Does oat milk need to be refrigerated? Does it go bad? (Clearly Explained)

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We usually buy self-stable oat milk or we make oat milk at home using a blender juicer. But, after consuming some oat milk, we wonder what to do with the leftover oat milk and also ask by ourselves-Does oat milk need to be refrigerated? Does it go bad?  How long does oat milk last in room temperature, a fridge, or a freezer? Today, we are going to give a clear shot of all you need to know about oat milk refrigeration, shelf-life, and so many other things.

Does oat milk need to be refrigerated?

The answer depends on which types of oat milk you want to consume whether it’s store-bought or homemade oat milk.

In the case of freshly squeezed oat milk at home, you have to either consume the drink within a few hours if want to have full health benefits from that or properly refrigerate for later use. Don’t leave the oat milk overnight unrefrigerated.

According to USDA– you should not leave any food or liquid at room temperature for longer periods as it may increase the rapid growth of bacteria which can cause some health issues. They also add that you should not leave oat milk out of refrigeration for over 2 hours. The bacteria grow super-fast in 40 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit temperature.

So, proper refrigeration of oat milk can increase milk’s shelf-life, facilitate later consumption and save you from getting sick after drinking spoiled oat milk. If you buy a store-bought shelf-stable oat milk carton or bottle, you need not refrigerate the carton until you open it.

The manufacturer uses preservatives in shelf-stable oat milk which give it longevity at room temperature before opening. Once you open the bottle to drink oat milk, you need to refrigerate it each time whenever you open it again and again to drink.

Because, when oat milk comes in contact with air or warm or room temperature, harmful bacteria may grow fast and may reduce the shelf-life of oat milk.

 Does oat milk go bad?

Yes, homemade oat milk goes bad if you leave it at room temperature overnight or don’t refrigerate as soon as possible like almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk, and soy milk. On the other hand, store-bought shelf-stable oat milk also goes bad as soon as after the stated expiration date by the manufacturer. You should not consume expired oat milk for more than a week once the expiration date is over though some suggest drinking expired oat milk for up to a month.

How long does oat milk last?

 You can sit out freshly squeezed oat milk at room temperature for up to 2 hours or 3 hours at best. But, you can sit out a shelf-stable store-bought oat milk bottle or carton at room temperature for up to the expiration date or a few days after the expiration date if you keep it unopened. Manufacturers usually set the expiration date of Shelf-stable oat milk between 9-12 months. If you open the carton or bottle once, you have to drink it within 7-10 days as per which brand’s oat milk you buy. Freshly squeezed oat milk lasts for 7 days in the fridge.

Can you freeze oat milk?

You can freeze oat milk for sure. But, when you defrost it in the refrigerator or use cold water to drink or use in coffee, tea, or other recipes, then it could be a little bit grainy. The good news is you can avoid the graininess of oat milk if you strain the thawed oat milk using cheesecloth. Or, you can thaw the oat milk on the stove in low heat to avoid graininess and you can use it in cooking different recipes. However, you can preserve the oat milk in a freezer for up to 6 months.


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How to tell if oat milk is bad or spoiled?

We all know oat milk is an alternative to a dairy liquid. Like almond milk, It could spoil if it exposures to air and sunlight, sit out overnight out of refrigeration, after the expiration date, and over time. But, how do you know if oat milk goes bad? Well, to know if oat milk is bad or not, you can check the following signs-

  • If you buy store-bought self-stable, you find a stated expiration date under or on the body of the carton or bottle. If the expiration date or best by date, or Use by date (varies from manufacturer to manufacturer) hasn’t passed yet, you can safely drink it. If the date has passed, then check the other signs to know whether it is safe to drink or not. Remember, if you open the oat milk’s carton once to drink, try to finish the drink within7-10 days and refrigerate after every use or consumption.

  • When we make milk from oat, it becomes pure liquid. If it goes bad, the texture becomes unsmooth or lumpy, and thicker. When you pour the milk into any bowl, you notice uneven texture in the liquid. Just throw it right away.

  • Sometimes, you could find some white mold-like fungus inside the carton. It means your oat milk has already Spoiled. Throw them away in the wastebasket and keep away from your children.

  • Naturally, oat milk appears in creamy white color. But, when it goes bad, the natural color turns into yellow color gradually. If you see the natural color turns yellow, avoid drinking or using it instantly.

  • Smell the oat milk opening the lid of the carton or bottle. If you get a sharp sour smell or no smell at all, it is a clear indication that your oat milk has gone bad already.

  • Take a sip of it using a spoon. If you taste it tart or sour or any other taste than the usual taste of oat milk, you should avoid drinking it. 

If you see any of the above-mentioned signs, it had better discard to drink for safety reasons.

What happens if you drink spoiled oat milk?

It is often asked that- what happens if I drink oat milk? Well, the answer is straightforward- you may get sick as some harmful bacteria are responsible for spoiling any food. You may victim of food poisoning which leads to stomach aching, vomiting, inflammation, and diarrhea. Oat milk loses all its natural nutrients while spoiling. So, why do you drink it if you do not get any nutrients?