Arizona Tea is a popular beverage that is widely available in cans, glass bottles and plastic gallon jugs. At 99 cents for a 23-oz. can, the product is an easy choice for a consumer looking for an inexpensive and sweet caffeinated drink. Like most food and beverage products on the market, Arizona Teas are stamped with dates that alert the consumer to either an expiration date or a date of production. The United States Department of Agriculture ensures that products intended for consumption are labeled for public safety, under regulation of the Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Locate the "manufactured by" date on your Arizona Tea product. On cans, this date will be on the bottom of the container. On bottles and jugs, it can be found near the neck of the container.

Understand how to read the Julian calendar code. For example, a "manufactured by" date stamp on a can of Arizona Tea that was recently purchased might read "285 09." This means that this particular product was manufactured on the 285th day of 2009, which a Google search or counting days reveals to be October 12th, 2009.

Know that the shelf life of can and glass Arizona Tea products is two years from the date of manufacture if unopened, 7 to 10 days if opened but refrigerated and 2 to 4 days if not refrigerated. For plastic jugs, the shelf life is 18 months from the date of manufacture if unopened, 7 to 10 days if opened but refrigerated and 2 to 4 days if opened and not refrigerated.

Determine the expiration date based on the date of manufacture and the product's shelf life. So, if the can of Arizona Tea that was manufactured on October 12, 2009, is unopened, then its date of expiration is October 12, 2011.

Remember that while it is important to check the labels of all food prior to consumption, it is also important to realize that in all companies, there is the potential for batches to spoil more quickly than predicted. Always smell a product before ingesting it, and trust your taste buds if a drink or food item seems to have spoiled before the projected expiration date.