How Long Does Oat Milk Last In The Fridge After Opening?

Oat milk is taking the world by storm as more people move away from traditional dairy products in favor of more eco-friendly options. If you're considering making the switch, you may wonder how oat milk's shelf life compares to regular milk, particularly if you only plan to use oat milk in your coffee.

Celebrated as the creamiest of dairy-free milk alternatives, oat milk is rich in protein, fiber, and calcium, making it an excellent option for people with dairy and nut allergies. But oat milk and cow's milk aren't just similar in nutritional content. Much like cow's milk, an opened carton of oat milk can typically remain fresh in the fridge for a week or up to 10 days. Because this may vary depending on the brand of oat milk, the best course of action is to follow the expiration dates printed on the packaging.

That said, food expiration dates used by retailers are often indicators of quality rather than dates by which consuming the product is unsafe. For that reason, it's important to know how to identify spoiled oat milk.

How to tell if your oat milk has gone bad

You may have noticed that oat milk is stored in the refrigerated section and on the shelves in grocery stores. While the refrigerated variety is pasteurized like cow's milk, the shelf-stable oat milk is treated using much higher temperatures, extending the shelf-life to six months or more. That said, because the abundance of nutrients in plant milk supplies microorganisms with a feast fit for a king, once oat milk has been opened and bacteria are reintroduced, spoilage still tends to occur within a week or so.

You can identify spoiled oat milk with a few key markers. First and foremost, try the smell test. While oat milk typically has a sweet and nutty aroma, it may smell acrid and sour once it starts to go bad. The color and texture can also be affected, changing from white and smooth to yellow and chunky. Because oat milk is best preserved at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, opened cartons should be stored on the fridge's bottom shelf, where the air tends to be the coldest. In addition, always put your oat milk back in the fridge immediately after use rather than letting it sit at room temperature.