Does oat milk need to be refrigerated?

Some things are not consumed immediately after you buy them. Instead, you store it to use later in the day. But where do you store it also matters because it can preserve or ruin the product? For instance, oat milk is not so common a kitchen product. So it’s normal for you to get confused over where to store it.

Does oat milk need to be refrigerated? It depends on its packaging. Remember where it was placed when you bought it from the store. If it was placed on a shelf that was not the refrigerator, you should keep it at room temperature at home until you open it. If it was refrigerated in the store, you should do the same at home.

How long can oat milk sit out at room temperature?

Sometimes, you’re drinking oat milk, and you get for some urgent work leaving the milk in the room. You come after hours and think it’s gone bad.

As per USDA, if you leave your half-drunk oat milk carton at room temperature for more than 2 hours, it is not suitable for drinking. Their official guideline for non-refrigerated perishable food (oat milk is a perishable food).

It’s better to be alert in advance than sorry later. If you don’t want to drink the whole carton at once, store the carton in the refrigerator even if it was stored unrefrigerated in the store.

Does oat milk need to be refrigerated?

The refrigeration of oat milk depends on its packaging. First, check if the oat milk is placed in a refrigerator or a non-refrigerated shelf in the store. If it’s stored in a refrigerator, you should also store it the same way at home. Similarly, if it was on a non-refrigerated shelf in the store, keep it at your home the same way until it opened.

However, once you have opened the oat milk carton, it needs to be in the fridge at home, whether unrefrigerated or refrigerated in the store.

When should oat milk be refrigerated?

Every oat milk brand has different guidelines regarding its product; some can do great on your shelf, while others will require quick refrigeration. Some of you might also make oat milk at home, so storing it can be tricky. Here’s how you can store different types of oat milk.

Non-refrigerated or Shelf-stable oat milk

This type is when you buy oat milk placed in a non-refrigerated from the grocery store. You can keep the oat milk in your cabinets or shelf until you open it. As long as the item is in an air-tight container, it’s good to store on a shelf.

Such types of milk go through an aseptic and pasteurization process. This process helps the food items last longer, especially the unstable products like milk. They also come in sterile packaging.

Homemade milk

The moment you finish making oat milk at home, you should store it in the refrigerator. Homemade oat milk doesn’t go through any pasteurization process or is made in a sterile environment.

There are no preservatives in such type of milk to protect it. Homemade milk will be unhealthy to consume after a few days, even when you have kept it in the refrigerator.

Refrigerated oat milk

If the packaging of your oat milk is thinner than others, then take it as a sign to refrigerate it. Such type of packaging is not good enough to protect the contents present inside. There are instructions present on every packaging so take a quick look at it when you feel confused.

The packaging will mention if the oat milk has to be refrigerated in big letters. 

Signs that can tell oat milk has gone bad

Like any other milk, it can be ruined if you store oat milk improperly. And if you drink it, you can see health problems like food poisoning, which is not what you want.

It can be confusing to check whether or not oat milk is ruined, so here are the signs you can look for surety.

Sour smell and taste

First of all, you should be familiar with the taste of perfectly healthy oat milk to check if it’s ruined. When oat milk goes bad, it gives a very strong sour smell.

The moment you take out the milk and open the container, you notice the smell immediately entering your nostrils. When it smells so bad, it will taste sour too.

Yellowish appearance

Generally, good oat milk is creamy white to beige. Have a clear look at your oat milk and see if it’s changed to yellowish or a darker color. This means that oat milk is not fit for drinking. Even if you see a slight color change, don’t use it for any purpose.

Clumpy texture

Oat milk comes without any clumps or residue in a smooth consistency. However, spoiled oat milk will have clumps and can even become slimy.

References

  1. https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/What-is-the-2-Hour-Rule-with-leaving-food-out
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aseptic_processing

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