Can I drink 2 month expired juice?

Drinking expired juice can be risky. Juice has a relatively short shelf life and can go bad quickly after its expiration date. However, some people wonder if juice is still safe to drink a few weeks or months past this date. This article examines whether it’s safe to drink juice two months past its expiration date.

What Happens When Juice Expires

First, it’s important to understand what happens when juice expires. As juice sits on the shelf unopened, it slowly loses quality. Over time, nutrients like vitamin C and antioxidants degrade. The flavor may also start to change and taste less fresh. Once opened, these changes happen even faster as microbes are introduced.

After the expiration date, harmful bacteria like mold, yeast, and fungi can start to grow in the juice. These microbes can multiply rapidly at room temperature. While some molds are harmless, certain strains produce toxic chemicals called mycotoxins. Exposure to high levels of mycotoxins can cause illness.

Safety Risks of Expired Juice

Drinking juice after its expiration date comes with certain risks:

  • Food poisoning – Spoiled juice can contain pathogens like salmonella, E. coli, and listeria. These bacteria can cause foodborne illness with symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.
  • Toxic mold – Dangerous molds like aflatoxin may colonize expired juice and generate toxic mycotoxins.
  • Vitamin degradation – Nutrients like vitamins C and A break down over time after opening. Expired juice may have sharply reduced nutritional value.
  • Off tastes and textures – The flavor and mouthfeel of juice changes with spoilage. Expired juice may taste bitter, fermented, or ‘off.’

These risks increase the longer juice sits past its expiration date. While an unopened bottle should be relatively safe for weeks after the printed date, contamination and spoilage happens quickly after opening. This is why it’s usually not recommended to consume juice more than a week or two past its expiration.

Signs Juice Has Spoiled

Watch for these red flags that indicate your juice has spoiled and should be discarded:

  • Mold – Fuzzy mold spots visible in the bottle or floating on the surface. This is a clear sign of spoilage.
  • Fermentation – Bubbles in the juice, gassy or alcoholic taste. The sugars have been fermented by yeast.
  • Separation – Liquid and solids separated, inconsistent texture.
  • Sour smell – An unpleasant sour, rotting odor.
  • Discoloration – Unnatural darkening of the juice.
  • Sliminess – Increased viscosity or slimy texture.

How Long Does Juice Last After Opening?

The shelf life of juice depends on factors like:

  • Type of juice – Citrus juice lasts longer than apple, vegetable, or blended juices.
  • Pasteurization – Unpasteurized juice spoils faster than pasteurized.
  • Preservatives – Juices with preservatives maintain quality longer.
  • Package – Bottles keep better than juice boxes or pouches.
  • Storage – Refrigeration extends shelf life; heat speeds spoilage.

Given ideal storage at 40°F or below, here are some general guidelines for how long different juices last after opening:

Juice Type Refrigerated Room Temperature
Orange Juice 3-5 days 1-2 days
Apple Juice 5-7 days 2-3 days
Grapefruit Juice 3-5 days 1-2 days
Vegetable Juice 2-3 days 1 day
Fruit Juice Blends 3-5 days 1-2 days

As you can see, juice only lasts for a short time after opening. Drink it quickly or transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate.

Does Unopened Juice Go Bad?

If still sealed in its original container, unopened pasteurized juice can last much longer, often weeks or months past its printed expiration date. The packaging helps prevent oxygen exposure and contamination. For maximum shelf life, store unopened containers in a cool, dark pantry.

Here are some general guidelines for how long different types of unopened juice remain fresh past their expiration date if properly stored:

Juice Type Months Past Expiration
Orange Juice 2-3 months
Apple Juice 4-6 months
Grapefruit Juice 3-4 months
Vegetable Juice 2-3 months
Fruit Juice Blends 2-4 months

Always inspect juice bottles before consuming for any signs of spoilage like mold, leaks, swelling, or spurting liquid when opening. Discard if you see any concerning changes.

Can You Drink Juice 2 Months After Expiration?

Based on the above information, here are some guidelines for drinking juice 2 months past its expiration date:

  • Unopened juice – Most likely safe if stored properly, but quality degrades over time. Inspect closely before drinking.
  • Opened and refrigerated – Not recommended. Only keep refrigerated juice 1 week max after opening.
  • Opened at room temperature – Unsafe to drink. Toss opened juice left unrefrigerated for longer than 1-2 days.

While an unopened, properly stored and inspected bottle may still be safe to consume, opened juice or juice stored at room temperature for months should always be discarded. The risk of contamination, fermentation, and mold growth is too high.

How to Extend Juice Shelf Life

To get the most shelf life out of your juice and drink it safely past its expiration date:

  • Store unopened containers in a cool, dark place like a pantry or cupboard. Keep away from heat and sunlight.
  • Refrigerate opened juice right away and drink within a few days.
  • Pour juice into an airtight container like a mason jar to minimize air exposure.
  • Check the bottle for mold, yeast bubbles, separation, or odd smells before drinking older juice.
  • Keep the rim and pouring spout of the container clean to prevent contamination each time you open it.
  • Freeze 100% juices to extend their shelf life up to 1 year.

Should You Drink Expired Juice?

Drinking expired juice comes with some risk of foodborne illness. However, an unopened pasteurized juice stored properly may still be safe and retain adequate quality for some time after the printed expiration date. The key is minimizing contamination by keeping bottles sealed and refrigerating after opening. Smell and inspect juice carefully before drinking to check for any signs of spoilage.

Discard any juice that smells unpleasant or shows separation, mold, sliminess, or other defects. When in doubt, remember it’s better to be safe and toss expired juice instead of getting sick. With proper storage and handling, juice can be safely enjoyed past its expiration date in many cases.


Drinking juice two months past its expiration is generally not recommended, especially if it has been opened. While unopened and properly stored juice may still be safe for some time after expiring, opened bottles quickly become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, yeast, and mold. Refrigerating juice after opening only extends its shelf life for up to a week. Discard any juice left at room temperature longer than 1-2 days.

To maximize the shelf life of juice, keep bottles sealed until use, refrigerate after opening, and freeze 100% juices for longer storage. Inspect bottles carefully before drinking old juice, looking for separation, sliminess, mold growth, or other signs of spoilage. When properly handled, many juices can be safely consumed weeks or months after their expiration date. However, it’s better to err on the side of caution when dealing with perishable consumables like juice.

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