Shelf Life Tips
- How long does oatmeal last? The precise answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions -to maximize the shelf life of oatmeal store in a cool, dry area.
How long does oatmeal last at room temperature? Properly stored, a package of oatmeal will generally stay at best quality for about 18 to 24 months at room temperature.
To maximize the shelf life of oatmeal once the package is opened, transfer to a covered airtight container or place original oatmeal package in a resealable plastic freezer bag.
Is oatmeal safe to use after the "expiration" date on the package? Yes, provided it is properly stored and the package is undamaged - commercially packaged oatmeal will typically carry a " Best By," "Best if Used By," "Best Before", or "Best When Used By" date but this is not a safety date, it is the manufacturer's estimate of how long the oatmeal will remain at peak quality.
Storage time shown is for best quality only - after that, the oatmeal's texture, color or flavor may change, but in most cases, it will still be safe to consume if it has been stored properly, the package is undamaged, and there are no signs of spoilage (see below).
How can you tell if oatmeal is bad or spoiled? The best way is to smell and look at the oatmeal: if oatmeal develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, or if insects appear, it should be discarded.
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Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here