I understand that carbonation might not last forever, and diet beverages don't taste good after a period of time, but I've always believed that the expiry date on the can doesn't matter, provided it's sealed and still carbonated when you open it, it should be safe to drink. I think a lot of people feel that non-obvious expiry dates (ex. dairy and meat obviously do expire) are a ploy to sell more products.

I've heard claims (see comments for some links) that the can or lining on the inside of the can will be eaten away over time causing carcinogens to be released into the liquid. I'm skeptical that the liquid itself would expire, but what about the aluminum can, does it expire?

  • 3
    acid can eat away aluminium Nov 14 '11 at 22:30
  • Related question: skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/6469/… - I note the community voted that one off-topic.
    – Oddthinking
    Nov 15 '11 at 3:57
  • Is regular (non-sugarless) cola/pop/soda safe to drink? Nov 15 '11 at 7:41
  • Is this claim notable? Can you provide proof of that, please?
    – Sklivvz
    Nov 15 '11 at 10:34
  • 2
    and worse, any claim using the word "controversial" is by its very nature fearmongering and not to be trusted.
    – jwenting
    Nov 16 '11 at 11:04

All soda cans are treated with a coating on the inside, exactly in order to prevent the contents from having any corrosive effect on the can itself.

The inside [of the can] also gets a treatment: a spray-coated epoxy laquer separates the can's contents from its aluminum walls.

So, I'll say no, the contents aren't corroding the can and thereby causing an unhealthy result. Expired contents can become unhealthy for other reasons though, regardless of what container it was stored in.

  • Expiration dates are usually a quality issue first, then a safety issue. That's why they usually say "best by [date]" instead of "safe until [date]". Only for food especially prone to spoiling is the safety date more of a concern than the quality date.
    – fredsbend
    Jul 9 '16 at 14:51

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