The ScenarioIn a desperate attempt to avoid the flu that’s knocked the end 80 percent that his colleagues, her friend’s to be guzzling OJ—despite what you've told him about overdoing it on juice. Yesterday, the awoke native his slumber to discover the gallon quiet sitting out on the counter. Now he’s wondering if he can salvage his five bucks and also pop it ago in the fridge—or if miscellaneous funky’s imminent in over there that could knock him out harder 보다 that flu.

You are watching: How long can unopened orange juice stay out of the fridge


The FactsThe FDA states that leaving perishable foods out the the refrigerator for two hrs or an ext allows bacteria come multiply, which have the right to put people at hazard for contracting nasty foodborne illnesses choose salmonella and E.coli. On your website, Tropicana says “we execute not recommend making use of chilled juices that have actually been left unrefrigerated more than 3 hours,“ but doesn’t explain why. We know that as soon as it comes to refrigerated foods, there’s a pretty large range of what survives hours on the counter and also what doesn’t—milk spoils quickly, however butter can last exterior the fridge for days. Yet while it's smart to be cautious, it's not necessarily the end of the civilization if you absentmindedly take a swig. (More on that in a moment.)

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What’s most likely to Happen“Because it’s at sight acidic, store-bought orange juice is one of those couple of items that won’t do you sick if left out,” says Keith R. Schneider, professor of food science and human nutrition in ~ the university of Florida. Component of the factor is that it’s gained a pretty similar PH come ketchup, Schneider says, and highly acidic atmospheres make it hard for bacteria come multiply. (That's why most preservatives space acids.) and because store-bought OJ is additionally pasteurized (heat-treated) to kill off any harmful bacteria choose Salmonella or E. Coli that might have slipped in throughout the production process, there’s almost zero possibility you’d loss ill, Schneider says. That said, unrefrigerated OJ will certainly spoil after much more than a couple of hours and also probably won't taste great. As it sit on the counter at room temp, fermentation set in, creating lactic acid organisms that give off a funky flavor and also destroy the shelf life the the juice.

The Worst That can HappenThere's one large exception to every one of this: If you're drink fresh, unpasteurized juice, Schneider claims it need to go right in the rubbish if it's to be left out. New juices tend to be less acidic—especially if that an intricate cold-pressed OJ was mixed with carrots or another less-acidic fruit or veggie. Without the pasteurization process, respond to time could up your risk for contracting a nasty foodborne illness that slipped in and also multiplied. Pathogens from, say, the hands that picked the fruit, or the an equipment that squeezed it, have the right to contaminate juice and spread fast. Translation: You’d it is in on the toilet for some time—if no in the hospital.

What to Tell her FriendIf the OJ is store-bought, take a noise or sip come see exactly how much spoilage has set in. If it’s not offensive, pop it earlier in the fridge. Forgot to placed away a bottle of life juice? It’s no worth the risk—toss it and also start mourning her 12 bucks.

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