If it’s a can or bottle from the deep end of the pantry or the furthest row on the shelf your first thought will probably be, is this okay to drink? That’s reasonable because all beverages usually have a shelf life. Milk expires in a matter of days. But does soda expire?
The short answer’s yes, soda also expires but expiry doesn’t necessarily mean it’s no longer safe to drink especially in the case of soda.
The long answer if you want to get deep into it is:
Carbonated drinks such as sodas do not perish and are actually safe to consume even past the expiry date mentioned on the container. However, eventually, the drink loses its flavor and fizz making it stale.
If you want to drink it while it’s still at its best, consume diet sodas under 3 months of the expiry date and regular sodas within 9. After opening a bottle or a can you should store it in your refrigerator to maintain quality.
How Do You Tell If a Soft Drink has Gone Bad?
When it comes to spoiled drinks remember that you are risking your health, so it is always better to be safe than sorry and err on the side of caution. The best way to fend off illnesses is prevention. That means practicing hygiene and examining the quality of anything you consume, including your beverages. Throw away anything that gives you a hint of doubt regarding the quality.
Usually, you can rely on your olfactory senses to tell whether something has gone bad or is safe to consume. If you’re opening an old bottle give it a sniff or a slight taste and if the flavor seems off, maybe it’s best not to have it. To be on the safe side it’s always better to trust your senses. From experience, I can say they have a good record of being right.
How Does Soda Go Bad?
The first thing that makes carbonated drinks start to turn stale is the loss of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) which is responsible for the fizz in them.
Once the bubbles are gone it’ll start to taste flat. Note that this happens much faster after you’ve opened the bottle or the can. If you leave a Pepsi out open long enough, maybe a day or two it will eventually start to lose its texture.
Another thing that happens is the chemical breakdown of artificial sweeteners in the drink. This happens over time and the longer you wait to consume it the worse it will taste.
Whether it’s Coca Cola, Pepsi, Ginger Ale, Fanta, Dr. Pepper, Grape soda, or any other fizzy beverage, they all have more or less the same shelf life and expire the same way.
Here’s a table to help you remember how long a life open and unopened bottles have, given their container and environment. This however changes if your soda is a diet one. According to the US Department of agriculture diet sodas only last half as long as regular sodas past the expiration date.
Prolonging the Shelf Life of Carbonated Drinks
The best way to keep fizzy beverages fresh is to store them in a cool and dark place that has a constant temperature. A refrigerator would be ideal but if you don’t want to incur the extra power bills you can also store them in a pantry as long as it hasn’t been opened.
Exposure to the sun or heat can cause physical damage to the container and possibly ruin or compromise the soda, making it expire faster.
Sealed bottles keep the soda fresher for longer than cans because their plastic lids are better designed to sustain the carbonation of the beverage. If you’re stocking up on a lot of soda, you’ll be better off purchasing bottles instead of cans.
Before serving the drinks, leave them in the refrigerator for at least an hour or two. Soda tastes much better cold than warm. If it’s already cold you won’t have to add ice to it like they do in the movie which actually dilutes the taste and kills the fun.
Lastly, if you’ve opened a bottle but are saving some for later remember to seal it back shut properly before storing it in the pantry or fridge. Keep the bubbles in the drink.
Does soda expire? Yes, it does.