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Can Almond Milk Go Bad?

If you’re looking for a tasty milk alternative, almond milk is one of the popular choices. But can almond milk go bad?

It sure can.

It doesn’t spoil as quickly as cow’s milk does, but after a certain period, it isn’t safe to drink anymore.

If you’re new to almond milk, this article is for you. It covers everything from storing almond milk, its shelf life, to telling if it’s bad and should be discarded.

Sounds interesting? Read along!

Almond milk carton
Almond milk carton

How To Store Almond Milk

There are many almond milk brands, but it’s quite possible that you’ve already found one that you like the most.

They taste different, so you will probably prefer some brands over others. That’s just the nature of the beast. It’s like coconut milk, soy milk, or oat milk in this regard.

As long as the almond milk is unopened, you should store it the way the manufacturer recommends.

Most manufacturers require you to keep the carton in a cool place (e.g., in the pantry), while some specifically say that it should be stored in the refrigerator and anywhere else. Follow those requirements.

Almond milk and its carton
Almond milk and its carton

If it isn’t explicitly written how it should be stored, store it in similar conditions to how it was stored in the store. Put it in the fridge if it was in the refrigerated section or keep it in the pantry if it wasn’t.

Once you open the milk for the first time, you should store it in the fridge, no matter what company manufactured it.

Another thing to remember is to keep almond milk sealed tightly when not in use.

It’s easy to do when the dairy-free milk comes in a resealable carton. But if it doesn’t, grab an airtight container or pitcher and use it instead.

Homemade almond milk should always be stored in the fridge.

Adding almond milk to coffee
Adding almond milk to coffee

How Long Almond Milk Lasts

As long as almond milk is unopened, the “best by” date on the label is the best indicator of how long it will be fine (approximately).

Almond milk carton top
Almond milk carton top: best-by date printed on the label

Of course, the milk won’t go bad in a day or two after the mentioned date. If stored properly, in most cases it should be fine for at least a few weeks more.

If almond milk is past the “use by” date, you should always check if it’s bad before drinking a glass or two.

Coffee and almond milk carton
Coffee and almond milk carton

Once the carton is opened, you should use the leftovers within about a week. Usually, the label clearly says how long the product lasts upon opening, and that period is between two and ten days.

The time almond milk stays okay after opening depends on the ingredients of the product. The more natural ones last only a few days, while those with preservatives tend to keep for longer.

Chances are the milk alternative will be fine for up to 2 weeks or even a little more. But it’s always better to consume it right away than wait until it starts to deteriorate quickly and (possibly) goes bad.

Glass of almond milk
Glass of almond milk

How To Tell If Almond Milk Is Bad

If the milk is in a carton that is still unopened, make sure the carton isn’t unnaturally bloated. If it is, the liquid is probably spoiled.

When examining almond milk, pour it into a glass and look for color and smell changes first.

Visual and texture changes should be easy to spot; same thing for an altered odor. If the drink smells similar to sour milk, it’s bad already and you should discard it.

Then make sure to check the consistency of the liquid. If it has any thick parts or is curdled, throw it away.

The last thing is the flavor – if your almond milk doesn’t taste right, it’s probably not safe to consume.

Coffee whitened with almond milk
Coffee whitened with almond milk

Summary

  • Store unopened almond milk the way it was stored in the supermarket. That usually means the pantry is good enough.
  • Keep opened almond milk in the fridge, sealed tightly.
  • Unopened almond milk lasts for up a a few weeks past its date. Once you open the container, finish it within a week.
  • When checking if the product is spoiled, start with visible changes (color, texture), continue with smell changes (does it smell sour?), and finish with a taste test.