Can I eat these expired oats?
July 20, 2013 6:24 PM   Subscribe

I found a few boxes of steel cut oats in the pantry that I'd completely forgotten about. They expired in February 2013. Are they safe to eat or should I toss them?
posted by Proginoskes to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Is that the sell-by date? I'd think that, absent insects infesting your oats, they should be fine. Dried grains are meant to last months on the shelf beyond when they're sold. Worst case is they taste a little stale, probably. Just be on the lookout for bugs.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:28 PM on July 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Expiry Date or Best Before date? Anyhow, they're dry goods and should be perfectly safe to eat, if you've been storing them correctly.
posted by Sintram at 6:33 PM on July 20, 2013

Response by poster: I assumed it was an expiry date. Upon re-checking the box, it appears this is a best before date.
posted by Proginoskes at 6:36 PM on July 20, 2013

If they were in unsealed bags you might need to cook them a little longer to rehydrate them all the way, but otherwise perfectly fine.
posted by JPD at 6:43 PM on July 20, 2013

my experience with expired steel cut oats is that they do begin to go rancid like many whole, unprocessed grains will after time, even if sealed. yours may or may not still be ok - you'll know if they smell off instead of smelling like a fresh box.
posted by slow graffiti at 6:54 PM on July 20, 2013 [6 favorites]

If they don't smell rancid, you're fine. (If they do smell rancid, you're still probably fine, but ugh.)
posted by leahwrenn at 6:59 PM on July 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

If it smells rancid, you might feel a little bit unwell, maybe.

If it has insects, you can probably still eat it, but I doubt you want to.

Otherwise, you're pretty much fine.

I've eaten plenty of expired oats before.
posted by Ashlyth at 7:00 PM on July 20, 2013

Oats get moths. If they don't have moths, chow down.
posted by pla at 7:13 PM on July 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

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