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Can I drink cold-pressed juice after 5 days?

Cold-pressed juice has become a popular health drink in recent years. The method of cold-pressing juice preserves more nutrients compared to traditional juicing methods. However, the lack of pasteurization also means that cold-pressed juice has a shorter shelf life. So can you still drink cold-pressed juice after 5 days? Let’s take a closer look.

What is Cold-Pressed Juice?

Cold-pressed juice is made by pressing or “masticating” fruits and vegetables to extract their liquid. This method generates little heat, hence “cold-pressed”, allowing the juice to retain more vitamins, minerals and enzymes. However, the juice is unpasteurized and lacks preservatives, so it spoils faster than traditional pasteurized juices.

How Long Does Cold-Pressed Juice Last?

The shelf life of cold-pressed juice depends on a few factors:

  • Ingredients – Produce with higher water content like cucumbers and citrus spoil faster.
  • Packaging – Opague, air-tight bottles help block light and oxygen exposure.
  • Storage – Refrigerating right after opening delays spoilage.

Under optimal conditions, most cold-pressed juices stay fresh for 3-5 days. Some basic guidelines are:

Juice Type Unopened After Opening
Vegetable juice 5-7 days 3-5 days
Fruit juice 3-5 days 1-3 days
Green juice 2-4 days 1-2 days

What Happens After 5 Days?

So what happens if you drink expired cold-pressed juice that is 5 days old or more? Here are some things to expect:

  • Change in taste – The juice will start tasting sour or bitter as nutrients degrade.
  • Change in aroma – Off odors indicate spoilage bacteria growth.
  • Change in texture – Separation and sedimentation as particles start to break down.
  • Nutrient loss – Vitamins and enzymes start to deteriorate.
  • Bacterial growth – Harmful microbes can multiply, increasing food poisoning risk.

While taste, smell and texture changes are obvious indicators, bacterial contamination is the biggest danger of drinking expired juice. Consuming spoiled juice can cause uncomfortable symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches and cramps.

How to Tell if Cold-Pressed Juice Has Spoiled

Watch out for these common signs of spoiled cold-pressed juice:

  • Unpleasant sour, bitter or rancid smell
  • Fizzing, bubbling or effervescence
  • Cloudy appearance or layer of foam/bubbles
  • Change in color like dulling, darkening or separation
  • Grainy, mushy or slimy texture
  • Mold spots or fuzz on surface

If your cold-pressed juice exhibits any of these traits, it’s best not to take the risk. Remember, the juice contains raw produce without preservatives. Trust your senses – if something seems off, it likely is.

Tips to Extend the Shelf Life

Here are some tips to help your cold-pressed juices stay fresher for longer:

  • Store unopened juice in the refrigerator right away after buying.
  • Avoid exposing opened juice to heat or sunlight.
  • Transfer opened juice to an airtight container before refrigerating.
  • Never leave juice sitting out at room temperature.
  • Add a squeeze of lemon to help preserve green juices.
  • Consume juice as soon as possible, within 3-4 days of opening.
  • Label juices with dates they were opened.

Can You Freeze Cold-Pressed Juice?

Freezing is an option for prolonging the life of cold-pressed juice. To freeze juice:

  • Make sure juice is fresh, not expired.
  • Pour juice into freezer-safe containers, leaving 1-inch headspace.
  • Seal containers tightly.
  • Label with name and freeze-by date.
  • Freeze for up to 6 months.

Thaw frozen juice overnight in the fridge before drinking. Expect some change in texture and separation, but nutrient content remains stable. Freezing stops spoilage bacteria growth.

Can Expired Juice Make You Sick?

Drinking spoiled cold-pressed juice can certainly make you sick. Potential foodborne pathogens include:

  • Salmonella – Causes fever, diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea.
  • E. coli – Causes bloody diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps.
  • Listeria – Causes fever, muscle aches, nausea, diarrhea.
  • Clostridium botulinum – Causes muscle paralysis, respiratory failure.

Symptoms normally appear 12-72 hours after ingesting contaminated juice. Seek medical care if you experience severe or persisting digestive issues.

Babies, elderly, pregnant women and those with compromised immunity are especially vulnerable. Healthy adults may be able to handle small amounts of bacteria, but it’s better to not take the chance with spoiled juice.

How to Store Juice Properly

Proper storage is key to maximizing the shelf life of your cold-pressed juices. Follow these tips:

  • Refrigerate juice right after purchase, at 40°F or below.
  • Don’t overfill fridge shelves to allow cold air circulation.
  • Store juices towards back of fridge where temperature is coldest.
  • Keep juices away from odor-producing foods like onions.
  • Pour juice into airtight containers like mason jars after opening.
  • Make sure lids are sealed properly.
  • Use opaque containers to block light exposure.
  • Limit refrigerator door openings to maintain temperature.

Can You Refreeze Thawed Juice?

It’s not recommended to refreeze previously frozen cold-pressed juice. When juice thaws, bacteria suspended during freezing can revive and start multiplying again. Refreezing won’t destroy these microbes.

For food safety, discard any thawed juice that isn’t consumed within 24 hours. Don’t refreeze. With proper freezing and thawing methods, juice should last in the fridge up to a day after thawing.

Should You Refrigerate Unopened Juice?

Yes, you should refrigerate unopened cold-pressed juice bottles. Leaving juice at room temperature speeds up spoilage. Here’s why refrigeration from the start extends shelf life:

  • Slows enzyme activity that causes nutrient loss
  • Inhibits microbial growth including mold
  • Reduces effects of oxidation like vitamin degradation
  • Prevents separation for a smoother texture

The cold environment of the refrigerator keeps juice fresher for longer. Store unopened juice towards the back of the fridge where temperatures are coldest.


Drinking spoiled cold-pressed juice after 5 days comes with significant health risks. Bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella can grow and cause food poisoning. Watch for changes in smell, taste, appearance and texture which signal spoilage. Discard any juice that tastes or smells unpleasantly sour, bitter or odd. While freezing extends shelf life, refrain from refreezing thawed juice. Follow proper storage methods like immediate refrigeration to get the most days out of your cold-pressed juices.