Imagine this: you feel extremely thirsty, so you go to your pantry looking for a soda that can quench your thirst. After scouring your cabinet for a few minutes, you finally found one plastic bottle of your favorite soda!
But there’s a catch: the stated best before date was over a year ago!
Now, the problem is should you drink that “expired” soda? What happens if you drink expired soda? Is it bad to drink expired soda?
These are the questions that we’ll answer in this article, so continue reading!
Does Soda Go Bad?
For your information, diet and regular soda are non-perishable. (*) If that’s the case, you may wonder, then what does the expiration date in the can indicate?
The date written in the can isn’t an expiration date.
It’s more of a sell-by or best before date, and it indicates the change in the quality of the product rather than a threat to the safety of the consumer.
Just because it’s already past this date doesn’t mean that soda has gone bad. It just simply means that the soda is already below peak quality.
To answer the question, yes, soda can go bad but not to the point of spoilage. Instead, soda can go bad in the sense that its quality and flavor are already below decent conditions.
How Long Does Soda Last?
Regarding an opened bottle or can of soda, soft drinks can retain peak quality for 3 to 4 days when stored in the fridge.
On the other hand, an unopened can, plastic bottles, or glass bottles of soda can maintain its freshness even after a few months past the best by date.
There’s no strict guideline here. All we have is an estimate: you can consume unopened diet sodas and regular sodas within 6 to 9 months past the best before date.
How do you know when soda is bad?
By bad, we mean quality bad, not no longer safe for personal consumption kind of bad. 6 months past the best before date, an opened bottle of soda may lose its fizz and become flat.
If you’re not sure whether the carbonated beverages have already gone bad, here are the telltale signs you should watch out for:
1. Lack of Fizzing
One of the most satisfying moments of opening a can of soda is when you hear that ‘tssss’ sound. This fizzing sound indicates that the soda is still at its peak freshness.
If you open your soda and you only hear a faint “tsss,” or you don’t hear anything at all, it means that the soda no longer has the fizz and bubbles that make drinking soda enjoyable and satisfying.
2. Altered Flavor
The fizz of the soda plays a vital role in how soft drinks taste. Without the fizz, the flavor of the soft drink will surely change and will become less palatable. There’s also a high chance that the soda will be less sweet, and its flavor will be less intense.
3. Weird Color
You also need to take a closer look at the appearance of the soda. Any noticeable color changes indicate that the soda has already gone bad. You can also try pouring the soda into a glass and looking for residues at the bottom.
4. Can or Bottle Condition
Before opening the drink, you should inspect its packaging first. Does the can have rusts and dents? Is it bulging or leaking? If yes, then discard it right away.
How to Store Your Soda
The chances that the soft drink will go flat is higher with opened bottles. However, it’s still a possibility for unopened diet sodas or regular sodas.
With that said, here are a few tips on how you can extend the shelf life of your soft drinks and prevent them from going flat:
1. Store in a cool and dark place.
To avoid degradation and oxidation, you should never store your drink at high temperatures. High temperatures may cause the Carbon Dioxide to escape from the bottle or can, leaving the soda bubble-free and fizz-free.
The best place to store your soft drinks is in your refrigerator since they taste best when cold. But if you have limited ref space, you can place them in your kitchen pantry to the cupboard, provided that these are located far away from heat sources like the stove and oven.
2. Transfer leftover soft drink to smaller bottles.
When you leave your remaining soda in its original packaging, there will be a higher volume of space in the bottle. The higher the volume of space left in the bottle, the more gas can escape from your soft drinks, causing them to be flat.
The best way to address this is to reduce the volume of space in the bottle. You can do this by transferring your leftover soda to smaller bottles.
3. Store the bottles upside down.
This seems like a weird way to store your soda plastic or glass bottles, and it may even be dangerous if you do this with an unevenly shaped soda bottle, but this works quite well.
When you open your bottle of soda, its gas content rushes to the top, creating that fizzy sound. However, when stored upright, the gas remains at the top, and there’s a high chance that it can escape.
On the other hand, the gas will rest at the bottom of the bottle when you store it upside down, so there’s a high chance that it will just dissolve back to the soda instead of escaping the bottle.
4. Never place it in the freezer.
Most people may think that freezing soft drinks is the best way to prolong their shelf life. This is because the combination of carbonation pressure inside the can and the freezing water content of the soda will cause the can to become deformed to the point that it may burst.
It’s not recommended to drink 2-year-old soda, as the carbonation and preservatives may have lost their potency. However, if it’s the only soda you have available, you can drink it, but it won’t taste as good as fresh soda.
Yes, soda can go bad and make you sick. Expired sodas will have a different taste and can also be poisonous. The sugar in the soda will have turned into alcohol and the carbonation will have gone flat. The aluminum cans that sodas are packaged in can also leach into the drink and cause health problems.
Yes, it can go bad. The carbonation in the soda will create a slightly acidic environment that can promote the growth of mold and bacteria. If you seal the bottle tightly, it will last for a few weeks or months, but eventually the carbonation will dissipate and the soda will spoil.
Yes, soda can go bad because it will have lower quality flavor and texture as expected.
If you want to enjoy your soda at its peak freshness– fizzy texture and bubbles included, you need to store the bottles properly to maintain its carbonation.
Additionally, ensure that you finish all your stocks within 6 to 9 months past their best before date.
If you don’t want to drink flat soda, make sure to consume opened diet sodas or regular sodas right away, as it can only last around 2 to 3 days when stored in the fridge.