Does It Go Bad?

Information about storage and shelf life of various products

Does Almond Milk Go Bad?

Almond milk is one of the well-known non-dairy milk alternatives. It’s obvious that this milk doesn’t spoil as soon as cow milk does, but does almond milk go bad? Unfortunately, it does go bad, despite some people claiming that it doesn’t. There are also some issues about how it’s supposed to be stored and how long is its shelf life. This article will clarify all those issues for you.

How To Store Almond Milk

There are many almond milk brands (like Blue Diamond’s Almond Breeze or Silk’s Pure Almond), but when it comes to storing almond milk, there are some common guidelines for both opened and unopened almond milk. Let’s begin with the unopened one. Proper storage of unopened almond milk depends on the type of container and guidelines given by the manufacturer. Most unopened containers of almond milk can be stored in a cool place, like in a pantry. If the milk is in a dairy case, it probably requires refrigerating. If you’re unsure how to store it, check the label. If the almond milk you posses needs to be refrigerated while being unopened, this information will surely be written somewhere on the label. If you can’t find it on the label, please check the website of the almond milk brand of your milk. Sometimes the milk is named similarly to “Refrigerated Almond Milk”, that’s a pretty obvious information that it should be always stored in the fridge.

Does almond milk go bad
(credit: teedle)

Once the container with the almond milk is opened, it’s a whole new ball game. The milk has to be refrigerated after being opened, period. Once the container is opened, bacteria can get inside the container (and into the milk, of course) and we all know that most bacteria develop really fast in a room temperature. Because of that, storing the milk in the fridge will maintain its freshness and taste for a lot longer, than storing it in a room temperature. To be sure that any bacteria won’t find their way into the milk, you can pour it to an airtight pitcher.  Let’s now take a look at shelf life of almond milk.

Shelf Life Of Almond Milk

Regardless of the brand of almond milk you buy, every producer of almond milk states his own “sell-by” or “best before” date on the label, but we can gather some general rules of thumb here. An unopened container of almond milk should be fine, when stored properly, for at least a few months. When the mentioned “sell-by” or “best before” date has passed like a few days, or even weeks before , it’s doesn’t mean that the products is going to be spoiled. You should still check it it’s fine. An opened container of almond milk is usually fine for a week or two, when stored properly. A lot of people state, that it can be fine up to 3 weeks after being opened. You should also be aware of the fact, that almond milk goes bad very quickly when it’s exposed to room temperature. It’s probably bad after about 24 hours in that temperature.
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One more thing you should know – homemade almond milk (if you’d like to make almond milk yourself, make sure to buy a nut milk bag) doesn’t contain any preservatives, so it will go bad in a matter of a few days, when stored in the fridge. In case you’ve wondered about the differences in shelf life of unopened and opened almond milk, it’s easy – while the container is unopened, it’s extremely hard for bacteria to grow inside, so the shelf life is pretty long. Do you want to know how to determine if almond milk has gone bad? Definitely ..

How To Tell If Almond Milk Is Bad

There are several ways how one can tell if almond milk has already gone bad. Before examining the milk itself, you should take a quick look at the carton with the milk. If it’s unusually bloated, then probably the milk is spoiled. Now it’s time to examine the milk. The best way to start is to check its smell. If it has an abnormal smell, like a smell of sour milk, it’s probably bad. If the smell is fine it’s time to take a closer look at the milk. You should check closely both its color (for any color changes) and consistency (look for parts that are thick, moldy or curdled). If it smells and looks fine, there’s only one can you can do – taste it. If it tastes sour, or you’ve noticed other abnormalities, it’s probably spoiled and you should discard it. Remember, drinking spoiled almond milk can result in food poisoning.

Summary
You should know by now, that almond milk does go bad. When it’s unopened, it can stay fine for a couple of month. Once it’s opened, it will stay fine for only 2-3 weeks, if you’ll store it properly. When almond milk is exposed to room temperature for an extended period of time (like 24 hours) it’ll probably go bad, so you should always remember to store it in the pantry (when it’s unopened), or in the fridge (when it’s opened).

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