Rarely does it happen when we have to worry about soda going bad.
Can soda go bad? And how long does it last? Soda doesn’t always come with an expiration date. Instead, it comes with a ‘Best by’ date, meaning that even after the date indicated on the packaging, the drink will most likely be good. In general, unopened soda lasts around 9 months past its ‘Best by’ date. Opened soda, on the other hand, will keep for around 4 days in the fridge until it completely loses carbonation and becomes flat.
Read on to learn how to store one of the most consumed items and what happens if you drink expired soda.
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Does Soda Go Bad?
Soda is essentially fizzy water with flavoring and lots of sugar. Thus, there isn’t much that can happen to it. Additionally, soft drinks contain preservatives that prolong their shelf life.
There is little chance of soda going bad. And even when it happens, bad soda is not as bad as most other foods or drinks.
How to Store Soda?
You can store unopened soda both at room temperature and in the fridge. If you like your drinks chilled at all times, then refrigerating soda is an optimal choice for you.
However, if you don’t have much space in the fridge, storing soda in the pantry or kitchen cabinets will work well too. Just make sure you keep them in a dark and cool area where the temperature doesn’t fluctuate.
Keep soda away from heat sources, including direct sunlight, the stovetop, the oven, etc. It is important to keep these soft drinks out of the sun especially when they are in transparent plastic bottles.
Opened soda should not be stored at room temperature. If you haven’t finished the bottle, store it in the fridge and drink as soon as possible while the drink still has the bubbles.
If there is some soda left in tin cans, a better option is to pour it into a bottle with a tight-sealing lid and only then store it in the fridge. This way you will keep the carbonation intact for as long as possible.
Can You Freeze Soda?
Never try to freeze soda. Freezing might work for some drinks but never for fizzy ones.
There are two reasons why you shouldn’t freeze soda. First off, it is water. This means that it will expand and the original container will not hold the drink that has increased in volume. Secondly, it’s carbonated. Thus, there will be lots of pressure in the can or bottle. So, you are risking creating a mess in your freezer by putting soda there.
The only time you are recommended to put soda in the freezer is when you want to cool your drink in a short period of time. Even then, you shouldn’t keep soda in the freezer for longer than 15 minutes.
How Long Does Soda Last?
Like any other product, soft drinks come with a ‘Best By’ date. However, we all know by now that in most cases it is simply the manufacturer’s estimation of how long the product will maintain its best qualities.
So, the soda keeps a few months longer than the date indicated on the can or bottle.
Unopened soda in cans and bottles keeps well as it is protected from air and other factors that can accelerate the deterioration process. Thus, if you have unopened soda and see that it is past its expiration date, you can keep it for a few more months.
Many sources suggest that soft drinks, if unopened, last up to 9 months longer than the date on the packaging suggests.
So, unopened soda will last up to 9 months past its ‘Best Used by’ date. The shelf life of unopened is the same whether you store it in the fridge or at room temperature.
The shelf life of opened soda is way shorter. It will last a maximum of 4 days in the fridge. However, be prepared for drinking less fizzy soda if you have been keeping it open for a few days. The taste, on the other hand, will still be there.
The drink will lose all its bubbles after spending 2 to 4 days in the fridge.
The best thing you can do when seeing an ‘expired’ bottle of soda is to open it and see if it is still good.
Does Soda Last Longer in Cans or Plastic Bottles?
There isn’t much difference between the shelf life of soda in cans and soda in plastic bottles. However, if your local supermarket has both types on sale and you want to stock on soft drinks, go with soda in cans.
The metal cans keep soda fizzy for longer than plastic packaging does. The carbonation level of soda in plastic bottles decreases faster compared to soft drinks in tin cans.
So, if you like your drinks to be really fizzy, go with cans.
How Do You Know If Soda Has Gone Bad?
Your drink doesn’t necessarily need to be opened to be bad. An unopened bottle or can of soda can also be spoiled.
Starting with unopened drinks, inspect the packaging before drinking the beverage. If the bottle or can has any damaged parts and the liquid is leaking, toss it. In the case of metal cans, rusting is also a common problem. This is how you know that the drink has been sitting for too long on the shelves or that it has been exposed to poor storage conditions.
Soft carbonated drinks are not always bad when they are past their expiration date. Thus, if you find a can that has been sitting in your fridge or pantry for months and you have totally forgotten about it, open and inspect it. The chances that it is still good are very high.
Here is how you can detect bad soda.
First off, give it a sniff test. If the drink smells as it should, that’s the first sign that it is still good. Secondly, give it a taste test. If it tastes good, then you can certainly go ahead and drink it.
A common problem with soft drinks is that they become flat past their expiration date. Thus, if you have a sip to only find out that there are no bubbles in your drink, discard it and head to the store for a new one.
What Happens If You Drink Expired Soda?
First of all, if you drink soda that is truly expired and bad, you will find it very unpleasant to drink and discard right away.
However, if you have drunk a can of soda and noticed that it has been expired for a few months, there is nothing to worry about.
There are so many preservatives and sugar in soft drinks that there are low chances of harmful bacteria forming in these drinks.
If you are still having doubts, here is what you should know.
Products can come with expiration and ‘best by’ dates. Most soft drinks you can find in stores have ‘Best by’ dates printed on them. The difference between the two is that the expiration date on products warns the consumers against potential health risks that are involved in using that product past that date.
‘Best by’ date simply indicates that the product is at its best until the date indicated on the label. And it stays safe for consumption even after that date.
Thus, if you have drunk soda past the date indicated on the packaging, don’t worry. Even if it is the expiration date, no health issues are threatening you.
In any case, practice food safety and don’t drink expired soft drinks intentionally.