Can Oatmeal Go Bad?

Oats and Oatmeal are a wonderful grain to add into your daily food consumption. They are packed with nutrients and you can get kids to eat them by cooking or flavoring the oatmeal. Do you have a bunch of oats in food storage and you’re wondering if oatmeal goes bad? All food will eventually go bad, so read this article and you’ll learn what type of oats you have, how you know if they are bad, and what time you should replace them.

 To answer that you have to be sure you know what kind of oats you’ve got. If the oats have not been finely ground and all the remants removed, you likely have course rolled oats.  Though you probably would only consider feeding this to a horse (unless they are cooked,) they are good for long term food storage because the shelf life is between 10 and 15 years (depending on the way they are stored.)

Now there are also semi-prossed rolled oats that you probably won’t get your kids to eat either, but at least the remnants of these processed oats have been better removed. With this type of oat you can eat is as cereal uncooked, or mix it in with cookies for a little tougher texture. The expiration date on this type of oatmeal would be 5-8 years.

The most palatable oatmeal is the quick oats. This is what Quaker and other oatmeal manufacturers use for their large varieties of hot oatmeal. Big grocery store chains will often sell individually packaged oatmeal by the box in their case lot sales. Stock up on the ‘regular oats’ flavor and you’ll save some money on buying the tubs of quick oats. Yes, it does mean you have to rip open individual packets, but that also gives you another measuring divice. With this type of oatmeal, you have to keep up with rotation or the oats lose their nutritional value and have a stale flavor. Rotate quick oats every 2 years.

The waysyou’ll know your oats are going bad is a stale flavor. Be aware that if you open a 5 gallon bucket of any kind of oats older than 6 months there will be an off smell eminating from the oats. They aren’t nessisarily going bad. I have been using a bucket of semi-ground oats that is two years old in homemade granola and I think they taste wonderful. The smell did intimidate me when I first opened it though. So don’t be scared off from oats.