Does Orange Juice Go Bad? How Long Does Orange Juice Last?

Orange juice is delicious and a very popular food to enjoy. You might be wondering how long your orange juice is going to last; read on to find out!

Quick Answer

No matter how you keep your orange juice, it will eventually go bad.

  • Unopened orange juice that was unrefrigerated in the store has a shelf-life of three to six months.
  • All orange juice needs to be kept refrigerated once opened. Expect it to last for seven to ten days.
  • Freshly-squeezed, homemade orange juice will last for the least amount of time, with a shelf-life of only two or three days.
  • Except for unopened, unrefrigerated orange juice and freshly-squeezed, all orange juices will last for roughly similar ranges of time.
  • Frozen orange juice will last the longest, for three to twelve months.

The way that you store your orange juice, along with whether it is fresh, unrefrigerated, or meant to always be refrigerated, will affect its storage life. Let’s explore some of the different ways that orange juice is stored to demonstrate this.

Does Orange Juice Go Bad? How Long Does Orange Juice Last?

With the exception of unopened, unrefrigerated orange juice, orange juice won’t last for an extremely long amount of time. When stored correctly, it can provide joy for anywhere from just a couple of days to up to twelve months. Depending on your circumstances, you may choose to keep your orange juice in one of the following ways.

How Long Does Orange Juice Last Outside?

It isn’t really advisable to keep most types of orange juice outside. The majority of orange juices are meant to be kept cold in the fridge, and it can be hard to replicate these temperatures in an outdoor environment.

If you purchase unrefrigerated orange juice from the store and leave it unopened, you can get away with storing it outside. Just remember to keep it out of direct sunlight and try to avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures, especially heat. If possible, keep it in a cool, dry, dark place. If you do this, it should last for anywhere from three to six months past the best-by date.

If you do choose to keep other types of orange juice outside, the temperatures need to stay in the same range that your fridge is set to. As with unrefrigerated orange juice, keep the juice in a dark, dry place where there’s no sunlight or heat exposure.

How Long Does Orange Juice Last in the Fridge?

Orange juice that is sold unrefrigerated will last the longest in the fridge, since it is pasteurized and therefore less prone to spoilage. After opening this type of orange juice, it must be kept refrigerated until it is fully consumed. An opened bottle of this type of orange juice will last for around one week to ten days in the fridge.

Orange juice that is already refrigerated in the store will last for the best-by date plus three to five days when left unopened in the fridge. After you open this type of orange juice, it will last for around one week.

Freshly-squeezed, homemade orange juice will last for the least amount of time. This type of orange juice needs to be consumed within two to three days, otherwise it will likely spoil.

How Long Does Orange Juice Last in the Freezer?

Orange juice will last for a very long time when kept in the freezer, so this is a great way to keep your favorite morning drink around for a lot longer than if you just stuck it in the fridge.

There really isn’t any reason to freeze orange juice you buy unrefrigerated in the store, since it already has an incredibly long shelf-life. But with all other forms of orange juice, including freshly-squeezed, you can freeze it to extend its shelf life to up to three to twelve months. Store-bought orange juice will likely last longer than freshly-squeezed.

Orange juice can be a finicky drink to freeze, so make sure you follow the directions further down in this article. If done incorrectly, you won’t find your frozen orange juice lasting for nearly as long as you want it to.

Now you know all about how long orange juice will last outside, in the fridge, and in the freezer. Let’s move on to talking about how to tell if your orange juice has gone sour.

How to Tell if Your Orange Juice Has Gone Bad?

Even though your orange juice can last for a pretty decent amount of time when stored properly, it will eventually turn sour if not consumed. Here are some ways that you can tell if your orange juice has gone bad and needs to be thrown out. As always, when in doubt, throw it out.

Taste: While a tasteless glass of orange juice doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s unsafe to drink, it does mean that you’ve kept it for too long and the quality has deteriorated significantly because of that. Your orange juice could be well on the way to spoilage at this point, so it’s best to discard it.

Visuals: A container of orange juice that appears swollen is certainly not safe; throw it out right away. If you notice that your orange juice is an odd color or that it has any mold or other foreign developments inside, it’s definitely gone bad and belongs down the sink.

Smell: Any time you notice your orange juice has a funny odor to it, it’s best to treat it like it has gone sour and throw it away. This is especially true if you notice a vinegar-like odor coming from your orange juice.

Taste: If your orange juice has passed all of these tests but you’re still suspicious, give it a taste. If it tastes like alcohol or a carbonated drink, it’s gone bad and should be discarded.

Storage length: Even if your orange juice isn’t showing the above signs of spoilage, if you’ve kept it in storage for way longer than its intended shelf life, throw it away. For example, if you put a container of orange juice in your fridge and don’t come across it again for over two weeks, throw it out right away, even if it looks, smells, and tastes fine.

How to Store Orange Juice?

You know that you can keep your orange juice outside, in the fridge, or in the freezer for so long, and how to tell if it has gone bad. Now, let’s talk about how to make sure you’re storing it in the correct way.

Keep it sealed tight: It’s very important that you keep your orange juice sealed tight once you’ve opened it for the first time. This will help ensure it isn’t exposed to outside elements that might speed up its spoilage.

Always keep it cool: Even if your orange juice is purchased unrefrigerated, it’s important that it is kept away from sources of heat. Heat will cause your orange juice to deteriorate rapidly; this is especially true of orange juice that needs to be refrigerated from the get-go or unrefrigerated orange juice that has been opened.

Keep it in a clear container: While putting your orange juice in an opaque container won’t cause it to spoil, it’s much easier to tell if your orange juice has gone bad if you keep it in a clear container. This way, you can quickly see if your orange juice has turned an odd color or if it contains any mold or other growths.

How to Freeze Orange Juice?

We established above that you can in fact freeze orange juice, so how do you do it? Let’s talk about it so that you know exactly how to keep your orange juice in perfect condition for months.

Pour out a little first: If your orange juice is store-bought, especially if it comes in a carton, it’s best to pour out a little of the orange juice first. There have been tales from people who have frozen orange juice of their containers exploding when frozen because they’re completely full. While this isn’t a guarantee, it’s best to be safe.

Avoid plastic containers: If you bought your orange juice in a plastic container, transfer it to a freezer-safe container before freezing. Plastic containers are not designed to be frozen, and might lead to a very messy freezer if frozen.

Store it in the coldest part: Your orange juice will freeze best if it’s stored in the coldest part of your freezer. It has a lower freezing point than water, especially if it contains a lot of extra sugars or other additives. This requires you to be a little more selective with where you put your orange juice when freezing it.

Label it: Put the date of freezing on your orange juice container or somewhere where you will remember it before putting it in the freezer. This way, when you pull it out in several months, you’ll remember exactly when you froze it.

How to Thaw Orange Juice?

Now that you know how to freeze your orange juice, it’s time to learn how to thaw it back out again when you’re ready to consume it.

The ideal way to thaw out your orange juice when you’re ready to use it is to put it in the fridge and let it defrost in there for several hours. Once thawed, orange juice will last for a few days. Keep it in the fridge at this point.

If your orange juice separates while it is in the freezer, this doesn’t mean it has gone bad. Just stir the contents and it should come back together, or shake the container vigorously.

Frequently Asked Questions About Orange Juice’s Shelf Life

Even after reading all of this information, you might still have questions about your orange juice and its shelf life. We’ll answer a couple of common questions here.

Is the use-by date on my orange juice the same as an expiration date? No, it isn’t. A use-by date is a suggestion for when a container of orange juice should be used by to maintain the highest quality. An expiration date tells you that you must use the product by that date, or else it has gone bad. Use your orange juice’s use-by date as a guide, along with the information in this article. As always, if in doubt about the safety of your orange juice, throw it out.

Is it okay to re-freeze orange juice after I’ve thawed it out? It isn’t advisable to re-freeze orange juice after you’ve thawed it out. Make sure you’re ready to use the entire container of orange juice before you thaw it out, since it will most likely only last for another two or three days after thawing. If you don’t use a lot of orange juice at once, consider separating it into smaller containers that you know you can consume within three days each.

Wrap Up

Now you know everything you’ll ever need to know about storing orange juice. Remember that orange juice always needs to be kept cold, and does best when in a tightly sealed, clear container. If you do it right, you’ll be enjoying your orange juice for up to a year!

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