Is in any way dangerous or unhealthy to drink very old/expired soda?
May 29, 2007 7:46 PM   Subscribe

Is in any way dangerous or unhealthy to drink very old/expired soda?

I heard somewhere that very old soda can potentially be harmful to drink, by separating or some other method. Does the AskMeFi nation have any wisdom to shed on the topic?

Thanks in advance for all of your help!
posted by boscord to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Apparently, there have been potential issues with Benzene In Soft Drinks. It made them change the formula of my favorite energy drink.
posted by ktrey at 7:50 PM on May 29, 2007

Once, during a bit of urban exploration when I was younger, my friends and I came upon an unopened 2 liter of Coca-Cola that had expired 7 years previously. They dared me to drink from it, so I did. It tasted like rusty water, as best I can describe, but I am no worse for wear. Anecdotal, but hey... can anyone else here top having drunk soda 7 years old?
posted by srrh at 8:32 PM on May 29, 2007

Well, diet soda tends to lose its sweetness because the artificial sweeteners break down over time, and it becomes pretty undrinkable. Not dangerous, but kind of unpleasant.
posted by smackfu at 8:44 PM on May 29, 2007

Yeah, Diet Coke ends up just tasting kind of.. like metallic water after a couple years. Not recommended, probably not dangerous per se in normal quantities.
posted by kcm at 8:54 PM on May 29, 2007

by separating or some other method

Ask yourself, what would it separate into? Water, sugar and flavored oils. It'd be the exact same stuff, just not in solution. It'd taste like crap, but it'd be the same.

This is assuming, of course, that something in the container didn't leach into the soda. But aluminum and plastic are fairly bomb-proof over the long haul, despite some nattering naysayers.
posted by frogan at 9:00 PM on May 29, 2007

I was once given some very old cases of soda (over 5 years old) that were stored in a neighbors garage... Most of them were flat upon opening, and I didn't drink those (just speculating here, but I was paranoid that the flatness might have been caused by small leaks, which would have probably made them unsafe to drink)... But, most of them were still "fresh" (i.e. fizzed upon opening) and tasted no different than a new can would have.
posted by amyms at 9:07 PM on May 29, 2007

I drank an old can of offbrand cola when I was a kid. My immediate reaction: "It tastes like rust water!!!!" I didn't get sick, and I am still here and don seme to hav suferd eny ill efex.

What the hell! Is the MeFi demographic so destitute that a large percentage of us have to consume potentially harmful foodstuffs?? We need a whole new page: CanIEatThisFilter. It can have a vomit colored background.

Ya, we all spent our last $5 on the membership.

posted by The Deej at 9:10 PM on May 29, 2007 [2 favorites]

I drank a ten-year-old can of red Wolfpack soda from the seventies when I was a child of the eighties. It tasted kinda like rusty water with a lot of "red" flavor on the first couple of sips.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:39 PM on May 29, 2007

I spoke to a coke customer service representative about this yesterday. She said that unless the can was damaged, only the taste would be altered, but it would be perfectly safe to drink. This was in reference to a two year old can that I purchased this week.
posted by colt45 at 9:42 PM on May 29, 2007

When "New Coke" came out in the '80s, our next door neighbors bought several hundred cases of original Coca Cola, fearing it would be discontinued. They were still drinking it four or five years later, and it didn't kill them. Their taste bugs were dulled by years of smoking, so if the flavor changed drastically they might not have noticed.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 10:32 PM on May 29, 2007

Benzene in soft drinks

(Benzene is a carcinogen)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:45 PM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

I once found a probably 2 or 3-year-old can of Diet Coke in my desk drawer during an office move. I hadn't drunk it, I suspect, because I'm a Pepsi girl anyway. But it was horrible, very nasty. I had one mouthful and didn't die.
posted by essexjan at 11:54 PM on May 29, 2007

I believe there was an article floating around recently, about a man who ate a canful of spam (or something) from his wedding day. Ate it on his 50th anniversary or something like that. Not a canned drink, but just thought it was worth a mention.
posted by Xere at 12:52 AM on May 30, 2007

*Turns on Jesse James Garrett signal, waits.*
posted by planetkyoto at 1:54 AM on May 30, 2007

I drank a three year old beer not that long ago...
posted by blaneyphoto at 6:40 AM on May 30, 2007

I read something long ago that said Aspartame (NutraSweet) breaks down into formaldehyde in liquid solution over time, so diet soda may be a bad idea. I looked at some Google hits and some of them seemed on the batshitinsane side of things. Looks like Aspartame -> methanol -> formaldehyde, but maybe in small doses.
posted by MtDewd at 7:11 AM on May 30, 2007

I heard that there were recent questions about the methodology of the studies showing that benzene can be formed in soft drinks (if I recall correctly, the argument was that all the studies were done using GC/MS, and no controls were performed to prove that the reaction between ascorbic acid and the benzoate salts weren't happening on-column). Can anyone confirm/deny this?
posted by solotoro at 7:13 AM on May 30, 2007

Are you gonna buy some Crystal Pepsi off eBay? If so, post a followup and let us know how it is, lol. (Or any other old drink, I like this kind of thing.)
posted by IndigoRain at 7:34 AM on May 30, 2007

I just had a little discussion about it with a friend of mine yesterday. I have no plans to purchase any old drinks off of eBay, but if I were, it would most certainly be a can of Josta.

Thanks for all of the help! I can't really pick one best answer, but I think the hive mind has concluded that the dangers are pretty minimal.
posted by boscord at 9:18 AM on May 30, 2007

A friend of mine had a regular Coke last week that had been in my fridge for six years, said it tasted fine, and she's still living.
posted by Nathanial Hörnblowér at 12:16 PM on May 30, 2007

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