Soda is deemed to be safe to drink up to nine months after the expiration date assuming the container remains unopened, undamaged, and has been stored correctly. This is due to the number of additives and chemicals added to carbonated drinks, which specifically make them last for a very long time. Diet soda, with a lower sugar content, lasts up to four months after the expiration date.
Sodas tend not to have an expiration date printed on them. The soda companies usually put best-by dates on the cans or boxes instead. This best-by date is how long the manufacturers consider the unopened drinks to stay at their optimal quality.
Best-by Dates vs. Expiration Date
A best-by date lets you know when the taste of the soda is likely to degrade because of its age. An expiration date, on the other hand, notifies of a possible hazard to your health if consumed. With just a best-by date instead of an expiration date, you can assume that it’s safe to drink the soda long after the date on the label.
Types of Soda and Their Expiration Dates
When unopened, Coca-Cola, 7-Up, and Diet Pepsi last for six to nine months, no matter whether they’re stored in the refrigerator or the pantry. Once opened, a can of Diet Coke lasts for a day in either environment while a bottle of Diet Pepsi lasts for one to three days in a pantry or two to five days in a refrigerator.
How to Store Soda Properly
It’s best to store unopened soda drinks in cool, dark areas. It helps to lengthen the shelf life if you keep the containers away from direct light or heat, and not in an area with fluctuating temperatures.
Once you’ve opened your soda container, you need to store any leftover soda in the refrigerator. A bottle must be tightly sealed beforehand whereas the leftover liquid in a can should be poured into a different container and the top covered to try to retain the bubbles.
How to Tell When Soda Is Past Its Best
Your own judgment will let you know whether it’s safe to drink a soda that’s past its expiry date. If it’s not fizzy when you pour it into a glass, or it seems to be watery without bubbles, don’t drink it.
The loss of fizz is due to the reduced level of carbon dioxide as the soda begins to expire. This gives it a flat taste but is not harmful. However, it’s a good indication that the soda is past its best.
Aside from being flat, it’ll also have a horrible taste. Diet sodas taste worse than regular sodas after the best-by date because the artificial sweeteners break down chemically. Another sign is detecting a bad odor, in which case you should not drink the soda.
Soda in Food
When used in food, regardless of the best-by or expiration date, the soda is only as good as the ingredient that has the fastest expiration date in the dish.