Does Oatmeal Go Bad

“Does oatmeal go bad?” is a question that bothers many people. Oatmeal is a dried grain that’s pretty popular nowadays. Many people choose oatmeal cereals for their and their children’s breakfast. But what if you’ve suddenly stopped eating oatmeal on a daily basis and now you’ve found yourself with a pack of oatmeal and you’re not sure if it’s safe to eat. You want to quickly look up the expiration date but you’ve transferred the oatmeal into a plastic container right after opening the package, so that’s not an option. If that sounds familiar, you’re in the right place, please read along.

How to store oatmeal

If you’re not quite sure how to store oatmeal, it’s pretty easy. You just need to make sure it’s stored in a cool and dry area. You can choose to keep it in the pantry, but keeping it in a cupboard in the kitchen is a valid idea as well. Also, after opening the package for the first time, you need to remember to store it sealed tightly all the time. This will prevent picking up any odors and any moisture that might accumulate in the nearest area (if you’ll keep it in a really dry area, that won’t be an issue). Many people transfer it into a dedicated plastic container (the same kind people use to store cereals in) and that’s good option too.

Oatmeal with Nutella and dried cranberries

Shelf life of oatmeal

Every package of oatmeal should have a “best by” or “use by” date on it. That’s the recommended time within which the oatmeal should be consumed. In most cases it’s recommended by producers to use oatmeal within a year after the production date. That being said, you should be aware that, if stored properly, oatmeal can be stored for a lot longer, even more than a couple of years. It’s somewhat similar to sugar – if water won’t get into the product, it’ll be fine for years. Please remember that it might, unlike sugar, slowly change its color, flavor or texture. It will be safe to eat, but the quality of the product won’t necessarily be same you’re used to. So even if you have no idea when if your oatmeal is technically expired (after it’s “best by” date), chances are it’s just fine.

How to tell if oatmeal is bad

This one is pretty easy – if your oatmeal will really go bad, you’ll (in most cases) know it. How will you be able to tell that it’s bad? Off (or funny) odor, significant change in appearance or mold spots are sure signs of spoilage. If any of this occurs, just throw the product away. If oatmeal isn’t clearly bad, but you’re not quite sure it’s fine either, discard it. One great piece of advice to remember: it’s better to be safe than sorry.

As you should be aware by now, oatmeal can go bad, but if it’ll be stored properly, in most cases it’ll be fine for a lot longer than its “best by” date. Just keep the package tightly sealed and away from any moisture, and you can store it even for a couple of years.