Coke is one of the most popular soft drinks available in the world, and many people have a stock of Coke in their homes to enjoy.
If you happen to have Coke laying around in your home, you may be wondering if Coke can expire. I did the research, and here is what I found!
Does Coke Expire?
Technically, Coke can expire even if Coke is made of sweeteners, preservatives, and carbonated water that fall under the non-perishable goods category. So while Coke does expire, Coke expires after 6-9 months after the best-by date. On the other hand, other Coke products like Syrup and Diet Coke truly expire after 3-6 months past the best-by date.
If you are interested in learning more about Coke’s expiration date and how Coke tastes like past the label, keep reading!
How Long Does Coke Last?
Coke is a carbonated soda that falls under the non-perishable goods category. As such, you will find Coke safe to consume them past Coke’s sell-by labels.
Moreover, if your Coke is sealed, Coke can still be good for consumption for about 6-9 months past the expiration date. This time is only a rough estimate as some Coke products can still be good for over a year.
Note that soft drinks are made of preservatives, carbonated water, and sweeteners. These hardy ingredients come in an air-tight bottle or can, keeping Coke fresh for longer.
Does Diet Coke Expire?
Similar to Classic Coca-Cola, Diet Coke does expire but will only do so after three to six months of storage after the stamp date. You can see this expiration label on the back or neck portion of the sugar-free soda.
Rather than thinking of the expiration date as the exact day Coke expires, view the expiration date as an estimate of how long the Diet Coke will remain fresh.
Generally, the ‘Best-By’ or ‘Best If Used By’ dates indicate the start of deterioration.
Can You Drink Expired Diet Coke?
Like other Coke variants, you can still enjoy Diet Coke past the expiration date. As long as the Coke is tightly sealed and does not feel off upon opening, then you can consume expired Diet Coke.
If you want the best taste, then it would be best to open Diet Coke within three months after the expiry date.
Does Opened Coke Expire?
Coke that has been opened and exposed to the air will expire about two to four days upon opening even if you keep the Coke in a tightly-sealed container or the fridge.
On the other hand, if you leave an opened Coke in warm temperatures while uncovered, the Coke will go bad quickly and needs to be thrown immediately since the Coke has bacteria.
Does Coke Syrup Expire?
Coke Syrup can expire, but Coke Syrup does not truly expire until about three to six months after the stamped expiry label since Coke Syrup is dehydrated and processed.
Coke syrup is the concentrated form of Coca-Cola soda you can mix with carbonated water to control quantity and sweetness. Manufacturers recommend you consume it within the stamped sell-by date.
How Do I Know If My Coke Is Expired?
Generally, the bottom of a Coke can has an expiration date in an MMMDDYY format.
As for the bottles variant, there is a sell-by date indicated on the cap, neck, or label in the same format.
However, these labels are more of a best-before indication of when you can consume the Coke in its highest-quality state, so you can follow other ways to see if your Coke has expired.
First, you should watch out for the fizzing because fizzing indicates that the Coke is still at peak freshness.
If you hear no fizz or no bubbles forming upon opening or pouring Coke, your Coke has gone flat and expired
Second, you can pour Coke into a clear glass to check the color. Coke is supposed to be dark brown that looks black at first, so any color change may mean the Coke is expired.
Third, look for any dents, holes, or damage in your Coke bottle or can. If the container is rusty, leaking, or is bulging, then throw the Coke away.
Lastly, check the flavor and the smell of the Coke to see if the Coke tastes or smells the same.
Is It Illegal To Sell Expired Coke?
Coke belongs in the non-perishable food group, so Coke remains safe even after going past its expiration date. As such, you cannot sue a store that sells Coke past their sell-by labels.
Expired Coke is still good for consumption, and the business selling expired Coke violates no laws. However, it is up to the customers’ jurisdiction whether to buy expired Coke or not.
Typically, Coke or any products past their sell-by dates are marked down and sold at reduced prices. If it is not to your standard even upon knowing the risk, you can ask for a refund.
What Can You Do With Old Coke?
If you have any old Coke lying around and you do not want to throw old Coke away, you can use expired Coke to do household chores instead.
You can use old Coke as a toilet cleaner and remove a variety of stains, including grease and gunk stains.
Dumping old Coke in the compost pit can also help make your plants healthier and keep pests at bay.
Additionally, you can also use Coke as a home-grade rust remover. Soak your tools or oxidated items in a container full of Coke for a few hours and the rust should melt away.
What Does Expired Coke Taste Like?
Expired Coke can still taste like regular Coke, which is fairly sweet since the expiration date is just a label that Coca-Cola uses to ensure top-quality during consumption.
However, Coke that has reached the end of its shelf life or has been exposed to air will taste bad.
Very old Coke will have gone flat and the added flavor would have settled, creating a bland and off-taste.
Read our other articles to find out if Coke can remove hair dye, if Coke rots teeth, and if Coke dehydrates you.
Coke is a non-perishable beverage that is okay for consumption even past the expiration date. As long as the can or bottle is undamaged and keeps its carbonation, the Coke is safe to drink.
Therefore, it is not illegal to sell expired Coke, but it is up to you to decide if you want to buy and drink expired Coke.