Overnight Orange Juice

I’m the kind of person that absolutely must have something to drink nearby when I go to bed. Last night, I was dead tired and I couldn’t be bothered to get up and get a glass of water. However, I did have a reasonably freshly (1hr or so) poured glass of OJ nearby. Figuring that’s good enough, I go to bed, and drink occasionally throughout the night. In the morning, I gulp down the rest. I didn’t notice any weird odor or taste . Am I living dangerously here? What happens to OJ (or any juice, for that matter) left unrefrigerated over night and what possible harm can it do?

Additional info- The juice has about a month left according to the carton, is generic store brand, and is presumably pasteurized. The juice in the glass was probably out for around 10hrs total.

Well, I regularly eat oranges that have been left unrefrigerated for days, and they’re not even pasteurized…and I haven’t died even once. It’s not quite the same thing, but I think you’ll be fine. About the worst thing that’s likely to happen in your situation is that a bug might fall in, drown, and get accidentally swallowed.

No more harm than drinking water left in an open container over that same period of time. 10 hours is not enough time for the juice to ferment. I would say if you enjoy drinking room temp OJ…go for it.

I would guess the main danger is spoiling by oxidization and germs / microbes / yeast / that sort of thing.

In my experience, a jar of pasteurized, occasionally opened juice will keep for at least about 2 weeks in the fridge. I wouldn’t give it much more than 24 hours in a warmish room if I wanted to be safe, but 8 to 10 hours is probably OK and it’ll smell or taste pretty bad before it’ll harm you much*.

  • Not a doctor, don’t follow advice if your immune system is compromised, etc. Also: don’t keep food sealed for hours in room temperature ~ see botulism.

ETA: yeast working on juice might taste nasty, but as far as I know the worst it’ll do is make the juice taste funky and give you a case of nasty burps. At best I’ll make you drunk.

Orange juice is so acidic, there is not much chance anything will grow in it overnight.

Probably the worst thing to worry about is that the acidic juice and sugar-promoting bacteria growth won’t be good for your teeth and gums.

if it is an open glass you certainly are living dangerously, you might spill it.

you could use an insulated covered mug and keep it cold. you could add ice and have it cold trough the night.

I love orange juice and drink two or three large glasses a day, but in my experience nothing developes a ranker taste faster than orange juice left out at room temperature. I don’t know if it would be bad for you, but on those occasions when I have accidently left a carton on the kitchen counter overnight there was no question about being able to drink it; the smell and the taste were overpowering.

I would be more concerned with the juice attracting bugs in warm weather with windows open, or the fact you’re drinking something so sugary and sleeping - sure way to dental plaque and cavities! But the juice itself isn’t going rancid overnight unless there are extenuating circumstances.

The big gap between sugary/acidic stuff in the mouth and brushing seems the biggest danger, assuming this were a regular habit.