oat milk shelf life

Does Oat Milk Go Bad? The Truth About Its Shelf Life

In a nutshell: Yes, oat milk can go bad, and its shelf life depends on whether it’s shelf-stable or refrigerated. Signs of spoiled oat milk include unusual smell, off texture, and changes in taste. Once opened, oat milk should be consumed within a week.

If you are not sure whether oat milk lasts the same as regular milk, find out in our text how to recognize the signs of spoilage and how long oat milk actually lasts.

Although it contains the word milk itself, Oat milk has little to do with the dairy version, just like other substitutes like almond milk, etc. It is usually used by people who do not tolerate lactose well, so they do not have to worry about this supplement in replacement versions. Also, others use it for taste or simply because its nutritional values fit into their diet.

Even though they are not related in content, some features still have similarities with the dairy product. For example, oat milk also comes in two variants. One that is in the refrigerator from the beginning, and the other that is on the shelf or room temperature until the moment of opening. Below we bring you how long each version lasts and how best to store them.

How Long Does Oat Milk Last?

The shelf life of oat milk primarily depends on the type you bought, whether it is refrigerated or shelf-stable. Furthermore, once you open the package, the duration is significantly reduced.   

Shelf-stable oat milk

This type is most often packed in cardboard packaging, and you will find it on the regular shelf in the store, so it is not in cold mode. For shelf-stable oat milk, you need to follow the best before the date written on the package and calculate that the product is probably good for at least the next three months after the deadline. Some assume even longer, up to half a year, but maybe you shouldn’t stretch your luck too much.      

Refrigerated oat milk

Unopened oat milk from the refrigerator lasts as long as it is written on the package plus a possible additional five to seven days. Don’t try your luck after that because it’s probably a quality reduced at best. In this case, you should not drink expired oat milk.

Opened package 

Once you have opened the oat milk pack, keep it in the fridge no matter what type you have. Don’t leave oat milk sit on the counter. The milk should be well in the refrigerator for the next week, and be sure to consume it during that time. This applies to homemade oat milk as well, which should be refrigerated from the moment of production. If you need to extend the duration, you can freeze oat milk, but be aware that the texture will change slightly.

Can Oat Milk Go Bad?

Oat milk is definitely a perishable product and can undoubtedly cause you digestive problems if you drink it spoiled. It is very rarely heat-treated before use, so it is especially important to make sure that the product is suitable for consumption. Here’s how you can recognize that something is wrong and how to tell if oat milk has spoiled.  

Sign 1: It smells funky 

When you open the oat milk, the first thing you will notice is probably the smell. It is definitely a spoiled product if it has a strange, unusual, slightly moldy smell. No doubt you can throw it in the trash because it is not good to drink.

Sign 2: Texture is off

Oat milk should have a fine smooth liquid texture. If you notice that the liquid is slightly mucous or has any lumps when pouring into a glass, feel free to continue pouring into the drain. Do not consume such a product.

Sign 3: The taste is not right 

If the first two indicators seem fine, the oat milk smells okay, and the texture is correct, the last test is definitely the taste. Take a small sip in your mouth and see if everything is right. If you feel that the taste is not the same as usual, pour the milk into the drain for your own safety.

What Is The Best Way To Store Oat Milk?

Storing oat milk is very important, so you can count on the suggested duration. The golden rule is to keep oat milk the way it was in the store before opening it. So if you bought a shelf-stable version, you could store it at room temperature at home. If you purchased the one from the refrigerator, put the product in the fridge as soon as you get home. Once opened, both versions must be refrigerated without exception. Here are some more guidelines.

Tip 1: Do not keep the opened product outside the refrigerator

You should pour the amount you want and immediately return the package to the refrigerator. The health organization’s recommendations even advise that the product should never be opened at room temperature for more than two hours. It probably won’t spoil so quickly, but if you forgot your oat milk for a few hours on the kitchen counter, you’d better throw it in the trash for your personal safety.

Tip 2: Seal well after use   

Always close the bottle or carton tightly after using the product. If you notice that the original packaging is damaged and does not close well, you can pour oat milk into a more suitable container.   


How do you know if oat milk has gone bad?

You can tell if oat milk has gone bad by observing changes in color, texture, and smell. If the oat milk appears curdled, has an off smell, or has developed an unusual taste, it’s likely spoiled and should be discarded.

Can you get food poisoning from expired oat milk?

Yes, you could potentially get food poisoning from expired oat milk if it’s spoiled or has developed harmful bacteria.

Can you drink lumpy oat milk?

No, it’s not recommended to drink lumpy oat milk as it could be an indicator of spoilage and may cause digestive discomfort.

Does oat milk go bad once open?

Yes, oat milk can go bad once it’s been opened. Once the container is opened, exposure to air and potential contaminants can accelerate the process of spoilage. It’s best to refrigerate and consume opened oat milk within a week or according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.


Oat milk is often used, and many choose it as an addition to breakfast in their favorite coffee or cereals and other meals. It comes packaged similarly to dairy milk in a version that is stable on the shelf and at room temperature and a version that must be stacked in the refrigerator regardless of whether it is unopened or open.

As this product is very perishable if not stored correctly, be sure to follow the storage instructions. If you are a fan of more significant purchases and want to replenish stocks well, always choose a shelf-stable version.

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*image by EllyGri/depositphotos

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