HOW TO TELL IF OAT MILK IS SAFE AND HOW LONG DOES IT REALLY LAST?

How to tell if oat milk is safe and how long does it really last?

How to tell if oat milk is safe and how long does it really last?

 
 You have opened the oat milk that's past its date and it is very good. This makes you think: how do you know if oat milk is not bad?
 
Or maybe the opened oat milk has been sitting in the fridge for a few days and you're wondering how long the opened oat milk lasts. If you're new to oat milk and need a quick introduction, you've come to the right place. In this article we will cover:
 
 Storing oat milk (and why some brands are in the refrigerated section and others are not)
 shelf life of oat milk - both for unopened cartons and for leftovers
 Know if your oat milk is still safe to drink or not

 How to store oat milk

 There are two types of oat milk: shelf-stable and refrigerated. Unopened shelf stable oat milk can sit in your pantry or on the counter. After opening, store it in the refrigerator. Refrigerate, as the name suggests, requires constant refrigeration.
 
The easiest way to do this is to store your oat milk unopened the same way you store it in the supermarket or grocery store. 

If it's sitting on the shelf, it's the stable shelf variety. If it is in a refrigerated area, perhaps near dairy products such as milk or buttermilk, this is certainly a variety that requires refrigeration. 
 
Stable oat milk does not require much storage. A shelf or cabinet in the pantry or kitchen will do the trick. Just make sure it's not in a place where the temperature changes too often. You can store it in the refrigerator if you want.
 
For the second type, all it needs is a cool temperature. Although leaving carton on the door may not be safe (it's a place where temperatures often change), it's not a big deal.
 
Once you open your carton, always keep it in the refrigerator, just like you do with other non-dairy milks like almond milk, coconut milk, or soy milk.

 The difference between shelf-stable and refrigerated oat  milk is (usually) in the packaging. The first is collected in an aseptic manner that creates a sterile environment inside the carton. This means that there are no unwanted microorganisms, which means that nothing can damage the product (before opening it). Hence, it has a long shelf life. 

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 How long does oat milk last?

How long does oat milk last?

Unopened shelf-stable oat milk will last at least a few months, while refrigerated oat milk will only last a few days past the date listed on the label. Both retain their quality for approximately 4-7 days after opening.
 
The shelf life of oat milk is usually between 9 months and one year from the date of production. One time for the refrigerated variety is only a few weeks. As you can see, shelf stable oat milk lasts longer than refrigerated.

How long does oat milk last after opening?

 A popular recommendation for leftover oat milk is to finish it within 4 to 7 days. This is a good rule of thumb, but it's best to check the label.
 
You see, although milk is actually a mixture of oats and water, different companies include different ingredients. Sometimes it's a little bit of oil to soften the water or a little bit of sweet to make the taste better.
 
These are different in ingredients and processing can affect the shelf life, especially when dealing with already opened oat milk.

 For this reason, some brands urge you to finish their products within 4 days, while others give you more time and say that they accept up to 10 days after opening.

Can you drink expired oat milk? 

If it's shelf stable and you've opened it recently, chances are everything will be fine. Unless, of course, he "expired" a few years ago. If so, the quality may not be that good.
 
And if we are talking about the refrigerated version and its date is about two weeks ago, it is better to err on the side of caution and throw it away. 

What happens if your oat milk stays in the refrigerator longer than the recommended time? Let's talk about it. 

 How do you know if the oat milk has gone bad?

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Start by pouring your oat milk into a glass. Then, discard the oat milk if:
 
 The texture is not smooth:

If your oat milk is lumpy, thick, bulky (difficult to pour), or narrow, throw it away. 

The color has changed:

Oat milk is creamy white in color. If yours is not, chances are bad things happened. Unless, of course, it is a flavor one and the color is normal.

 It smells bad:

 It is not common for non-dairy milk to smell or taste bad, but if it does, it is a clear sign of spoilage. 

It is open for more than 5 days than recommended on the label. 

If the label says to finish the box within 4 days of opening it and yours has been open for 10 days, it's time to throw it away. 

There is mold in the box.

Although it is not possible, I recommend opening any old carton to make sure there is no mold inside. You can transfer leftovers in an airtight container.

 Assuming none of the above is true, it's time time to give your oat milk a taste. If all goes well, which is the outcome, feel free to finish it. If it's not or you don't know it's safe to drink, throw it away. 

The quality of oat milk gradually decreases after the first opening of the carton. So you may find out that the oat milk you opened 4 days ago is not as good as fresh. However, if the difference in flavor is too great, you will lose the drink.
 
Conclusion:
 
 Store stable oat milk in the pantry and refrigerate once open. Refrigerated oat milk should always be in the refrigerator.

 Stable oat milk will last at least a few months, while refrigerated cartons last a few days. Finish the remaining oat milk within 4 to 7 days.
 Throw out oat milk that is lumpy or slimy discolored, has a bad smell, or has been sitting in storage for too long.

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