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What to do if you drank spoiled orange juice?

Drinking spoiled orange juice can cause unpleasant symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you accidentally ingested bad orange juice, stay calm but take action quickly to help your body recover. This article covers what to do immediately after drinking spoiled orange juice, how to treat symptoms, when to see a doctor, and how to prevent it from happening again.

Immediate Steps After Drinking Spoiled Orange Juice

If you sip orange juice and realize it tastes or smells off, spit it out immediately. Rinse your mouth out with water to help flush out any remaining spoiled juice. This can help minimize the amount of contamination and potential toxins your body absorbs.

Check the expiration or use-by date on the orange juice carton. If it is past the date, the juice has likely gone bad and should not be consumed. Throw out the expired juice to avoid future mishaps.

If you drank a substantial amount of the spoiled orange juice before realizing it had gone bad, drink plenty of water. This can help dilute the juice and flush out any harmful bacteria from your system faster.

Take active charcoal capsules if you have them available. Active charcoal binds to toxins and can help reduce the absorption of any harmful compounds from the spoiled juice.

Call your doctor or poison control if you experience concerning symptoms like difficulty breathing, fever over 101°F, blood in stool or vomit, or symptoms that worsen despite home treatment. Seek emergency care for any severe vomiting, diarrhea or dehydration.

Treating Symptoms from Consuming Spoiled Orange Juice

Symptoms from ingesting spoiled orange juice can include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Headache

If you experience any of these symptoms after drinking expired orange juice, take the following steps to help your body recover:

Stay Hydrated

Drink small sips of water, diluted sports drinks, or broths to rehydrate if you are vomiting or have diarrhea. Dehydration is one of the main dangers with foodborne illness. Try to take in fluids every 5-10 minutes to bring your fluid levels back up.


Get ample rest while your body is fighting the infection. Lay down in a quiet, comfortable area and listen to your body. Sleep as needed to allow your immune system to direct energy toward recovery.

Eat Gentle Foods

Stick to a BRAT diet – bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. These bland, binding foods are easy on your stomach. Avoid fatty, spicy or harsh foods that could further irritate your gastrointestinal tract.

Use Over-the-Counter Medications

Take anti-diarrheal medication like Imodium to slow diarrhea episodes. Use an antacid like Pepto-Bismol to soothe an upset stomach. Stay hydrated when taking over-the-counter meds.

Practice Good Hygiene

Wash your hands frequently, especially after using the restroom, to prevent spreading bacteria. Disinfect any surfaces that may have been contaminated as well.

Monitor your temperature and call your doctor if you develop a fever over 101°F, which could indicate an infection. Seek medical treatment if symptoms do not improve after 1-2 days of home treatment.

When to See a Doctor

In healthy adults, symptoms from consuming spoiled juice will usually resolve on their own within 24-48 hours. However, visit your doctor right away or seek emergency care if you experience:

  • Blood in vomit or stool
  • Uncontrolled vomiting lasting over 2 hours
  • Diarrhea lasting more than 3 days
  • High fever over 101°F
  • Signs of dehydration like dizziness or concentrated urine
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Muscle weakness or paralysis

Infants, young children, older adults, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for complications from foodborne illness. Seek medical care promptly if these high-risk individuals have symptoms after consuming spoiled foods.

Preventing Spoiled Orange Juice in the Future

To help avoid drinking expired orange juice again, take these precautionary steps:

  • Check dates – Always inspect expiration or use-by dates before purchasing or consuming orange juice.
  • Properly store juice – Keep refrigerated after opening and discard within one week.
  • Smell before drinking – If it smells sour or unpleasant, it has likely gone bad.
  • Avoid contamination – Keep the rim and pouring spout of juice cartons clean.
  • Monitor the fridge – Ensure your fridge is constantly below 40°F to prevent spoilage.
  • Use clean utensils – Only pour juice into cups with clean utensils to prevent bacteria transfer.

Being vigilant about food safety practices can help ward off foodborne illness. If you accidentally consume expired orange juice again despite precautions, follow the steps outlined here to get through it safely.


Drinking spoiled orange juice can certainly put a sour spin on your day with unpleasant stomach issues. However, by taking quick action after realizing your mistake, treating symptoms appropriately, and seeing a doctor if concerning issues arise, you can recover fully within a couple days. Be diligent moving forward about checking dates, proper storage, and overall food safety to avoid repeating the situation. But if it happens again, you now have a handy guide to help mitigate the effects and bounce back quickly.

Symptom Home Treatment When to Seek Medical Care
Nausea Drink ginger tea, limit motion Persistent vomiting over 2 hours
Diarrhea Stay hydrated, take anti-diarrheals Diarrhea exceeding 3 days
Stomach cramps Use heating pad, massage Severe pain interfering with daily activity
Headache Use OTC pain reliever, rest High fever accompanying headache

In summary, act quickly if you consume spoiled orange juice, treat symptoms with hydration, gentle foods, and OTC meds, and see a doctor for severe issues like dehydration, high fever, or blood in vomit or stool. Be vigilant moving forward about food safety practices to avoid repeating the situation. But if it occurs again, follow these guidelines to recover safely.