cass asked in Food & DrinkCooking & Recipes · 1 decade ago

Can oatmeal go bad?

I just opened a sealed package of Quaker Oats that I've had for awhile. It cooked up fine, but when I tasted it, it tasted sour. I know that they warn that pancake mix can go bad with some type of mold spores. Does anyone know if something similar applies to oatmeal?

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hi !!!

    Here is are two lists that you might find informative...

    Food Storage Shelf Life

    Food Items

    Recommended Shelf Life

    Wheat indefinitely

    Evaporated/condensed milk 12 months

    Non-fat dry milk 12 months

    Dried eggs 12 months

    Dried vegetables 6-12 months

    Dried Meat 6 months

    Dried Fruit 6-24 months

    Cereal (cheerios, etc.) 6-18 months

    Baking powder 6-12 months

    Cornstarch 2-3 years

    Cornmeal 12 months

    Baking Chocolate 6-12 months

    Tapioca 12 months

    Yeast (Dry) 12-18 months

    Baking Soda 8-12 months

    Sodas indefinitely

    Canned Fruit 2-3 years

    Canned Vegetables 12 months

    Canned acidic vegetables 12-18 months

    Soups 12 months

    Canned Meat 12 months

    Canned Fruit Juices 18-24 months

    ***********One Minute Oatmeal 12 months***********

    Bleached Flour 12 months

    Noodles 9 months

    Gelatin 18 months

    Honey up to 2 years

    Jam/jelly/preserves up to 18 months

    Syrup/molasses 12 months

    Mayo 6 months

    Nuts (vacuum packed) 12 months

    Peanut butter 6-9 months

    Dry beans & peas 2 years

    Pudding mix 12 months

    Salad dressing 9-12 months

    Gravy mixes 6-12 months

    Vinegar at least 2 years

    Sugar (granulated) indefinitely

    Sugar (brown) 6 months

    Sugar (powdered) 12-18 months

    Rice (white) 2 + years


    Before opening, shelf-stable foods should be safe unless the can or packaging has been damaged. After opening, store products in tightly closed containers. The storage of many shelf-stable items at room temperature is a quality issue -- unless the product is contaminated (bugs in flour, for example). Some foods must be refrigerated after opening, such as tuna or chili.


    foods Unopened

    on shelf Opened,

    refrigerated Opened

    on shelf

    Baby food, jars or cans

    Fruits & vegetables 2 months

    after date 2-3 days

    Meats & eggs 2 months

    after date 1 day

    Cereal, dry mixes Use-by date 2 months

    Formula Use-by date 1-2 days

    Bacon Bits,

    imitation 4 months 4 months

    Baking ingredients

    Baking powder 6 months 3 months

    Baking soda 18 months 6 months

    Biscuit or

    pancake mix 15 months Pkg. use-by date

    Cake, brownie

    and bread mixes 12-18 months Pkg. use-by date

    Cornmeal, regular degerminated 6-12 months 12 months

    stone ground or blue 1 month 2-3 months

    Cornstarch 18 months 18 months

    Flour, white 6-12 months 6-8 months

    Flour, whole wheat 1 month 6-8 months

    Frosting, canned 10 months 1 week

    Frosting mixes 12 months 3 months

    Beans, dried 12 months 12 months

    Canned goods,

    low acid 2-5 years 3-4 days

    (such as meat, poultry, fish, gravy, stew, soups, beans, carrots, corn, pasta, peas, potatoes, spinach)

    Canned goods,

    high acid 12-18 months 5-7 days

    (such as juices, fruit, pickles, sauerbraut, tomato, soup, and foods in vinegar-based sauce)

    Cereal, ready-to-eat 6-12 months 3 months

    **cook before eating (oatmeal, etc.) 12 months 6-12 months **

    Chocolate, unsweetened

    and semi-sweet, solid 18-24 months 1 year

    Chocolate syrup 2 years 6 months

    Cocoa and

    cocoa mixes indefinitely 1 year


    Whole beans, non-vacuum bag 1-3 weeks 3-4 months


    Ground, in cans 2 years 2 weeks

    Instant, jars and tins 12 months 2-3 months


    Barbecue sauce, bottled 12 months 4 months 1 month

    Catsup, tomato; cocktail sauce or chili sauce 12 months 6 months 1 month

    Chutney 12 months 1-2 months

    Horseradish, in jar 12 months 3-4 months

    Mayonnaise, commercial 2-3 months 2 months

    Mustard 12 months 1 year 1-2 months

    Olives, black

    and green 12 -18 months 2 weeks

    Pickles 12 months 1-2 months

    Salad dressings, commercial, bottled 10-12 months 3 months

    Salsa, picante and taco sauces 12 months 1 month

    Cookies, packaged 2 months 8-12 months frozen 4 weeks

    Crackers 8 months freeze or refrig.

    3-4 months 1 month

    Diet powder mixes 6 months 3 months

    Extracts, vanilla,

    lemon, etc. 3 years 1 year

    Fruits, dried 6 months 6 months

    Garlic, chopped, commercial jars 18 months Refrigerate; use

    by date on jar

    Gelatin, flavored 18 months Use all or reseal for 3-4 months

    Gelatin, unflavored 3 years Use all or reseal for 3-4 months

    Gravy, jars & cans 2-5 years 1-2 days

    dry gravy mixes 2 years Mix entire packet

    Herbs, dried 1-2 years Store in cool dark place 1 year.

    Honey 12 months 12 months

    Jams, jellies, preserves 12 months 6 months

    Juice, boxes 4-6 months 8-12 days

    Lentils, dried 12 months 12 months

    Maple syrup,

    pure genuine 12 months 12 months

    Marshmallows, marshmallow creme 2-4 months 1 month

    Milk, canned evaporated 12 months 4-5 days

    Molasses 12 months 6 months

    Mushrooms, dried 6 months 3 months

    Oils, olive or vegetable 6 months 4-6 months

    walnut, macadamia, other nut oils 6 months 4 months

    vegetable oil sprays 2 years 1 year

    Nuts, jars or cans 12 months 4-6 months,

    Freeze 9-12 months

    Pasta, dry, made without eggs 2 years 1 year

    dry egg noodles 2 years 1-2 months

    Peanut butter, commercial 6-9 months 2-3 months

    Peas, dried split 12 months 12 months

    Pectin Use by package date 1 mo.

    Popcorn, dry kernels in jar 2 years 1 year

    commercially popped in bags 2-3 months 1-2 weeks

    Microwave packets 12 months 1-2 days popped

    Potato chips 2 months 1-2 weeks

    Potatoes, instant 6-12 months 6-12 months

    Pudding mixes 12 months 3-4 months

    Rice, white or wild 2 years 1 year

    brown 1 year 6 months

    flavored or herb mixes 6 months Use entire amt.

    Sauce mixes, non dairy (spaghetti, taco, etc.) 2 years Use entire amt.

    cream sauces with milk solids 1 year

    Shortening, solid 8 months 3 months

    Soda such as carbonated cola drinks, mixers:

    Diet sodas,

    bottles or cans 3 months

    after date 2-3 days

    Regular sodas, bottles 3 months

    after date 2-3 days

    Regular sodas,

    cans 9 months

    after date n.a.

    Soup mixes 12 months Use entire amt.

    Spices, whole 2-4 years Included in total

    ground 2-3 years Included in total

    Paprika, red pepper, chili powder 2 years Store in refrig.

    Sugar, brown 4 months Sugar nevers spoils

    Granulated 2 years

    Confectioners 18 months

    Sugar substitutes 2 years

    Syrup, pancake, maple & other flavors 12 months 12 months

    Tapioca 12 months 12 months

    Tea, bags 18 months 12 months

    Loose 2 years 6-12 months

    Instant 3 years 6-12 months

    Toaster pastries, fruit filled 6 months Keep foil packets sealed

    non-fruit fillings 9 months

    Tomatoes, sun dried, packed in oil 12 months 6-12 months

    packed in cellophane 9 months 3-6 months

    Vinegar 2 years 12 months

    Yeast, dry,

    packets and jars Use-by date Refrigerate

    open jars

    Water, bottled 1-2 years 3 months

    Worcestershire sauce 1 year 1 year

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Ok. You cooked the product. Did you smell anything different? Probably not. Ate a few bites and it was sour. Oats dont go bad because it is just oats- a grain just like macaroni or spaghetti. It comes down to temperature variation. Grains have to be stored in a cool and dry place. Any chance of it coming in contact with any off elements and you run the danger of having bad oatmeal.

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  • 4 years ago

    yes, opened a box of oatmeal I bought 13 months ago and cooked some and sugared it and was amazed at the sour taste-was blaming the brown sugar until I checked

    Google- Am pleased I didn't throw out the sugar!


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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes, it can go bad. Not likely to make you sick, but doesn't taste very good. This is likely due to the fat that is present oxidizing.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It doesn't go bad in a dry container, but it can become stale.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It certainly can, before it is even packaged for sale. Has to be dried properly and sometimes a bad bit sneaks through.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Oatmeal can produce small worms and mold as well as rice. throw it out.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It can go stael just like cereal if you don't have it in an air tight container.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes. Even if it is sealed , it does have a life span of about a year.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Absolutely it can go bad. Weevils can emerge and give it a bitter taste.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It can get mold spores if it gets wet. It also can breed meal-y worms in it.

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