Does soda go bad?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, ‘’ Does soda go bad?’ and will discuss how to store sodas?

Does soda go bad?

Yes, soda does go bad. Unopened cans of soda can survive 6 to 9 months after the expiration date has passed. After the periods are printed on the can, it will undoubtedly turn flat and unpleasant to taste. the sell-by date and how the soda was kept affect the shelf life of the soda product

The shelf-life of soft drinks is determined by the CO2 level, which decreases due to permeation through the packaging material. Therefore, most of the responsibility in the shelf-life extension of such products has to be attributed to the bottle material performances, such as the ability to maintain the internal CO2 through the shelf-life, that is, in other words, its barrier property to CO2. Standard shelf-life of “The Coca Cola Company” products is fixed, as a function of the bottle size, to: 6 months: for PET bottles >1 liter; 5 months: for PET bottles <1 liter; 12 months: for glass bottles (1).

What Are the Signs That Soft Drinks Are Bad for You?

Whether you’ve ever wondered if your favorite soda, be it Mountain Dew, Mirinda, Dr. Pepper, or anything else, might go bad, the answer is yes, it absolutely can. However, even beyond its “expiration date,” a bottle or tin might live for a long time if it is kept unopened and in good condition.

Is there a way to know whether your Coke is out of date? The absence of bubbles is the most common sign people point out. They claim that if a soft drink loses its fizz, it must have gone bad. Is that correct? / It’s preferable to discard the soda if it loses its carbonation, even though it doesn’t necessarily imply it’s gone bad. For example, if you’ve opened a can of 7-Up and put the leftovers in the fridge for a few days, the bubbles will be mostly gone from the beverage.

However, in the majority of circumstances, it is safe to drink the beverage. It’s not going to taste as nice as it used to, but you won’t feel any ill effects from drinking it. A decent rule of thumb is to throw away a soft drink that has lost its carbonation. In addition, if your unopened Coke has gone flat, toss it.

The low pH caused by the addition of acidulants, the addition of preservatives and CO2 comprise major barriers to microbial growth in soft drinks. On the other hand, the presence of sugars represents an important source of energy for microbial growth. Microbial spoilage of soft drinks is typically characterized by visual changes and off-flavors. The spoilage becomes apparent when the microbial concentration is higher than 105 CFU/mL. Yeasts are the main contaminants and spoilers of soft drinks because of their natural occurrence in ingredients used for soft drink production, such as sucrose and fruit juices, as well as because of their ability to grow in acidic and carbonated environments. The spoilage of soft drinks by yeasts is usually characterized by abundant CO2 production, which can lead to bulging and bursting of the bottle, excessive effervescence when opening the bottle, turbidity, sediments, production of undesirable flavor and aroma compounds, such as “fruity”, “keto”, and “alcoholic” odor (2).

As a last resort, you may utilize your senses and believe what they tell you if you’re looking for a beverage that has passed its prime. Pour the Coke into a glass and let it sit for a few seconds before sipping it straight from the bottle. Then take a deep breath in and out. If so, does it still smell as it normally does? Get rid of it if it smells or feels stale. if the fragrance is OK, you may taste it and evaluate whether or not it’s worth drinking, And if the label on that bottle has expired, throw it away if you’re not sure whether it’s safe.

How long does a can of soda keep?

The best-by date on the label of the Gatorade (or any other beverage) is visible. Best-by date indicates that a product is at its best up to that point. That does not imply that it will go bad in a few days or weeks. The carbonated and flavored liquid in soft drinks, on the other hand, is likely to remain in excellent condition for at least a few months beyond that date. As long as it hasn’t been opened and the bottle or tin hasn’t been tampered with.

However, not only yeasts, but also bacteria are able to grow in carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks, especially the ones containing fruit juices, which are the major sources of contaminations. Lactic bacteria convert carbohydrates into lactate, CO2, ethanol, acetic acid, diacetyl, formic acid, and extracellular polysaccharides. The production of diacetyl, which confers a buttery smell, can be associated with a putrid odor by the consumer. The signs of bacterial spoilage are changes in viscosity, presence of sediments, turbidity, packaging distension and modifications in flavor (2).

If the soda comes in a tin, it’s preferable to finish it as soon as you open it. Opened bottles are easy to seal and may be stored for a few days. You may keep the leftovers for a few days without losing much quality and with some fizz if you can seal them.

What Is the Best Way to Keep Soda?

This section contains a few pointers that you may find useful, but it won’t be a great surprise.

Cans and bottles that have not been opened may be stored at room temperature for as long as they are unopened. An ideal alternative is the kitchen’s pantry or a dark cupboard inside. In order to keep the bottles safe, you should keep them away from any heat sources and out of direct sunlight. The soda can be refrigerated if you like it chilly while serving or sipping it later.

Keep any leftovers in the refrigerator with a tight-fitting lid. Keep a watchful eye on the quality and fragrance of the Coke if you mistakenly leave it open for an extended period.

If it’s tin, and you know you won’t finish it in one sitting, transfer the contents to a bottle. This prevents the beverage from losing its fizz and from being contaminated by microorganisms. As an alternative, you may use plastic wrap and a rubber band to solve the problem temporarily. Keeping an open tin in the fridge isn’t ideal, but it is preferable to the alternative.

In the case of PET bottles, the storage temperature and storage periods are important factors for acetaldehyde migration from PET bottles into the carbonated beverages and these kinds of products should not be kept under sunlight especially in summer (3).

Other FAQs about Soda  that you may be interested in.

Can you eat coke?

Can pop go bad?


In this brief guide, we answered the query, ‘’ Does soda go bad?’ and discussed how to store sodas?


  1. Licciardello, F., C. Coriolani, and G. Muratore. Improvement of CO2 retention of PET bottles for carbonated soft drinks. Shelf life International Meeting, 2011, 115-117.  
  2. Azeredo, Denise RP, et al. An overview of microorganisms and factors contributing for the microbial stability of carbonated soft drinks. Food Res Int, 2016, 82, 136-144.  
  3. Özlem*, Kizilirmak Esmer. Acetaldehyde migration from polyethylene terephthalate bottles into carbonated beverages in Türkiye. Int j food sci technol, 2008, 43, 333-338.