How Long Orange Juice Will Last In The Fridge After Opening

If you've reached into the fridge after a couple of weeks and wondered if your orange juice is still drinkable, you are not alone. Once you open that refrigerated carton or gallon container of Simply Orange, Florida's Natural orange juice, or whatever great store-bought brand of orange juice you love, it is ideal to use it within seven to 10 days of opening. This means that if you occasionally use orange juice to improve a cheap cup of coffee or to infrequently make that cocktail that adds a vanilla twist to it, you may want to pay attention to the freshness of this vitamin C rich drink.

If you are dealing with a shelf-stable carton that doesn't need to be refrigerated until after it has been opened, the same time period of seven to 10 days applies. However, 'best used by' doesn't necessarily mean that it has gone bad. It is more of a guide. By day 10, its quality may not be as good as it was when you first broke that seal, but to know for sure whether or not is past its prime, you need to use your senses. 

Signs of spoilage to look for

Smelling your OJ to ensure it doesn't have a foul scent is your first step to determining if you should drink it or pitch it. If it smells like vinegar or just plain old, you don't want to consume it. You also need to use those eyes to see if there is any mold growing in that ocean of orange. If there is anything white, green, or black floating in your juice, toss it. Additionally, if your container is bulging or swollen, this is an indicator that it's time to go to the store for a new, fresh carton. 

But if you don't want to be wasteful and pour your OJ down the drain and the juice isn't showing any signs of spoiling, you can freeze it. Pour your leftover orange juice into an ice cube tray or two and freeze. Once your cubes are solid, you can pop them out and put them into a freezer-safe bag and store them for future use. Then simply unthaw when you are ready. Resist the temptation to freeze it in its original carton or container though, as a carboard carton is likely to explode as the liquid expands and freezes. The life and quality of your frozen orange juice is largely tied to how fresh it is when you freeze it, but you should plan on using it within three months for best taste, although it could last up to eight months.