Does Snapple Rot?

Usually Rachel swigs Nestea but if that’s out, she gets a Snapple, which frightens her. Rachel is shocked and dismayed by the lack of an expiration date on Snapple iced tea, as well as the “film” and “floaty bits” she finds on the bottom. She asks:

1. When does Snapple expire?
2. Are floaty bits normal, and do they exhibit expiration or is it natural?
3. Is it normal for a gross film deposit to be on the bottom of the glass bottles?

We have no idea. Why don’t you drop a dime? Or just cut and paste your this email into Snapple’s online feedback form? They have a whole department of frustrated english majors who do this all day.

Not having had a Snapple in quite some time, we guess that the detritus at the bottom is not a sign of decay, but that the jar actually contains real things that came from the ground. A few vigorous shakes of the bottle should make it all better, you ninny.

Comments

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  1. AcidReign says:

    …..I’ve got 22 years of experience in bottling. DO NOT DRINK IT if it has floaties in it! Sometimes, these are just bits of carbon from the water treatment system, or bits of rubber from worn sealing rubbers or valve parts. Those won’t hurt you. But if the drink has broken down to the point that solids have developed, that’s a VERY dangerous situation!

    …..It may take a few calls, but you should be able to contact the local Snapple distributor, and report it. If they’re anything like the company I work for, they’ll come get the suspect product, and give you a free case, most likely with no defects! And your sample will help them keep this from happening in the future.

  2. timmus says:

    Excellent question, and it has far-reaching implications for many canned goods, too. I can’t tell you how many canned items I’ve found that have cryptic expiration codes stamped on them. You can decode them for some companies, but not all.

    I took a look in my pantry, where we have mostly organic brands. All of them have an expiration date, except for Amy’s, which has stamps like C016CC! Shame, shame, shame!

    Granted, expiration dates are a wag, but at least I can avoid accidentally eating something that’s been in the cupboard for 12 years. Once it’s been in there that long, I’d rather not take my chances. Furthermore, any company which DOESN’T print an expiration date is stupid, because they’ll get more turnover if people are encouraged to chuck out “old” cans and buy new ones.

  3. timmus says:

    (When I said “cryptic expiration codes” I should’ve said “cryptic manufacture dates”.)

  4. DavidBrent says:

    I got a 5-Alive (juice drink made by Coca Cola in Canada) with sediment in it that I reported to Coke as “5-A-dead”. They claimed that it was probably safe to drink. They asked for a bunch of numbers off the side, blamed it on the vending machine owner, then sent me a coupon for a free case of 5-A-dead, which I gladly used.

    They claimed the process is similar to canning peaches and, therefore, the product has a long shelf life. Nonetheless, they claimed they were giving me the coupon because they wanted to ensure the product ad “consistency”.

  5. Michael says:

    “Not having had a Snapple in quite some time, we guess that the detritus at the bottom is not a sign of decay, but that the jar actually contains real things that came from the ground. A few vigorous shakes of the bottle should make it all better, you ninny.”

    I agree. But if you shake it and it doesn’t dissolve, as AcidReign warns, call up Snapple and they’ll take it back, maybe offer you some free drinks. They’re pretty good about it.

  6. nicholas01 says:

    Snapple’s know for it detritus. Its part of their “natural ingredients,” like the pulp left over in lemonade and their Half ‘n Half varieties. Its nothing to be afraid of, even in the teas, its just left over from the creation of the brew.

    I used to love the stuff, I find it a bit too sweet now, but I’ve never been afraid of the stuff. Enjoy!

  7. roomwithaview says:

    I think out of the myriad bottled beverages I’ve consumed, only Snapple has exhibited this baffling floating solids effect with some regularity. I doubt it’s a sign of rot, though it is somewhat unnerving to find floaties in your drink. Snapple needs to get on that shiznat.

  8. It’s just bits of (oh my god!) actual fruit material that goes into the stuff. The absolute best apple juice ever, Gala Apple Juice from Trader Joe’s, has a disconcerting brown sediment at the bottom, but that doesn’t mean it’s rotten. As others have said . . . just shake it.

  9. EBW says:

    I’m pretty sure that picture is the back wall of the men’s toilet at my local pub. It would explain why the urinals never work.

  10. denki says:

    Damn comment bugs. My GF once found a large floating lump of mold in her Snapple, but she threw it away. If only the Consumerist was around when this happened (and she read it), then she could have submitted story/pics, grossed you all out, and probably win a case of Snapple that she wouldn’t even want to risk opening.

    If you are reading, hi ST!

  11. DeeJayQueue says:

    Arizona Teas usually have some sediment in them, as do Nantucket Nectars, as well as most anything you’d find on the fruit juice shelf at wholefoods. Unless it looks specifically like mold or a stray wingnut or something I just shake it up and drink it.

  12. kerry says:

    Generally speaking, bottled beverages that are supposed to have sediment or floating bits will say so on the label, generally in the way of “sediment is common in our natural juices” or similar. If it doesn’t say on the label that it might have sediment, call the bottling plant and tell them there’s crud in your drink, they might have produced a bad batch.
    Also, lots of good stuff has sediment, like fancy unfiltered beers. Just be careful when you pour so as not to kick the stuff up. Mmmm . . . yeast.

  13. Phyltre says:

    Also, things like, y’know, Yoo-Hoo have HUGE settling on the bottom. It’s why the bottle say “shake well.”

  14. Hitchcock says:

    Snapple always has stuff in it. It’s pulp or whatever from the mfg process.

  15. I got an Izze soda [Izze] - that had orange floaties in it. I am a big fan of the brand, and never came across floaties before.

    I emailed the company and they said that they had just switched beta carotene and the new stuff sometimes has issues, depending on the climate of where it is stored.

    I didn’t keep the email though. Can’t remember if they offered anything free.

  16. Mr. Gunn says:

    AcidReign – Have you ever had a Snapple? They always have that crap floating in them. Let’s cool it with the hysteria.

  17. AcidReign says:

    …..Never had a Snapple. If it comes that way all the time, it sounds like they are not maintaining their filtering screens. Some formulas, like Yoo-hoo do separate.

  18. marc.andrews says:

    Snapple – “Made from the best stuff on earth”

    I remember the days when Snapple Tea actually had tea in it. That is, more tea than high fructose corn syrup. That was back, like, 6 owners ago.

  19. lilmelann says:

    SNAPPLE-“Don’t drink it in the dark”
    I did and ended up with a mouth full of burning rancid goo. I was driving to work at night and needed my Red Tea fix. That stuff is yasty. I took a swig and immediately my mouth began to burn and I had pulp-like substance in my mouth. I pulled over, turned on the lights and saw what appeared to be a mayonnaise like substance throughout my drink. I vomited 5x’s on the way to work. I called Snapple and they say it’s mold and I’m getting free coupons. Pretty nasty though. don’t know if zi can drink it again cause I still got the heaves thinking about it.

  20. primaryporcupine says:

    I carried Snapple at a previous job and frequently found bottles with large gobs of chunky mulit-colored goo. This was not fruit tea sediment. I’m not talking about the fine powdery residue that frequently shows up in beverages. This stuff would not break up with rigorous shaking. I never found out what it was officially we just returned the bad bottles to the company assuming it was mold.
    Before that job I’d drink Snapple like it was water. Now I’d feel safer drinking water from my storm drain through a stranger’s straw.

  21. atrophy78 says:

    I just opened a 12 pack of the diet peach tea and found large gobs of white “stuff” floating on top of one of the bottles. The seal and the little safety button were intact, so whatever it was got in there at the factory. I’m pretty sure it was mold.

    It’s kinda weird that only 1 of the 12 had the chunks. I’m not taking any chances though, and don’t plan on drinking any of the 12.

  22. Anonymous says:

    The “floaty bits” are tea leaf fragments that make it into the bottle. Also, since they are mass produced glass bottles with strange caps, they dont always get sealed properly, allowing mold and other crap to grow in it…. I work for a snapple distributor and sometimes the stuff looks pretty weird.