While the expiration date on orange juice is relevant, it should not be your only clue as to whether your orange juice is past its prime. There are dangers associated with drinking spoiled orange juice, but the expiration date alone is not the key indicator as to whether your orange juice is safe to drink.
Orange Juice Expiration Dates
The best-by date on orange juice indicates quality, not safety. If your orange juice is stored in the refrigerator unopened, you can safely go up to seven days beyond the expiration date with no ill effects. However, you should drink opened orange juice within seven days of opening it, regardless of the expiration date. If the orange juice looks and smells fine within this window, there is no danger to drinking expired orange juice. If it smells sour or just off, it should be discarded as spoiled orange juice can cause foodborne illness from harmful bacteria that could be present.
Based in Portland, Ore., Maxine Wallace is a writer with more than 12 years of experience. With a bachelor's degree in journalism and experience working on marketing campaigns for large media agencies, she is well-versed in multiple industries including the Internet, cooking, gardening, health, fitness, travel and holistic living.