Can you eat oatmeal after the expiration date?

In this article we are going to answer can you eat oatmeal after the expiration date, what is the expiration date, what is the use-by date, what happens if you eat oatmeal after the use-by date, is oatmeal healthy to eat, how long does oatmeal last, and how to store oatmeal so it can last longer. 

Can you eat oatmeal after the expiration date?

Oatmeal does not have an expiration date, instead, it is marked with the used-by date. Oatmeal has a long shelf life and it can be eaten up to 2 years after the use-by date. 

It is almost impossible to have food poisoning just because the oatmeal has expired. 

What happens if you eat oatmeal after the use-by date? 

Oatmeal is generally safe to eat after the use-by date. It is very hard that oatmeal can cause food-borne illnesses. If oatmeal is exposed to moisture it can grow mold more easily but apart from that, oatmeal will not cause any harm after the use-by date. 

What is the expiration date?

The expiration date in the product tells the consumer the last day a product is safe to consume. The expiration date is not in all products. It is required on certain products that have a specific nutritional composition that could change after the expiration date. 

The expiration date is required in some products such as

  • Liquid diets
  • Foods sold by a pharmacist
  • Meal replacements
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Infant formula 

If a product has passed the expiration date, it should not be consumed.

What is the use-by date?

Best by date or use-by date tells the consumer that food is no longer fresh or in the same shape, texture, and taste as when you bought it. It might lose some freshness, taste, aroma, or nutrients but it doesn’t mean that the product has gone bad and is no longer safe to eat. 

The safety, freshness, and taste of the products depend on how it has been stored. So, if the product has not been handled correctly, it can lose all its qualities long before the best-by date. 

Is oatmeal healthy to eat?

Yes, oatmeal is a very healthy carbohydrate to add to your diet. Oatmeal is the perfect food you can have in your pantry that will last for a long period of time while stored correctly. Normally, the original package is enough to keep it good for a long time. 

Oatmeal has a high content of dietary fiber which helps to maintain a healthy digestive system, lowers cholesterol in the bloodstream, and prevents heart problems such as stroke and high blood pressure. 

I believe oatmeal is one of the healthiest carbohydrates everybody should have in their pantry. You can use it to make some overnight oats, add it to your favorite pancakes, cook some healthy cookies or simply cook it with some milk and fruit. 

How long does oatmeal last?

Oatmeal has a long shelf life especially if stored correctly. Unopened instant oatmeal and steel-cut oatmeal can last up to 2 years after the use-by date in the pantry. If oatmeal is flavored or has added ingredients such as dried milk it can last less, about 9 months after the use-by date. 

Once prepared, oatmeal has to be refrigerated at 40 F and it can last a maximum of 7 days. It is not recommended to freeze oatmeal. 

How to store oatmeal so it can last longer?

Oatmeal should be stored in a cool dry place, away from sunlight and moisture. This is why the pantry is the best place to store it and not the refrigerator. The refrigerator can have high moisture levels and harvest bacteria from other foods. 

The best way to store it is in the pantry. Once open, if the lid of the original container fits well, it is a good container to store it. If the lid of the container might not protect enough from moisture, it is best to store it in an airtight container. 

Once cooked, oatmeal should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator at a correct temperature of 40 F. 

If you need more information on how to store oatmeal follow this link. 

Conclusion

This article answered can you eat oatmeal after the expiration date, what is the expiration date, what is the use-by date, what happens if you eat oatmeal after the use-by date, is oatmeal healthy to eat, how long does oatmeal last, and how to store oatmeal so it can last longer. 

Citation

https://greatist.com/eat/does-oatmeal-expire

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/does-oatmeal-expire

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.