Is It Safe to Drink Soda That Has Gone Bad?

Soda is safe to drink up to nine months after the expiration date as long as the bottle hasn’t been opened, broken, or improperly stored. This is because carbonated drinks have a lot of additives and chemicals that make them last a very long time. Diet soda stays good for up to four months after the expiration date because it has less sugar.

Most sodas do not have a date that says when they will go bad. Most of the time, soda companies put “best by” dates on the cans or boxes. The best-by date tells you how long the manufacturer thinks the drinks will be at their best if they are not opened.

Best-by Dates vs. Expiration Dates

A “best-by” date tells you when the soda will probably start to taste bad because of its age. On the other hand, an expiration date tells you that the food might be bad for your health if you eat it. With just a “best by” date and no “use by” date, you can assume that the soda is safe to drink for a long time after the date on the label.

Types of Soda and When They Go Bad

Coca-Cola, 7-Up, and Diet Pepsi can all be kept for six to nine months if they are not opened. This is true whether they are kept in the fridge or the pantry. Once opened, a can of Diet Coke will only last a day in either the pantry or the fridge, but a bottle of Diet Pepsi will last between one and three days in the pantry and between two and five days in the fridge.

How to Keep Soda in the Right Way

It’s best to keep soda drinks that haven’t been opened in cool, dark places. The containers will last longer if you keep them out of direct light or heat and not in a place where the temperature changes.

Once you’ve opened your soda bottle, you should put any soda that’s left in the fridge. Before starting, a bottle needs to be tightly sealed, while the liquid left in a can should be poured into another container and the top should be covered to try to keep the bubbles.

How to Know When Soda Is No Longer Good

You should use your own judgement to decide if it’s safe to drink a soda that has passed its expiration date. Don’t drink it if it doesn’t fizz when you pour it into a glass or if it looks like water without bubbles.

The soda starts to lose its fizz when the amount of carbon dioxide in it drops. This makes it taste flat, but it is not dangerous. But it’s a good sign that the soda has passed its prime.

It won’t only be flat, but it will also taste bad. After the “best by” date, diet soda tastes worse than regular soda because the artificial sweeteners break down chemically. If you smell something bad, that’s another sign that you shouldn’t drink the soda.

Soda in Food

When used in food, the soda is only as good as the ingredient in the dish with the shortest expiration date, no matter what the best-by or expiration date says.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.

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