Drinking bad soy milk in coffee can literally leave a bad taste in your mouth when it comes to nondairy milk alternatives. If your soy milk expiration date has passed, discard it immediately. Also discard any opened soy milk left out overnight.
Unopened soy milk left out overnight may be at risk for going sour. Shelf-stable soy milk can be stored at room temperature, but it must be refrigerated once opened. Soy milk in the refrigerated section must be kept cool at all times. Unfortunately, opened soy milk left out overnight must be thrown away if it is not shelf stable.
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To avoid future incidents of drinking bad soy milk in coffee or passing the soy milk expiration date, here is how to tell when your milk has gone bad.
Determine Soy Milk Expiration Date
Soy milk is an excellent source of many nutrients. According to the USDA, fortified soy milk is a great source of calcium, protein, iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. Vegans and vegetarians can especially benefit from drinking soy milk regularly. Plus, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans states that nondairy alternatives count toward the daily requirement for dairy products.
However, expired soy milk poses more risks than benefits. Soy milk has a short fridge life of just seven to 10 days after opening. The first sign of bad soy milk is if the carton is bloating from bacteria releasing gas.
Another way to tell if it is safe to drink soy milk is by checking the expiration date. According to Cleveland Clinic, you should throw out any food that has reached or passed its expiration date as instructed by the manufacturer. This is directly related to food safety. Consuming soy milk past this date increases your risk of food poisoning.
Read more: Is Soy Milk Bad for Women?
Smell Your Soy Milk
Before you pour bad soy milk in your coffee or cereal, let your senses be your guide. Take a look at the soy milk. Sour food products, especially liquids, may turn a rotten color and even yield a curdled texture. If soy milk looks different from its usual off-white color and runny texture, that may be a sign of expiration.
One of the easiest ways to tell if your soy milk is expired is by smelling it. Sour milk of any kind — dairy and nondairy — will have a rancid odor due to the growth of mold and bacteria. Though not expired, unopened soy milk left out overnight is likely to yield a sour smell if it is the refrigerated kind.
When in doubt, Cleveland Clinic recommends using your common sense. Usually, your sight and smell will be enough to decide if your soy milk has gone bad.
Read more: Is Eating Soy Actually Bad for Your Health?
Discard Bad Soy Milk
There are several types of soy milk, including shelf stable and refrigerated soy milk. In the case of the refrigerated kind, unopened soy milk left out overnight should be thrown away for safety. If your soy milk expiration date has passed, this is another situation where soy milk should be discarded.
Though this may seem like a waste of food and money, it is not worth the risk to consume certain foods when not refrigerated for extended periods of time. Expired food tends to be lower in nutrients while increasing your risk of food poisoning.
There are no benefits of consuming sour soy milk. To avoid coming into contact with expired soy milk, consume it within seven to 10 days of opening or prior to the soy milk expiration date.