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Thread: Is this safe to drink?

  1. #1 Is this safe to drink? 
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    Hello, I have a rather strange question. I do not have a very good background in microbiology, as I was a business student as an undergrad.

    There is a container of juice which is sealed and expired in 1994. This product is no longer made and I want to give it a taste... I might not even swallow any. Would I be putting myself in any serious danger by doing this?

    I realize this sounds odd, but I can explain. When I was a kid, I liked the ghostbusters. There was a drink made by Hi-C called "Ecto Cooler." Many of the other children at my school brought it to lunch every day. My brother and I asked my mom for it at the grocery store and she told us no... The stuff was orange flavored and dyed green. She was adamant that she wouldn't buy it for us. When my brother told the other kids at school about it, they began to mock us and always told us how great Ecto Cooler is. I asked my mom again, and I remember her telling me that when I am old enough and have a job, I can buy it for myself, but until then, I can't have any.

    About 2 or 3 years ago, one of the kids I went to school with asked me if I ever got to try ecto cooler. I still hadn't. I went to the store to buy some, and to my horror, they did not have it. Some research on yahoo allowed me to find out that it had not been made since 2002. For some reason this really bugged me.

    I was on an auction site earlier today and found a single juice box going for about 20 dollars. I contacted the seller, and he says it is still sealed and has never been punctured. It expired in 1994. I want to buy it just to taste the stuff.

    I realize that it is very likely that it has spoiled by now. I'm guessing that such a sugary drink may simply ferment into alcohol... maybe it would be vinegary? What do you think the chances are that a 15 year-old juice box would be palatable?

    Also, is the worst thing that could happen to me if I drank it? Is the expiration date there just because it might taste bad after sitting for too long? Or is it there for my safety?

    Thank you in advance for your insight.


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  3. #2  
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    What's in the juice? I can't imagine drinking it is a great idea overall but that probably depends a lot on the ingredients. There's always a chance that it's so loaded with additives as to be essentially incorruptible


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  4. #3  
    Forum Freshman MoonWolf's Avatar
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    Tell me where to send the flowers.

    I think you missed the boat on that one, EctoCoolerGuy. Do you really think it's worth risking your health for? Poor sad boy.

    Did you try contacting the makers? They may not make EctoCooler any more but if they still exist making other drinks, they surely would have someone able to advise you. I think the answer will be DON'T DRINK IT, but no harm in asking.
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  5. #4  
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    Apparently this underwent a few name changes until it was discontinued, as Crazy Citrus Cooler in 2007.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hi-C_(drink)#Ecto_Cooler

    Maybe you could get a hold of some 2007 vintage Crazy Citrus Cooler.
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  6. #5  
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    At this age it would probably be safer to drink if it had fermented. Since you don't mention the box bulging, we can only guess what alternate and potentially deadly microbe is breeding in there.

    The drink could taste totally "off" to an experienced taster, but it won't to you of course, expecting something funny.



    Maybe better mix up your own concoction. Use ingredients as listed on the box, vary the proportions. Remember that 1st, 2nd, 3rd items listed may really be about 1/3 each. Orange juice will not take a nice green hue with common food colouring.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Freshman portcontrol7's Avatar
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    Harold pointed you to an alternative, although I doubt it's nearly as fun as popping open a fresh neon green citrus box with slimer on the cover.

    I vaguely recall the pleasure I enjoyed in sucking down this incredibly refreshing fruit flavored beverage as a young boy. I would lay in the tall grass and stare up at the clouds, and let the wonderful bouquet of spring grass, rain cleansed air, and tangerine and orange notes to take me to sights unseen. I would occasionally glance with pride at the then seemingly large box of liquid, admire Slimers grossness, and return to an afternoon of daydreaming and youthful fancy.
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  8. #7  
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    yes, safe todrink
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoonWolf
    Tell me where to send the flowers.

    I think you missed the boat on that one, EctoCoolerGuy. Do you really think it's worth risking your health for? Poor sad boy.

    Did you try contacting the makers? They may not make EctoCooler any more but if they still exist making other drinks, they surely would have someone able to advise you. I think the answer will be DON'T DRINK IT, but no harm in asking.
    There's no reason to blame the guy for wanting to try the drink. This strange beverage that I've never heard of is a relic of the childhood his mother never let him experience. If I were him, I would have already slurped down that forbidden fruit juice.

    As far as safety goes, I have no idea. Sorry.
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  10. #9  
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    No, this is NOT safe to consume! With the exception of honey, all foods and beverages expire. This juice has been expired for fourteen years and must be loaded with bacteria and fungi which would likely be deadly to you at their age. Your body would not know what to do with so many toxins at once and go in to septic shock, which would shut down all of your vital organs. I can't believe that the seller would keep a drink for so long, or that such a thing would be permitted on an auction site. I have drunk Ecto Cooler as a child. All of Hi-C's products are similar to each other. Ecto Cooler is no different from any other mixed fruit drink on the market. You have not been missing anything special.
    Last edited by Theresa; July 17th, 2018 at 09:51 PM.
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  11. #10  
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    You shouldn't drink tat drink.
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  12. #11  
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    Drink it and let us know.
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  13. #12  
    Forum Professor Zwirko's Avatar
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    I'd hazard a guess that it'd be okay to have a little taste. I've seen people consume tinned-foods that have past their use by date by a similar time without ill effect - a drunk friend once used 11 year old tinned macaroni cheese, put it on burnt toast and lived to tell the tale. Don't try that at home kids!

    However, the taste you get is likely not going to reflect what this Ecto Cool actually tasted like when it was freshly made. Now it will just be spoiled and you will still be in the position of not knowing how this drink actually tasted. I imagine it'd be quite bitter tasting by now.

    I doubt there are any bugs in there - any that were will have surely perished by now (although their toxins may remain). I'm not too sure how your juice is packaged or manufactured, but I do know that fruit juices are sometimes sterlised by one of many possible methods during the manufactruing process. You could be bug free. Maybe.

    A small sip and spit would be my preferred experiment. Don't - whatever you decide - pour a big glass and swallow the lot down.
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  14. #13  
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    I'm sure the TC has already made up his mind by now, as he hasn't made any posts here for quite some time; but if I were forced to taste the drink I would only sip some and then spit it out and even then I would probably use some Listerine or other antiseptic mouthwash to make sure any harmful bacteria is dead.
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  15. #14  
    Forum Freshman MoonWolf's Avatar
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    Maybe EctoCoolerGuy drank the drink already, with lethal consequences.
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  16. #15  
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    u r really funny, what is your point? even you have drunk it, u still have no idea what is the taste of this beverage! because it is not the origin taste anymore. [img][/img]
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  17. #16  
    New Member Philprime's Avatar
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    It was very wise of you to check before slurping that drink down though - the tempation to down it after such a long wait must have been huge! Food safety labs across the globe -http://www.labnews.co.uk/laboratory_...ts-food-safety - will shudder at the thought of you drinking it - thats for sure!
    www.labnews.co.uk - the scientists' online newspaper with news, features, jobs, and comment
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  18. #17  
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    ok several things there


    Firstly something so obviously toxic that it's been dyed neon green probably will do less damage if it's solid and furry

    Secondly Containers from that time are much better than nowadays so it's probably still safe



    Mouldy food is in fact NOT TOXIC, as proven by some guy on tv, he ate stuff that was as bad as possible, like solid mould food, lumpy coffee furry fruit etc etc, he said it tasted vile and normal food is nicer, but he didn't get ill even once



    so try it, the absolute worst that can happen is your allergic to whats inside (that or it's mutated into a sentient man-eating monster)
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