How long does Almond Breeze almond milk last in the fridge?

Almond milk has become a popular plant-based milk alternative for many people. With its creamy texture and nutty flavor, almond milk can be enjoyed in everything from cereals and smoothies to baking and cooking. One popular brand of almond milk is Almond Breeze. But how long does an opened carton of Almond Breeze almond milk last once refrigerated?

How Long Almond Breeze Lasts Unopened

An unopened, sealed carton of Almond Breeze almond milk will typically last for several months past the “best by” date printed on the package when stored properly. The “best by” date indicates the date by which the manufacturer recommends using the almond milk for peak quality and flavor.

As long as the carton remains unopened and sealed, the milk inside should stay fresh for quite some time. Almond Breeze cartons use shelf-stable aseptic packaging that allows the milk to remain safe at room temperature before opening. However, for best quality, unopened Almond Breeze cartons should be stored in a cool, dry pantry away from direct sunlight.

How Long Almond Breeze Lasts Refrigerated After Opening

Once opened and refrigerated, the shelf life of Almond Breeze almond milk is drastically reduced due to exposure to oxygen, light, and potential bacterial contamination. Refrigeration helps slow the growth of bacteria and extends the shelf life for a short period of time after opening. Here are some general guidelines for how long Almond Breeze will last refrigerated after opening:

  • 7-10 days for original/unflavored almond milk
  • 5-7 days for flavored almond milk varieties like chocolate, vanilla, etc.
  • 3-5 days for almond milk creamers

These timelines assume the opened carton is properly stored in the refrigerator set at 40°F or below. The milk should be kept in the original container with the cap tightly sealed between uses. Storing almond milk on the interior refrigerator shelves rather than the door also helps maximize its shelf life after opening.

How to Tell if Almond Milk Has Gone Bad

Almond milk, like other dairy-free milks, does not curdle or visibly spoil as quickly as regular dairy milk. But that doesn’t mean it lasts forever once opened. Here are some signs that your refrigerated Almond Breeze has gone bad and should be discarded:

  • Sour smell and taste – Fresh almond milk smells and tastes mildly nutty. Spoiled milk gives off a sour, unpleasant odor and taste.
  • Lumpy texture – Bad almond milk will become thick and curdled with lumps rather than having a smooth, creamy consistency.
  • Mold growth – Check the walls and cap of the carton for spots of fuzzy mold growth which signals spoilage.
  • Expired date – If the almond milk is past the “use by” date after opening, toss it.

When in doubt, remember the old adage “When in doubt, throw it out” applies to almond milk as well. Consuming spoiled milk can potentially lead to food poisoning and gastrointestinal upset.

Does Almond Milk Need to be Refrigerated Before Opening?

Unlike regular cow’s milk, Almond Breeze almond milk does not require refrigeration before opening thanks to its shelf-stable packaging. As long as the carton remains sealed, it can be safely stored at room temperature in a cool, dry pantry for several months.

However, for optimum flavor and quality, it is still preferable to refrigerate unopened Almond Breeze. Refrigeration helps slow down separation and extends the shelf life. But again, this is not required for food safety prior to opening the carton.

How to Store Almond Milk to Maximize Freshness

To get the most shelf life out of your Almond Breeze almond milk, here are some tips for proper storage:

  • Store unopened cartons in a cool, dry pantry away from direct sunlight.
  • Refrigerate after opening, tightly sealing the cap between uses.
  • Keep refrigerated cartons as cold as possible by placing in the back of the fridge rather than the door.
  • Write the date opened on the carton to track shelf life.
  • Store flavored varieties like chocolate and vanilla almond milk in the refrigerator even before opening for best quality.
  • Do not freeze opened almond milk as this will negatively affect texture and consistency.
  • Use clean utensils each time when pouring almond milk to avoid contamination.
  • Once refrigerated, use within 7-10 days for original and 5-7 days for flavored varieties.

Does Almond Milk Go Bad Faster Than Dairy Milk?

Almond milk and other plant-based beverage milks do tend to have a shorter shelf life than regular cow’s milk. There are a few reasons for this:

  • Lack of preservatives – Dairy milk contains some natural preservatives like lactose and casein protein that help prolong its shelf life. Almond milk does not contain these compounds.
  • Processing method – Aseptic packaging allows almond milk to be shelf-stable but also makes it more sensitive to contamination once opened compared to pasteurized dairy milk.
  • Lower acidity – The higher acidity of dairy milk inhibits bacterial growth more than the lower acidity environment of plant milks.
  • Nutrients for growth – Almond milk provides nutrients like proteins, sugars, and fats that fuel microbial growth once exposed to air.

The table below compares the refrigerated shelf life after opening between different types of milk:

Milk Type Refrigerated Shelf Life After Opening
Almond milk 7-10 days
Soy milk 7-10 days
Skim or low-fat dairy milk 7 days
Whole dairy milk 10 days

As you can see, almond milk lasts about the same or a few days less than dairy milk when refrigerated. To maximize the shelf life, be sure to store both types of milk properly after opening.

Can You Freeze Almond Breeze Milk?

Freezing is not recommended for opened cartons of Almond Breeze or any other opened almond milk. The thawing process will cause the milk proteins and fats to separate, giving it an unpleasant curdled texture.

However, some people do freeze unopened cartons of Almond Breeze. As long as the carton is completely full and sealed, the milk inside should freeze solidly without separation issues. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.

Keep in mind that freezing can degrade the flavor and may impact the texture somewhat. So freezing is best done as a way to prolong shelf life rather than for quality purposes. But if you have an unopened carton that you won’t use up in time, freezing can help extend the expiration by a few months.

Can Almond Milk Be Used After the Expiration Date?

It’s not recommended to use Almond Breeze almond milk after its printed expiration or “best by” date, even if it’s been stored unopened in the pantry. The expiration date is there for a reason – to indicate the last day the manufacturer guarantees peak quality and safety.

After the date passes, unwanted bacteria may start growing more quickly. The milk also loses its fresh flavor over time. For best taste and food safety, stick to using Almond Breeze almond milk before its expiration date.

If you’ve already opened the carton, you have an even shorter window of just 7-10 days after opening before potential spoilage can occur. So there’s not much wiggle room to go past the printed date once refrigerated.

How Long Does Almond Milk Last Compared to Other Nut Milks?

Almond milk is not the only nut-based milk option on the market. Let’s compare its refrigerated shelf life after opening to some other popular nut milks:

  • Almond milk – 7-10 days
  • Cashew milk – 3-5 days
  • Coconut milk – 5-7 days
  • Hazelnut milk – 3-5 days
  • Walnut milk – 3-5 days
  • Oat milk – 7-10 days
  • Rice milk – 5-7 days
  • Macadamia nut milk – 5-7 days
  • Pecan milk – 3-5 days
  • Hemp milk – 7-10 days

Almond milk comes out near the top shelf life wise compared to other nut milks. Oat and hemp milk match its 7-10 day timeframe. Hazelnut, pecan, cashew, and walnut milks tend to spoil faster at just 3-5 days.

No matter what nut or grain milk you choose, proper refrigerated storage after opening is key. Try to use up the entire carton within the recommended window for each type.

Does Almond Milk Go Bad if Not Refrigerated After Opening?

Once opened, Almond Breeze and other almond milks do require prompt refrigeration. Leaving them sit out unrefrigerated after opening greatly reduces the shelf life and safety.

Bacteria thrive on the nutrients in almond milk once exposed to oxygen. Without refrigeration, the milk can start to spoil in just a couple hours, especially if left in a warm environment. Refrigerating after opening is absolutely essential.

Signs that your almond milk has gone bad from improper storage include foul odors, curdling, mold development, and an overall sour taste. When these happen, the milk must be discarded immediately.

Tips for Proper Almond Milk Storage

Here are some top tips for storing your Almond Breeze or any almond milk properly to extend its shelf life after opening:

  • Transfer milk immediately to the refrigerator after use. Do not leave sitting out.
  • Screw the cap on tightly to prevent air exposure.
  • Store milk towards the back of the fridge where temps are coldest.
  • Keep away from the refrigerator door to avoid temperature fluctuations.
  • Wipe away any drips or spills inside the fridge right away to avoid contamination.
  • Use clean utensils each time when dispensing milk.
  • Write the date opened on the carton with marker to track shelf life.
  • Give the carton a sniff and visual inspection periodically to check for spoilage.
  • Finish within 7-10 days of opening for best quality and safety.

Does Freezing Extend the Shelf Life of Almond Milk?

Freezing unopened almond milk cartons can extend the shelf life past the printed “best by” date, giving you a few extra months to use it. As long as no air or contamination gets inside, frozen almond milk stays safe for consumption.

However, freezing may degrade the taste and texture somewhat over time. Thaw frozen cartons overnight in the refrigerator before using. Give it a mix or shake once thawed as some separation may have occurred during freezing.

Only freeze unopened packages. Do not attempt to freeze almond milk after opening as this will ruin the consistency when thawed.


Like with any food product, proper storage is the key to extending shelf life and maintaining safety with almond milk. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for “best by” dates unopened. Then be sure to refrigerate promptly after opening and use within 7-10 days for best quality and freshness.

Keep your Almond Breeze refrigerated at all times, store in the original container, and consume by the recommended timelines based on variety. Following these simple steps will keep your almond milk tasting great and safe to drink until the last drop.

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