Can you eat mayonnaise after the expiration date?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “Can you eat mayonnaise after the expiration date?” along with the benefits and shortcomings of eating mayonnaise after the expiry date. Few other facts about mayonnaise have also been mentioned here.

Can you eat mayonnaise after the expiration date?

Yes, you can eat mayonnaise after the expiration date if the packaging is still sealed. 

If your mayonnaise is unopened, then it can last for almost a week after the expiration date. But opened mayonnaise that is stored in the refrigerator can be used up to 1 month after the expiration date. Commercially processed mayonnaise is rarely implicated in food-borne outbreaks, but homemade mayonnaise has been associated with illnesses from Salmonella (1).

How to check whether Mayonnaise is bad, rotten, or spoiled?

You should properly check if your edibles are fresh or not as due to unhygienic food you may get ill. 

So, if you want to determine if the mayonnaise is fresh or spoiled then you should check its color. If it looks more yellow instead of the normal white color and creamy texture, then you should avoid using it. Separation of the emulsion is one of the first signs of microbial spoilage, although bubbles of gas and rancid aromas may precede the emulsion separation (1).

However, in industrially processed mayonnaise, microbial contamination and spoilage is secondary to oxidative rancidity.  Poor quality oils will result in shortened shelf life of the product, primarily due to oxidative changes that impact flavor and odor. Light (especially sun light) and heat, in the presence of catalysts, reacts with unsaturated fats to form free radicals. These free radicals react with molecular oxygen to form peroxide radicals. Peroxide radicals can propagate additional free radicals or decompose into aldehydes, ketones, and alcohols. These intermediate reaction products then interact to form stable compounds that contribute to the “rancid” flavor characteristic of spoiled mayonnaise (1).

Furthermore, if you notice any mold on the mayonnaise, then you should throw the whole container of the mayonnaise right away.

How to store mayonnaise to extend its shelf life?

Once you have opened the container of mayonnaise you should store it in the refrigerator. Proper storage could extend the shelf life and hygiene is also ensured. A study showed that, at room temperature and in the dark, unopened mayonnaise is stable for 10 months, without significant changes. On the other hand, an opened jar undergoes oxidation, even when stored at 4°C (2).

You should never compromise your health, so always store your food items correctly and eat fresh and healthy.

How long is mayonnaise good for when prepared in a dish?

If you are adding mayonnaise to any of your dishes, then you should be cautious. If you are adding mayonnaise to the macaroni, then you should know that mayonnaise will be the quickest thing to be spoiled and it will spoil your dish too. 

So, it is better to immediately store the leftover dish in the refrigerator. And then you can use the dish within 2 to 3 days. Do not store it for a long time. According to the UDSA, salad dresses, such as mayonnaise, can be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum period of 4 days.

Can you get a Salmonella infection from mayonnaise?

It is observed that the mayonnaise that is prepared from contaminated eggs can cause Salmonella infections. 

Survival of Salmonella as well as Clostridium perfringens and Staphylococcus aureus is influenced by product pH and the type of acidulant used in product preparation. The acid is the primary preservative against microbial spoilage in mayonnaise. Acetic acid in vinegar exhibits antimicrobial activity more effectively than citric acid from lemon juice. Therefore, it is important to add vinegar or lemon juice to the homemade mayonnaise (1).

So, you should eat with caution otherwise you may get sick. The main reason for getting Salmonella infection from mayonnaise is raw eggs that are used in its manufacturing. So, it is better to use pasteurized eggs. 

Can mayonnaise cause food poisoning?

Mayonnaise can’t cause food poisoning. The main cause of food poisoning is bacteria. The favorable temperature for bacterial growth is between 40-140℉. and the growth of bacteria is accelerated in the food that contains proteins. So, the main reason is bacteria, not the mayonnaise itself.

Salmonellosis usually causes self-limiting gastroenteritis, however severe infections such as bacteremia, meningitis, peritonitis and myocarditis have also been reported. Several foods have been involved with salmonellosis outbreaks, however, egg and egg products stand out as the most frequent foods involved with this illness. Among egg products, homemade mayonnaise salad prepared with raw eggs has been identified as a major food involved in salmonellosis outbreaks (3).

Does packaged mayonnaise need to be refrigerated?

The mayonnaise packets that are used for salad dressings and mustards are safe if you keep them outside of the refrigerator when unopened.

How to thicken homemade mayonnaise?

It is often observed that the mayonnaise we make at home is not so thick. So, if you make mayonnaise and it is not as thick as it should be; try adding 2 teaspoons of boiling water and then whisk it.

Continue whisking until desired thickness is obtained, you can add more boiling water according to need and then whisk again.

The benefits of eating mayonnaise

Surprisingly, there are many health benefits of eating mayonnaise. Some of them are mentioned below:

Healthy hair:

Mayonnaise is beneficial for keeping the hair healthy and strong. It helps us to treat messed hair. It is also claimed that if you apply mayonnaise at the root of hair it will make your hair look shinier and healthier. Biotin found in egg yolk is essential for healthy hair (5).

Treating skin:

Mayonnaise contains vitamin A, or beta carotene, which promotes the healthy growth of cells and tissues. It helps to deal with rough skin. It is also helpful in treating our skin after sunburn, removing the dead skin cells. People use it for applying on feet, lips, elbows, and other rough skin.

Keeping the heart healthy:

Mayonnaise is rich in vitamin E which helps in preventing heatstroke. It also consists of Omega-3 which helps keep the heart healthy.

Treating depression:

Mayonnaise contains nutrients, such as the antioxidant beta carotene, and biotin, that help treat depression and stress and heat stroke. It keeps the mind healthy and fresh.

Strengthening the nails:

Mayonnaise helps in treating broken or cracked nails. It has such nutrients that keep the nails strong and healthy.

In addition, mayonnaise comprises egg, vegetable oil and vinegar. Eggs are rich in protein, cholesterol phospholipids, vitamins and minerals. A study shows that the consumption of mayonnaise could increase the beta-carotene absorption of the meal. The explanation for this is that the lecithin in the egg yolk of mayonnaise contributes to enhanced beta-carotene absorption and accumulation in the liver through emulsification (4). 

Other FAQs about Mayonnaise that you may be interested in.

What can I use instead of mayonnaise?

Can you leave mayonnaise out of the fridge?

Can you heat mayonnaise?


In this brief guide, we have answered the question “Can you eat mayonnaise after the expiration date“? along with the benefits and shortcomings of eating mayonnaise after the expiry date. Few other facts about mayonnaise have also been mentioned here.


  1. Duncan, Susan E. Fats: mayonnaise. Food processing–principles and applications, 2004, 329-42.
  2. LAGUNES‐GALVEZ, L. A. U. R. A., et al. Oxidative stability of some mayonnaise formulations during storage and daylight irradiation. J Food Lip, 2002, 9, 211-224.
  3. de Oliveira Elias, Susana, et al. Contributor factors for the occurrence of salmonellosis during preparation, storage and consumption of homemade mayonnaise salad. Food Res Int, 7 2015, 8, 266-273.
  4. Takeda, Sayaka, et al. Mayonnaise contributes to increasing postprandial serum β-carotene concentration through the emulsifying property of egg yolk in rats and humans. J nutr sci vitaminol, 2011, 57, 209-215.
  5. Patel, Deepa P., Shane M. Swink, and Leslie Castelo-Soccio. A review of the use of biotin for hair loss. Skin append dis, 2017, 3, 166-169.