Have you ever wondered what happens when you drink expired almond milk?
Maybe you’ve accidentally left a carton in the fridge for too long, or perhaps you’re just curious about the potential consequences of consuming spoiled non-dairy milk.
Well, wonder no more! In this article, we’ll explore the risks and effects of drinking expired almond milk.
From bacteria and mold to digestive issues and food poisoning, we’ll cover it all.
So, grab a glass of fresh almond milk (or water, if you prefer) and let’s dive in!
What Happens When You Drink Expired Almond Milk?
When almond milk goes bad, it’s not just a matter of taste and texture. Consuming expired almond milk can have serious consequences for your health.
First and foremost, bacteria are responsible for making almond milk go bad. Drinking expired almond milk means you’ll be consuming a large number of bad bacteria, which can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting. In severe cases, very rancid almond milk can even lead to food poisoning.
Mycotoxins produced by mold can also cause digestive issues when ingested in large amounts. While small amounts of mold are usually harmless, drinking a large gulp of expired almond milk can lead to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
It’s important to note that anyone with a compromised immune system is at an even greater risk of getting sick from drinking expired almond milk.
What Causes Almond Milk To Expire?
Almond milk can expire due to a variety of factors, including the type of almond milk, storage conditions, and the presence of additives. Homemade almond milk or fresh almond milk from a local source typically only lasts about five days in the refrigerator due to the absence of preservatives. Store-bought refrigerated almond milk is usually ultra-pasteurized and can last up to seven days after opening. Shelf-stable almond milk has the longest shelf life and can last up to two months unopened and up to 10 days after opening if stored properly.
Factors that can cause almond milk to expire include exposure to light, heat, and air. When almond milk is exposed to these elements, the natural fats in nuts can go rancid, resulting in a sour taste and unpleasant odor. Bacteria can also grow in almond milk when it is left unrefrigerated for too long, leading to spoilage.
The sterilization process used during production also plays a role in determining the shelf life of almond milk. Shelf-stable almond milk is heated and/or dried to destroy foodborne microorganisms that cause spoilage. Additionally, aseptic carton packaging is used to prolong the shelf life of the product for an extended period.
How To Tell If Your Almond Milk Has Gone Bad
It’s crucial to know how to tell if your almond milk has gone bad before consuming it. Here are some signs to look out for:
1. Smell: One of the most obvious signs that your almond milk has gone bad is the smell. Fresh almond milk should have a nutty and slightly sweet aroma. If it smells sour, rancid, or off in any way, it’s time to throw it away.
2. Texture: Expired almond milk may develop a thicker texture or clumps, which is a sign of spoilage. If you notice any lumps or curdles, it’s best to discard the milk.
3. Taste: Drinking expired almond milk can be unpleasant due to its sour taste. If the flavor is off or bitter, it’s best to avoid consuming it.
4. Appearance: Spoiled almond milk may have a darker color or appear discolored. If you notice any changes in the color of your almond milk, it’s best to err on the side of caution and throw it away.
5. Expiration date: Always check the expiration date of your almond milk before consuming it. If it’s past its expiration date, it’s likely that the milk has already gone bad.
The Risks Of Drinking Expired Almond Milk
The risks of drinking expired almond milk are not to be taken lightly. As mentioned above, consuming expired almond milk can lead to a variety of digestive issues such as stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting. These symptoms can be uncomfortable and last for several hours or even days.
Moreover, if the almond milk has gone rancid, it can cause more severe food poisoning. This is because bacteria that have grown in the almond milk can release toxins that can harm your body. Symptoms of food poisoning include fever, abdominal pain, and dehydration. If you experience any of these symptoms after drinking expired almond milk, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.
It’s also worth noting that the risks associated with drinking expired almond milk are higher for people with compromised immune systems. This includes individuals who are undergoing chemotherapy, have HIV/AIDS, or are elderly. These individuals are more susceptible to infections and illnesses, and consuming expired almond milk can further weaken their immune system.
Bacteria And Mold In Expired Almond Milk
As mentioned earlier, bacteria and mold are the main culprits behind the spoilage of almond milk. When almond milk is left unrefrigerated for too long, bacteria start to grow and multiply, leading to the milk going bad. This is why it’s crucial to always store almond milk in the refrigerator and consume it within its shelf life.
When bacteria grow in almond milk, it can cause a range of health issues. Stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting are common symptoms of consuming expired almond milk. These symptoms can be especially severe in individuals with weakened immune systems or underlying health conditions.
In addition to bacteria, mold can also grow in expired almond milk. Mycotoxins produced by mold can cause digestive issues when ingested in large amounts. While small amounts of mold are usually harmless, consuming large amounts of mold can lead to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
It’s important to note that commercial almond milk is usually ultra-pasteurized, which means it undergoes a heating process that kills bacteria and extends its shelf life. However, once the bottle is opened, it’s recommended to consume the milk within seven days and store it in the back of the fridge where the temperature tends to be the coldest.
Digestive Issues Caused By Drinking Spoiled Almond Milk
Drinking spoiled almond milk can lead to a variety of digestive issues. Upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea are the most common symptoms. These conditions can be uncomfortable and take time to resolve. If you don’t notice the spoiled milk, vomiting can be a sign that your body is rejecting foreign materials that may be harmful.
Consuming spoiled almond milk can also worsen pre-existing health conditions or even cause permanent damage. This is especially true for those with weakened immune systems, who are more susceptible to food-borne illnesses.
Spoiled almond milk can contain harmful bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli, which can lead to severe food poisoning. It’s important to note that pasteurization does not kill all bacteria in milk, and drinking unpasteurized milk is never recommended.
If you do happen to drink spoiled almond milk, staying hydrated is crucial. Vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration, which can worsen symptoms and prolong recovery time. Drinking fluids such as Pedialyte or sports drinks can help support your kidneys as they cleanse your system.
Food Poisoning From Consuming Expired Almond Milk
Food poisoning is one of the most serious consequences of drinking expired almond milk. When almond milk goes bad, bacteria grow and multiply, producing harmful toxins that can cause a range of symptoms. These symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. In some cases, people may also experience a fever, chills, and headache.
Consuming expired almond milk can also lead to food poisoning, which can cause serious health complications such as dehydration, organ damage, and even death. This is especially true for those with weakened immune systems or underlying health conditions.
The severity of food poisoning symptoms depends on how much spoiled almond milk was consumed and how long it has been expired. The longer the milk has been expired, the more harmful bacteria it will contain. If you realize too late that you have consumed expired almond milk and are experiencing symptoms of food poisoning, it’s essential to stay hydrated. Vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration, which can be dangerous if left untreated. Drinking Pedialyte or sports drinks can help support your kidneys as they cleanse your system.
In severe cases where symptoms persist or worsen, seeking medical attention is crucial. A doctor may prescribe antibiotics or other medications to help manage symptoms and prevent further complications.
To avoid food poisoning from expired almond milk, it’s important to be mindful of the expiration date on almond milk and other food products. Additionally, proper storage and handling of almond milk is essential to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Refrigerating almond milk after opening and consuming it within the recommended timeframe can help reduce the risk of food poisoning.