Does Orange Juice Have To Be Refrigerated? The Best Answer And More!


fresh cut orange

Perhaps you have been wondering, does orange juice have to be refrigerated? It is so confusing will all the different kinds. Today, I am going to help you determine if your orange juice should be refrigerated and how you can tell. 

How to Store Orange Juice

How you store your orange juice depends on the type of orange juice it is. There are four main kinds of orange juice that you can obtain. The first type is fresh-squeezed orange juice, the second is commercially canned, the third is commercially bottled and the fourth is orange juice that is sold refrigerated. The type of orange juice plays a factor in how each kind of juice should be stored. 

Fresh Squeezed

Fresh squeezed orange juice should be stored in the refrigerator. Because it is made fresh and does not contain any kind of preservatives, it should be used quickly. Fresh squeezed orange juice has a short lifespan and must be always stored in the fridge. 

Commercially Canned and Bottled

This is the most popular kind of orange juice. It is sold unrefrigerated at your local grocery store. If this type of orange juice remains unopened, it can be stored in a cool, dark area. Places such as a kitchen cupboard or pantry work the best. If the containers are clear, you will also want to be careful to store them away from light. This kind of juice is best stored in a cool, dark location. Otherwise, the effects of light and heat will negatively affect the juice inside the containers. Once commercially canned and bottled orange juice is opened, it should be sealed and stored in the refrigerator. 

Refrigerated Orange Juice

Any orange juice that is sold from the refrigerated section of your grocery store, must be kept in your fridge at home. This kind of orange juice should be securely sealed each time you place it back into the fridge. You will not want to leave it at room temperature long, but continually store it in your refrigerator. 

Shelf Stable versus Refrigerated or Concentrated Juice

Orange juice that is shelf-stable has been processed and pasteurized in a way that enables it to be stored in a cool, dark location until it has been opened. Once it is opened, it will need to be stored in your refrigerator. Orange juice from concentrate is usually found in the freezer section of your local grocery store and will need to be stored in your freezer until you are ready to prepare it. Refrigerated juice tastes delicious, but will need to be continually kept in your fridge while you enjoy its delicious taste. 

Shelf-stable juices are nice because they last a while and don’t have to be in your fridge until they are opened. Juice from concentrate is handy because it comes in a small container and can be stored in your freezer for a while until you are ready to use it. And Refrigerated orange juice has that nice fresh taste to it. While these all vary quite a bit in price, what you choose to buy is up to your budget and storage preference. 

Does Orange Juice Go Bad?

The simple answer is yes, orange juice does go bad. How long it lasts, depends on the type of juice you buy, as well as if it is opened or unopened. The location and climate of where the juice is stored also impacts how long your orange juice lasts before it goes bad. 

How Long Does Orange Juice Last

The amount of time orange juice lasts depends on the type of orange juice it is and how it has been processed. 

Fresh Squeezed orange juice, once prepared lasts for about three days, securely sealed in the fridge.

Commercially Canned and Bottled orange juice can last anywhere from seven to ten days in the fridge once it has been opened. If it has not been opened, be sure to refer to the label on your bottle or can. Canned or bottled orange juice can last for weeks, months, or even years if the container remains unopened. 

Refrigerated orange juice must remain stored in the fridge and can last between seven to ten days while kept in your fridge.

Freezing Orange Juice

Can orange juice be frozen, no matter what kind of orange juice it is? Yes, any kind of orange juice may be frozen. It does not matter if the orange juice is opened, or if it is still in a sealed container. 

One great rule of thumb is that orange juice that remains unopened, should be stored at the same temperature it was kept at in the store. Once orange juice is opened, it should be placed in the fridge. 

When you choose to freeze orange juice, the quality of the frozen juice might slightly decline. However, it should still be fine to drink once thawed. Orange juice that was frozen and then thawed should also be stored in the fridge once it is opened. 

How Long Does Frozen Orange Juice Last?

In this case, the type of orange juice does not matter. Whether the orange juice is opened or still sealed does not impact how long it lasts in the freezer. All orange juice should be firmly sealed before freezing so that it does not receive any adverse effects from the freezing process. Fresh squeezed, commercially canned, and bottled, as well as orange juice that is sold as refrigerated, should all last between three to six months in your freezer. 

How Long Does Orange Juice Last (Graphic)

orange juice chart

How To Tell If Orange Juice Is Bad

There are seven main ways you can easily tell if your orange juice has gone bad. If it has gone bad, then it is time to pitch it. 

#1 Bloated Package

One sign that your orange juice has gone bad is to look at the package it is in. If your package appears to be bloated, then chances are good that your orange juice has seen better days. 

#2 Smell

Take a good whiff of your juice. How does it smell? When your orange juice begins to smell bad it is time to toss it, because your orange juice has gone bad. 

#3 Sediment

Sediment is when part of a liquid begins to settle at the bottom of a liquid. In this case, when you look at your orange juice, do you see material that has separated and settled at the bottom of your orange juice? If you do, it is time for your orange juice to be tossed. 

#4 Color

Orange juice should be a pretty orange. If the color of your orange juice has turned a dark orange, green or brown, it is probably no longer good. 

#5 Mold

If you see any mold growing in your orange juice, it is time to toss it. Do not try to taste or save it. Pitch it. 

#6 Taste

If you go to taste your orange juice because it looks okay, but the taste is off, it has probably started to go bad. 

#7 Fizzy Or Alcohol Like

Has the acid in your orange juice started to ferment? You can tell if it has because the juice will turn fizzy or could remind you of an alcoholic beverage. If your orange juice resembles alcohol, then your juice has gone bad, and it is time to toss it. 

If your juice has one or more of these seven ways to tell if your orange juice is bad, then your juice has probably turned bad. In this case, it is time to throw your orange juice out. 

How Long Can Orange Juice Sit Out?

Like most foods, orange juice can sit at room temperature for a little while before it starts to go bad. According to the FDA leaving perishable foods, such as orange juice, sitting at room temperature for two hours or more will allow bacteria to grow. Allowing this bacteria to grow, could result in people getting sick from the food with illnesses such as salmonella or even E.coli. Food-related illnesses like this can cause you to have stomach issues ranging from spending some quality time in the bathroom, to more severe consequences of ending up in the hospital. Because of this, it is a great idea to not allow your orange juice to sit out for long amounts of time. 

Does Orange Juice Expire?

Yes, orange juice does expire. The amount of time it is good for depends upon its type as well as how it has been processed. Consult your orange juice container for the best idea as to when your orange juice will expire. 

Will Expired Orange Juice Make You Sick? The Risk Of Consuming An Expired Orange Juice

Consuming expired orange juice does open yourself up to the risk of getting sick. That’s right, there is a chance you will get sick. 

The expiration date on your orange juice tells you when the makers of the juice believe it will begin to deteriorate in quality. Once that expiration date has passed, your orange juice will begin to ferment. When that fermentation process starts, bacteria will begin to grow, even in orange juice kept in the fridge. This growth of bacteria can result in food poising. The range of severity of food poising depends upon the person’s immune system and how much orange juice they consumed. 

Why Does Orange Juice Go Bad?

Orange juice goes bad because it is made with perishable foods. Orange juice contains a lot of sugars and acids. Once those reach their expiration date, the sugars begin to ferment. This fermentation turns the sugars into alcohol and allows mold, pathogenic microorganisms, and bacteria, such as E. coli and Salmonella, to start growing. This process is what causes orange juice to go bad, and no longer be healthy to drink. 

3 Tips To Store Orange Juice


Place into a sealed container to freeze. Store in your freezer no more than six months before using. Always be sure to write the description and date it was frozen on the container before placing it into the freezer. 

You can also use ice cube trays to freeze orange juice for a short amount of time. These orange juice cubes can be used to flavor other drinks of your choice. They are also handy, to have easily accessible in ice cube trays. 

Once you decide to thaw frozen orange juice, transfer it into a new, clean container. Allow it to sit for a few hours in your fridge before drinking orange juice that has just been removed from the freezer. The water portions of the orange juice will thaw before other parts, which is why it is good to allow it to sit stirring occasionally and completely thaw. Check on it from day to day and stir. Orange juice that has been frozen tends to separate, if not stirred regularly. 


Orange juice that has been opened or freshly squeezed, should always be stored in the fridge. 

Keep in mind that the less the juice is out of the fridge, the longer it will last. When placing orange juice into the fridge, check to be sure it is sealed tightly before placing it in the refrigerator each time. This prevents your juice from picking up other food orders and keeps it good as long as possible. 

Homemade freshly squeezed orange juice should be made from fresh oranges that are washed right before use. Place fresh orange juice into a glass container so that you can keep an eye on the color. Be sure to secure the juice tightly, before placing it into the fridge. 

Do not store open cans of orange juice in the fridge. Transfer these to another container before placing them in the fridge to store. This will help to preserve it, keep it from tasting like other items in your fridge, and prevent it from growing unwanted bacteria in the opened can. 


Types of orange juice that can be stored in the pantry are pasteurized or canned. Be sure that they are kept in a cool, dark location until they are ready to be opened, and then move to the fridge.

Orange juice stored in clear or glass jars should be protected from light and temperature fluctuations. Even if stored in a pantry, they should be placed near the floor in the dark. This will help them to remain at a cool temperature in the dark. 

fresh orange juice and oranges

How Do I Use it Before it Goes Bad?

You have orange juice that is on the verge of going bad, and you don’t want to lose it. What should you do to use it all up before it turns bad on you? There are a lot of different ways you can use orange juice. One of my favorite ways is to use it to make a frozen drink. 

Orange Julius

To make my favorite frozen drink, simply take a blender and add 1 cup of milk, ice cubes so that your blender is mostly full. Add 1 tsp vanilla and 3 Tbsp sugar, finally cover all of your ice will orange juice. Place your lid on and blend until smooth. 

You can also make an orange Julius using a can of frozen orange juice from concentrate. To make this, add 2 cups milk, 1 8oz can orange juice, 1 tsp vanilla, 3 Tbsp sugar, and ice to fill the rest of the blender. Blend until smooth. Serve and enjoy! 

A few other ideas for you on how you can use orange juice before it goes bad are as follows:

Orange Milk Shake

Orange BBQ Chicken

Glazed Carrots With Orange Juice

Orange Bread

Is It Okay to Leave Oranges Out?

What about oranges? Can oranges be left at room temperature, or should they be refrigerated as well? Oranges that are whole may be left at room temperature, however, they will not last nearly as long as oranges that are stored in the fridge. Do not wash or cut oranges until you are ready to eat them. 

If you choose to place oranges in a fruit bowl, they are best kept in a cool and dark location. If it gets warm in their location, they will likely spoil quickly. 

How to Make Oranges Last Longer

For best results, oranges should be stored in the fridge. For them to last the longest possible, store oranges in a drawer in your fridge and be sure to turn the drawer to its fruit setting. This will help your oranges last for several weeks in the fridge.

Can Orange Juice Go Bad?

Yes, orange juice can go bad. The life of the orange juice depends upon the kind it is, how it was processed and how it is stored. 

Summary – Does Orange Juice Have To Be Refrigerated

In summary, once orange juice is opened, it must be refrigerated. While it remains unopened, some kinds are okay to keep in a cool dark location. Other types of orange juice should always be stored in the refrigerator. If in doubt, it is best to refrigerate orange juice. 

What is your favorite way to use orange juice? 

Be sure to check out Paula Deen’s Broccoli Salad Recipe! It makes for the perfect summer side dish that will go with any meal. Also, check out this delicious Copycat Pioneer Woman White Chicken Enchiladas Recipe. These are so good, you will not want to miss out on any of them! 

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Faith Has been cooking and baking for many years! she loves to share her recipes with the world, and hopes you will enjoy them too!

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