Here’s How to Tell If Your Almond Milk Is Bad

updated Sep 18, 2022
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While one whiff of sour cow’s milk is all you need to know it’s gone bad, it can be a little harder to read the signals for almond milk. It of course spoils just like other kinds of dairy and non-dairy milk, but how can you tell? Whether it’s fresh or commercially made, signs to tell almond milk has gone bad include a sour taste, a thicker texture, and a funky smell. Here are the things to look for so you know when it’s time to toss it.

How to Tell If Your Almond Milk Has Gone Bad

First, the telltale signs depend on whether it’s fresh or commercially made almond milk. If you made your own almond milk or bought a bottle of fresh stuff from a small producer, you’ve only got about five to seven days before it will start to smell funky and clump up. You’ll definitely know when it’s reached this stage.

Commercially made almond milk is usually ultra-pasteurized. That means it’s been heated quickly to 280°F, then cooled down quickly — this process extends shelf life. If it’s a refrigerated carton, it’s generally recommended that once you open it, it should be consumed within seven days. It it’s shelf-stable almond milk, which can be stored at room temperature until it’s open, you have about seven to 10 days to drink it once open (as long as the open container is kept in the fridge).

This timeframe is a guideline, however — the milk could still be totally fine to drink after those days have passed. The true test is how the milk looks and tastes: Once it gets thick, clumps a little, smells off, and tastes sour, it’s time to toss it.

The Best Way to Store Almond Milk

To help ensure your almond milk has the longest life possible, tuck it away in the back of your fridge, where the temperature is the coldest and steadiest. That controlled temperature will help keep it fresh.

Oh and if you find that your milk has separated (a common occurrence with the fresh stuff), that doesn’t mean it’s gone bad — just shake it up and it will be good to sip. If it’s still chunky after shaking, then it’s time to toss it.