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Feb 4, 2008 06:30 AM

Soy milk expiration dates- myth or reality or marketing ploy

I usually buy soy milk in the 64 ounce container- I notice on most brands that it states the product should be consumed within 7 days of being opened- I only use it in my breakfast cereal so one of these containers can last me about 3 weeks.

I've gone well beyond 7 days after opening and have not noticed any souring, decline in quality, etc...

And I'm still here to write this!!!!!! Is this a ruse to get us to buy the product more frequently?
Am I putting my life at risk????

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  1. My experience is similar to yours. I only use it baking, and so can have a container of soymilk around for a very long time. It does go bad eventually, getting chunky, but it takes several weeks. Hasn't killed me (or my guests) yet!

    1. It's simply a cover-your-ass recommendation (it's not an "expiration date"). In our litigious society they have to give some kind of warning that eventually the product might go bad (and I think the government requires them to do so) so they pick a date they think is absolutely "safe."

      I think this is particularly true of products in aspectic packaging, because they don't trust that people will realize that even though it was okay on in the cupboard for months, the contents is susceptible to spoilage after it's been opened.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        As someone who regularly forgets things in the fridge, I always appreciate a best before date to help me remember when I opened the darn thing. When you have to figure out what year it is from, you know you've gone to far !!!!

      2. My husband, bless him, is a fanatic about expiration dates and routinely throws out perfectly good food and drink when that date rolls around (much to my chagrin).However, he won't go near soy milk and I've successfully kept cartons in the fridge, at least 3 weeks, probably more, with no ill effects or noticeable degradation in taste or quality. It's like yogurt to me, which I am comfortable eating up to a month past the exp. date.

        1. There are expiration dates that you should abide by. Then there are "sell by" and "use by" dates. Those are, as Ruth said, cover-your-ass dates! There are also "best before" dates. I had to laugh when I saw on a cracker box a "best before" date of Mar 16 08. C'mon, how did they come up with that exact date?

          3 Replies
          1. re: danhole

            Because they have done stability studies and come up with a time frame within which they have evidence that the product will be fine. It may or may not be outside of that, depending on a number of factors.

            So let's say their stability study shows 12 months under all conditions, whether you keep it in a cool dark place or in the back window of your car during a Texas summer. They add 12 months to the date of manufacture, which for a 12 month shelf life would be Mar 16 07.

            1. re: JonParker

              Amazing info! So now I know the date the crackers were manufactured. Thanks.

              1. re: danhole

                Well, you only know the date of manufacture if you know what the stability data shows, which you generally don't. If it's got an 18 month shelf life the date of manufacture would be different.

          2. I, too, keep my soymilk for 2-3 weeks, using it only on my breakfast cereal (and then not a lot of it, either). You can add me to the "still alive and kickin'" club!