Are you an almond milk lover?
Do you often find yourself wondering if it’s safe to leave your almond milk out of the fridge for a little too long?
Well, you’re not alone.
Many people are unsure about the proper storage of almond milk and whether or not it can be left out.
In this article, we’ll answer the question on everyone’s mind: Can almond milk be left out?
We’ll explore the different types of almond milk, their storage needs, and what happens when you leave them out for too long.
So, grab a glass of your favorite non-dairy milk and let’s dive in!
Can Almond Milk Be Left Out?
The short answer is no, almond milk should not be left out for an extended period of time.
There are two types of almond milk: refrigerated and unrefrigerated. Unrefrigerated or shelf-stable almond milk can be stored in a cool and dark area away from heat, such as a pantry or kitchen cabinet. However, once opened, it must be refrigerated. On the other hand, refrigerated almond milk must always be kept in the fridge, even when unopened.
If you accidentally leave your almond milk out for more than two hours, it’s best to discard it. Leaving almond milk out at room temperature can cause bacteria to form and produce toxins, which can make you sick. Even if your milk doesn’t smell sour, it can still be dangerous to consume. Mold can also grow in almond milk that is left out too long, causing serious food poisoning symptoms.
It’s important to note that different types of almond milk have different shelf lives. Ultra-pasteurized and other refrigerated almond milks should be used within seven to ten days of opening and not left out unrefrigerated for longer than two hours. Shelf-stable almond milk is safe to store unopened at room temperature for several weeks but must be refrigerated once opened. Homemade almond milk also requires refrigeration at all times.
Different Types Of Almond Milk
There are two main types of almond milk: refrigerated and unrefrigerated, also known as shelf-stable.
Shelf-stable almond milk is sterilized and can be stored at room temperature until its expiration date, which is usually between 6 to 12 months. Once opened, it must be refrigerated and used within 7 to 10 days. It’s important to note that shelf-stable almond milk may contain preservatives to extend its shelf life, so be sure to check the label if you prefer a preservative-free option.
Refrigerated almond milk, on the other hand, needs to be kept in the fridge at all times, even when unopened. Once opened, it should be consumed within 7 to 10 days. Ultra-pasteurized almond milk has a longer shelf life than regular pasteurized milk and can last up to a month in the fridge after opening.
Homemade almond milk requires refrigeration at all times and should be consumed within 3 to 5 days of making it. It’s important to note that homemade almond milk may not have the same shelf life as store-bought options since it doesn’t contain preservatives.
Proper Storage For Almond Milk
Proper storage for almond milk is essential to ensure that it stays fresh and safe for consumption. As mentioned earlier, refrigerated almond milk must always be kept in the fridge, even when unopened. It’s best to store it at the back of the fridge, as this is the coldest and most stable area. Avoid keeping it near the door, as this is the warmest section of the fridge and the temperature fluctuates more often.
For unrefrigerated or shelf-stable almond milk, it can be stored in a cool and dark area away from heat, such as a pantry or kitchen cabinet. However, once opened, it must be refrigerated and stored at the back of the fridge.
It’s important to check the expiration date before purchasing almond milk and to use it before the expiration date for the freshest taste. Ultra-pasteurized and other refrigerated almond milks should be used within seven to ten days of opening, while shelf-stable almond milk should be used within a couple of weeks of its use-by date.
It’s also important to avoid overstocking on almond milk, as this can cause losses when it goes bad. Always make sure that you will consume your stock within the time the milk remains fresh.
Shelf Life Of Almond Milk
The shelf life of almond milk depends on the type of almond milk and how it’s stored. Unopened shelf-stable almond milk can last for several weeks at room temperature, but once opened, it must be refrigerated and used within seven to ten days. Refrigerated almond milk, whether opened or unopened, must always be stored in the fridge and used within seven to ten days of opening.
It’s important to keep in mind that the “best by” or “sell by” dates on almond milk packages are not food safety indicators but rather the manufacturer’s assessment of peak quality for the product. Therefore, it’s crucial to pay attention to how long the almond milk has been open and stored, regardless of the date on the package.
If you’re unsure whether your almond milk is still good to use, check for signs of spoilage such as a sour or off odor or a curdled texture. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to discard the almond milk.
To extend the shelf life of your almond milk, store it in the coldest and most stable area of your fridge, such as the back of the fridge. Avoid storing it in the door where temperature fluctuations are more common. Additionally, make sure to keep your almond milk away from heat sources and direct sunlight as this can cause it to spoil faster.
What Happens When Almond Milk Is Left Out
When almond milk is left out at room temperature, bacteria can start to form and multiply rapidly. This can lead to the production of toxins that can cause food poisoning. Even if the almond milk does not have visible signs of spoilage, it can still be dangerous to consume. Mold can also grow in almond milk that is left out too long, causing serious food poisoning symptoms.
The most common cause of food poisoning from almond milk is bacteria. Bad bacteria thrive when almond milk is left out; depending on how long you leave it out and how much you drink, you may suffer severe food poisoning after consuming it. The symptoms of food poisoning can vary depending on how much almond milk was consumed and how far spoiled it is. Some of the symptoms include fever, diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite, stomach pain or cramps, fatigue or weakness, muscle aches, vomiting, and chills.
Different types of mold can also grow in almond milk that is left out too long. Mycotoxins, invisible toxic chemicals produced by mold, can cause acute gastrointestinal distress, and some mold can cause allergic reactions. Although leaving almond milk out for a short time may not cause mold to grow immediately, spores may take hold and grow slowly even if you put it back in the refrigerator.
Safety Precautions For Almond Milk Consumption
To ensure the safety of consuming almond milk, it’s important to follow some safety precautions. First and foremost, always check the expiration date and use-by date on the package before purchasing. Choose the farthest out date to ensure you’re getting the freshest product.
Once you open the almond milk, make sure to refrigerate it immediately, regardless of whether it’s shelf-stable or refrigerated. Leaving almond milk out at room temperature can cause bacteria to form and produce toxins, which can make you sick.
If you accidentally leave your almond milk out for more than two hours, it’s best to discard it. Even if it doesn’t have noticeable signs of spoilage, it could have unsafe levels of bacteria and toxins produced by those bacteria. Mold can also grow in almond milk that is left out too long, causing serious food poisoning symptoms.
When consuming almond milk, be sure to check for any discoloration or curdled texture. If the carton is bloated or emits a foul smell, it has gone bad and should not be consumed.