How long can soy milk sit out?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long can soy milk sit out” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of soy milk at room temperature. Moreover, we are going to discuss different ways to spot bad soy milk and the health implications of eating spoiled soy milk.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How long can soy milk sit out?

Unopened shelf-stable soy milk lasts for about 2-4 months after the “best before” date if allowed to sit out in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry. Once you have opened the shelf-stable soy milk or the soy milk that is sold refrigerated, it lasts for about 2 hours when left out of the fridge at room temperature. Therefore it is recommended to keep it refrigerated.

The same holds true for the homemade soy milk which lasts for about 2 hours when left out in the open.

You should discard the soy milk that has been left in open for more than 2 hours as bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore there are greater chances of the soy milk being already contaminated with bacteria when left out for more than 2 hours.

Moreover, if the temperature of the surroundings is about 90 degrees Fahrenheit, then the process of spoilage takes place at a faster pace and it is recommended to discard soy milk that is left out in the open for more than an hour at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is the optimum temperature to store soy milk?

You should always store your soy milk at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below in the fridge. Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore it is always advised to store soy milk at a lower temperature to preserve its freshness and quality for a long time.

Different ways to spot bad soy milk

There are a couple of indicators that point out bad soy milk. You should consider the appearance, texture, smell, and taste of the soy milk to give a final verdict of whether or not it has gone bad.

Texture

If the soy milk is curdled or has lumps present in it, then it is an indication of bad soy milk and you should get rid of it.

Smell

If you smell something foul or sour while taking a sniff test then it is an indication that the soy milk has gone bad and the best thing to do is to discard it.

Taste

If the soy milk has passed the visual and smell test, then you can go ahead and taste it. If you notice a sour or slightly bitter taste after taking a little sip of milk then it is an indication that the soy milk has gone bad. 

Moreover, if you notice that the unopened carton of the soy milk has swollen then it is better to discard it.

You can read more about soy milk here.

Health implications of eating spoiled soy milk

If you have devoured soy milk that has gone bad, it can result in food poisoning that is characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, weakness, headaches, and dehydration.

A mild food poisoning lasts for about a day or two while a more persistent case of food poisoning can last for about 10 days.

  1. Diarrhea is an indication of the body that a certain obnoxious agent has entered. So consumption of expired or bacteria-laden soy milk often causes diarrhea.
  1. Food poisoning after consuming bad soy milk is characterized by abdominal pain. Abdominal pain is also accompanied by vomiting and nausea in most cases.
  1. If you have consumed soy milk that has bacterial growth on it then you will experience nausea and vomiting which is the natural defense of the body to get rid of the unwanted harmful substance that has entered the body.
  1. Consuming soy milk that has gone bad will also raise your body temperature and you can experience fever which is the natural defense mechanism of your body and is the indicator that something is off with your body.

So in case you have devoured bad soy milk and are now suffering from vomiting and diarrhea,  you should try to drink as much water as possible so that while the body is getting rid of the toxins in form of diarrhea and vomiting, the water that you drink will protect your body against dehydration that vomiting can otherwise result in.

Moreover, the symptoms of severe and potentially life-threatening food poisoning involve diarrhea persisting for more than 3 days, fever higher than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit, symptoms of severe dehydration, and bloody urine. In such a case, you should seek medical help immediately.

Tips to properly store soy milk

  1. Unopened shelf-stable soy milk can stay good in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry but once you open it, you should refrigerate the leftover soy milk in the fridge.
  1. Always be sure to refrigerate homemade soy milk at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. Soy milk can pick up odors therefore it should be stored in an air-tight container or bottle in the fridge. Moreover, it should be stored away from strong-smelling food items like garlic, onion, etc. 
  1. It is better to store soy milk on one of the shelves of the refrigerator rather than the door as there is a lot of temperature fluctuation at the door of the fridge.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long can soy milk sit out” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of soy milk at room temperature. Moreover, we discussed different ways to spot bad soy milk and the health implications of eating spoiled soy milk.

Citations

https://askinglot.com/how-long-can-soy-milk-stay-at-room-temperature#:~:text=if%20not%20refrigerated%3F-,Soy%20milk%2C%20once%20opened%2C%20requires%20refrigeration%20and%20should%20be%20consumed,of%20at%20least%20one%20year.
https://www.doesitgobad.com/does-soy-milk-go-bad/
https://healthfully.com/effects-drinking-bad-soy-milk-6617778.html
https://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/does-soy-milk-go-bad#:~:text=A%20couple%20indicators%20of%20bad,a%20slightly%20off%2Dwhite%20color.

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.