MTSU Students Find 3-year-old Drinks in Campus Vending Machines

After finding drinks with unsettling expiration dates in campus vending machines, some students are beginning to question the care that goes into stocking MTSU’s drink machines as well as campus dining options.

When MTSU freshman Gabby Pearson purchased a Gatorade on Feb. 17 from a vending machine in Cummings Hall, she found that it had expired on June 17, 2012. Pearson looked more closely at the drink and discovered several clumps of white mold on the inside of the bottle.

“Every time I have gotten a drink out of one of the machines (on campus) it has been expired,” said Pearson. “Usually it’s only a few months old, but this was ridiculous.”

Pearson said she “almost threw up” after receiving the nearly three-years expired drink.

Pearson posted photos of the drink to Facebook in a call to action to MTSU faculty. “Someone PLEASE give me a number to contact about this. I’m not the first person to complain about our drinks being out of date,” the post reads. “Further actions will be taken if this issue is not resolved in a timely manner.”

As Pearson mentioned, she is not the only student who has received extremely outdated beverages from a machine on campus.

“I don’t get drinks too often because I know that if I do, it’s going to be old,” said freshman Nesha Smith. “It makes me feel like food services at MTSU in general is subpar.”

“I think it’s just negligence,” said freshman Dwight Harris. “Don’t they have a schedule of when they’re supposed to change the drinks out? They need to try and get more on top of things like that.”

Vice President for Marketing and Communications Andrew Oppmann commented on Pearson’s Facebook post saying, “Gabby, we have asked the Cummings staff to unplug the machine and put an ‘Out of Order’ sign on it. We’ll sort this all out when the full campus reopens for business. Thanks for the alert.”

Though the university offered Pearson a refund, as of Friday, Feb. 19, no sign has been placed on the machine and drinks with expiration dates in 2012 and 2013 are still available in that machine, other machines in Cummings, and machines in Corlew Hall, Peck Hall and Kirksey Old Main.

“I don’t think (the administrators) really care. Because if they cared, when we’ve all complained all the other times, they would have done something,” Pearson said.

“It kind of makes me wonder (about) the food at McCallie and (the James Union Building),” Pearson continued. “Because if they’re willing to give us expired drinks, how do we know the food there is in date.”


In response to us posting this article on Facebook, MTSU Vice Provost of Student Affairs Dr. Deb Sells said, “Both of the responsible vendors have advised that they understand the negative-implications of these type of occurrences and will to do whatever needs to be done to avoid a repeat in the future.”

“Further, they both have assured us their product refresh should be completed by the end of the week in all their vending machines,” Sells said.

Sells also said in her comment that MTSU will be placing stickers with procurement’s contact information for future product issues on the campus vending machines.

For more campus news updates, follow us at, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_News.

To contact news editor Max Smith, email

Previous Concert Calendar: Feb. 23-March 1
Next From Memphis to Murfreesboro: Musician Julien Baker Shares Her Passion


  1. Emily
    February 24, 2015

    Not surprised. I stopped eating at the campus dining halls when a cockroach fell into my drink when I was getting soda out of the fountain at the JUB. Who knows how long it was there.

  2. jnhmtsuspring15
    March 2, 2015

    Not to sound too dramatic, but I have also been a victim of purchasing expired soda drinks from vending machines on campus. The University should make it more a priority to ensure that food services, including vending machines are held at a higher standard. We spent millions of dollars on the new science, but can’t even update the vending machines on a regular basis. The fact that people may be consuming expired drinks on a daily basis is horrific. I know that I don’t always check the expiration date, but I definitely will after reading this story. It just goes to show that things don’t happen unless someone is brave enough to speak out about it. I applaud Gabby Pearson for using her online outlets to bring attention to something as disgusting and neglectful as expired soda drinks. MTSU can do better. I certainly hope that this never happens to anyone else.
    This story makes me question whether MTSU is actually concerned about issues like this. During the ice storm, a tree fell in front of my dorm. Days have passed and the tree is still down. Despite the fact that it’s unattractive to students and visitors, there could be potential safety risks.

  3. dck2u_MTSU
    May 4, 2015

    I feel that MTSU food service needs to get their act together. There is no excuse for having expired anything in the vending machines. IT is a serious health hazard and should be dealt with immediately. I know that the update said that they were ensuring that it never happens again but it never should’ve happened in the first place. Many students come to MTSU without a vehicle so going off campus whenever they want to isn’t really an option for them so they rely on the vending machines and food service to get healthy safe for consumption food. I’ve heard about other people experiencing this even now. The food places such as the JUB and McCallies are receiving bad names because their food makes people ill. If MTSU is willing to pay millions of dollars on a new science building while the students are getting outdated food makes MTSU seem not to care about the student’s health and only about their appearance. As students we have a responsibility to make sure we are getting only the best for the tuition we have to pay.

  4. […] Gabby Pearson, a freshman at MTSU, was attempting to purchase a drink in one of the school’s many buildings in between classes. Luckily, she happened to check the expiration date before consumption. Though she was buying the drink in February of 2015, it had actually expired on June 17, 2012. As she took a closer look inside the bottle, she also discovered white mold. […]