question at

Goat Milk:
Hewitt’s Dairy Limited has purchasing relationships with nearly 120 dairy goat farmers in Ontario. Although Hewitt’s does not manage any of these dairy goat herds, our producers feed their animals with a balanced, nutritional diet to sustain animal health, as well as to produce quality milk for our customers. Diets may include: hay, baleage or sileage, grain (corn, beans, etc), minerals.

Do you offer plant tours?
For health and safety reasons, Hewitt’s Dairy does not offer plant tours. However, we have a viewing window from our Natural Food Store that overlooks our main processing room.

What are your hours of operation?      

Dairy Bar: Daily 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Natural Food Store: Mon to Sat 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Dairy: Mon to Fri 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Order Desk: Mon to Sat 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Are you hiring?
At this time we have no formal job openings; however, we do accept resumes and maintain them in the strictest of confidence. If you would like to submit your resume for future consideration, please email us at with your areas of interest, or fax to (905) 768-1412.

Why are vitamins added to cow milk?
In accordance with the Food and Drugs Act established by Health Canada, vitamin D is required to be added to all fluid cow milk. Vitamin D aids the body in absorbing the calcium present in milk. For more information on Vitamin D, visit Health Canada’s information.

Vitamin A is a natural occurring vitamin in milk fat. In milks where the fat is reduced (2%, 1% and skim), Vitamin A is added.

Do you process organic milk?
We have processed and distributed organic cow milk for Harmony Organic Dairy Products since 2001.

We process organic goat milk in recyclable and returnable glass bottles.

What bacterial culture do you use in your yogourt?
The culture used in our all of our yogourts is a live, active culture containing strains of: Streptoccus thermophilus, Lactobacillus delbruedkii subsp.Bulgaricus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Bifidobacterium lactis. The bacterial culture used survives the intestinal tract.

Is your yogourt made with probiotic culture?
Although our culture is probiotic in nature, the low levels of the strains do not reach the level deemed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to have probiotic benefits. As such, the health claim of “probiotic” cannot be used.

Why do you use fruit sweetened with honey in your fruit bottom yogourt?
Hewitt’s is committed to providing alternative products to our customers. For many individuals, sugar is not permitted in their diets. As a result, we have elected to use fruit sweetened with honey as an alternative choice. Similarly, our goat ice cream is sweetened with unpasteurized honey.