What happens if you drink something expired?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “What happens if you drink something expired?”, and list down the names of beverages that you should not consume past their expiry date. We will also mention how to spot a spoiled drink.

What happens if you drink something expired?

You can get food poisoning from drinking something expired if it has been spoiled and contaminated. 

This largely depends on what kind of drink you are having, its packaging, and how it was stored. For example sodas are carbonated so they do not go bad quickly but their carbonation may decrease over time and the taste may alter but they will be safe for consumption months past their expiry date.

Similarly, fruit juices are acidic which is not a favorable condition for bacteria to grow in so they stay good for long even after their expiry date when stored properly in the refrigerator.

Most often, expiry dates indicate the time around which the product will lose its quality, texture, taste or effectiveness. It does not always mean that the product will be harmful if consumed after this time.

Although a lot of products are safe to consume after their expiry date, it is better to know around what time a certain product will start to go bad so expiry dates should not be ignored.

Which drinks should not be consumed past their expiry date?

You should always check the dates before consuming the drinks listed below to avoid any health risks. Even if they seem fine to you, they might carry potential health risks so it is better to avoid using them past their expiry dates.

Unpasteurized milk

Unpasteurized milk means raw or unprocessed milk that has not been treated with heat to kill bacteria. Even if unpasteurized milk is stored in the refrigerator, it can still contain bacteria like E. coli or Listeria. The longer it sits past its expiry, the longer bacteria gets to multiply.

Raw milk should be consumed quickly. If you wish to store it for a little longer, consider boiling it first and then refrigerating it.

Vegetable juices

Vegetable juices that do not have any fruits added in them should not be used past their expiry since they do not contain the acidity from fruits so bacteria can grow in vegetable juices and become harmful if consumed.

Cold pressed juices

Raw cold pressed juices also have the potential risk of developing bacterial growth in it when not consumed within a few days. Cold pressing technique is not as effective as killing the bacteria by heat (pasteurization).

Improperly stored drinks

Drinks that are stored in the refrigerated section of the grocery store or the cold pantry can spoil quickly if they are not stored properly at temperatures below 40 degrees. Any temperature fluctuations can cause spoilage.

Plastic bottled water

This may come as a surprise but when you see the label on a bottle of water and it is past its expiry date, it is advisable to not use this water. This is because while the water itself may be ok for consumption, it is the toxins released from the plastic bottle that may contaminate the water.


Although beer would be safe for consumption after its expiry date, it will just have a very bitter taste and also may have reduced carbonation.

Find out the shelf lives of fresh juices here.

How to tell if a drink has gone bad?

You can tell if a drink has gone bad by giving it a sniff test. If the smell seems off, that indicates spoilage.

You can also look at the texture. If the texture seems off such as it has become grainy or lumpy, then it is better to throw the drink out.

Also look for any discolorations in the drink. You can also tell if a drink has gone bad by its taste. For example milk tastes sour once it has gone bad.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “What happens if you drink something expired?”, and listed down the names of beverages that you should not consume past their expiry date. We also mentioned how to spot a spoiled drink.



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.