Fact check: Coca-Cola does not cause a positive COVID-19 test  

Social media users have been sharing content online showing Michael Schnedlitz, a member of the National Council of Austria, using a COVID-19 test on a glass of Coca-Cola and the results appearing to be positive. This claim is false: if done correctly, COVID-19 tests will not produce a positive result with Coca-Cola.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

Posts making the claim can be seen  here  and  here  . 

One post’s description reads: “The most popular soft drink in the world (COKE) tested positive for COVID right in front of Parliament. Y’all allowed the government to strip almost a year of your lives away along with freedoms. Link in comments.”

Most posts link to images from a video taken from a speech Schnedlitz gave in the Austrian parliament on Dec. 10, 2020 (here).  

The video, posted by Schnedlitz (here), explains that he conducted a COVID-19 rapid antigen test on a glass of Coca-Cola live in parliament. He says the test showed a positive result and was therefore evidence that mass testing for COVID-19 is worthless, as can be seen from subtitles in a post featuring the video  here  . 

Dialab, the company that manufactured the rapid antigen test, addressed the video on its Facebook and YouTube pages ( here  , ).  

The test in Schnedlitz’s video and Dialab’s video appears to be the same, both showing a dark blue underside.

Dialab explains in its posts that Schnedlitz conducted the test incorrectly, leading to a positive result. The company demonstrated in the videos how to carry out the test correctly with Coca-Cola, which leads to a negative result.

The YouTube video’s description explains that the sample, in this case Coca-Cola, was not swirled with the buffer, which is essential to keep the pH value constant in order to conduct the test correctly. When the sample is not swirled with the buffer, the antibody proteins of the test are destroyed, showing the positive marker.

“This result would also be expected from any other manufacturer in such an application,” Dialab explains in its YouTube video. “If you had used the test properly, as described in the package insert, the test would be negative.”

Dialab recommends that these types of tests should always be performed by trained professionals to avoid false results.

The buffer is explained as a step in test instructions from various organizations and manufacturers  here  ,  here and here  .  


False. The test was carried out incorrectly, missing an essential step, which led to a positive result. It is not evidence that Coca-Cola produces a positive COVID-19 result.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .