There are a number of reasons someone, myself included, may choose to opt for almond milk instead of dairy milk or the numerous other options. Aside from it being trendy and low-cal, I genuinely think it tastes better. Not until I started college and began grocery shopping and cooking for myself was I faced with the question, does almond milk go bad?

Since it takes me longer to drink my favorite (Wegmans Organic Unsweetened Vanilla) almond milk than my whole family, I recently realized I had the same carton for a couple of weeks and started to question whether or not it was drinkable. So, as in most cases I referred to my mom and then to Google, asking both, "Does Almond Milk Go Bad?"

milk, coffee, beer
Lara Schwieger

I was surprisingly disappointed to find out, almond milk doesn't last much longer than dairy milk, at least when bought already refrigerated. If bought unrefrigerated, it can last 3-4 weeks beyond the date on the package, which generally is the "Best Before" date. Even though it is vegan and has no dairy, it can go bad. The reasoning for almond milk lasting slightly longer is that most popular brands use an ultra pasteurization process that involves heating and cooling of the milk in a short period of time.

When bought refrigerated, after it is opened it only lasts about 7-10 days. To my surprise, this is only a few days longer than the 5-7 day limit of opened dairy milk. However, beware that the 5-7 days for dairy milk is from the sell by date on the package, so it could vary depending on how long it's been on the store shelf. Now knowing this, I am 100% certain that I have drank almond milk that was definitely spoiled. 

So, be careful with your almond milk from here on out. If it gives off an odd odor or tastes a bit off, it probably needs to be tossed. Another sign of bad almond milk is if the container looks abnormally bloated after being opened and used. Some easy ways to make it last longer include not storing it in the refrigerator door (where will last a bit longer), or freezing it, where it will last several weeks. 

Now that I'm grossed out that I've consumed almond milk a few months old, I think I'll go buy a new carton.