Does mayonnaise go bad?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “does mayonnaise go bad” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not mayonnaise goes bad. Moreover, we are going to discuss the shelf life of mayonnaise, ways to spot bad mayonnaise, and the proper way to store mayonnaise.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Does mayonnaise go bad?

Yes, like all other food items, mayonnaise does go bad after a certain time and will develop some off-flavors, off-smell and its color will also change.

How long does mayonnaise last?

Commercially processed store-bought unopened mayonnaise lasts for about 3-4 months even after the “best by” date if it is stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of your pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.

On the other hand, once mayonnaise gets opened, its shelf life decreases and it has to be kept refrigerated to preserve its flavor and quality for a long time. Opened commercially processed store-bought mayonnaise lasts for about 2 or more months when kept in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

If we talk about homemade mayonnaise then it has a shorter shelf life owing to the fact that it does not have any additional preservatives added to it. Thus, the homemade mayonnaise lasts for about a week if it is kept in an air-tight container or jar in the fridge at or below 490 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is worth mentioning that these figures are just the estimated shelf life of the mayonnaise and it is the time during which you can enjoy its peak quality. Mayonnaise can even last for longer than this, provided that it is stored properly.

You can read how to make mayonnaise at home here.

Is mayonnaise safe to use after the best-before date?

The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the package of mayonnaise refers to the quality rather than safety so mayonnaise doesn’t necessarily go bad immediately after the best before date. 

Thus date refers to the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality and flavor of mayonnaise but you can still use mayonnaise that is past this date as long as it was stored properly.

How to tell if mayonnaise has gone bad?

Certain indicators point out whether or not your mayonnaise has gone bad. So you should consider the appearance, texture, smell, and taste of the mayonnaise to reach a final verdict of whether or not it has gone bad.

Appearance

If you spot a mold in the mayonnaise jar then it is better to get rid of it as it is an indication of bad mayonnaise. If you accidentally consume a bad mayonnaise then you can suffer from many foodborne illnesses including food poisoning that is characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. 

Moreover, the mold on the mayonnaise can produce mycotoxins in it. So if you see a visible mold on the surface of your mayonnaise then it is recommended never to smell such cheese because the mycotoxins can enter your body via inhalation where they can disrupt your natural microflora that results in a weakened immune system.

Color

If you notice that your mayonnaise color has inclined towards a shade of yellow, if there are hints of yellow in your otherwise white mayonnaise or has a brownish tinge in it then it is better to discard such mayonnaise.

Smell 

If you smell some off-smells like something sour or putrid while taking a sniff test of your mayonnaise then it is an indication of bad mayonnaise and you should get rid of it.

Taste

If you feel some off-flavors (sour or bitter) while tasting a bit of your mayonnaise then it may point out that your mayonnaise has gone bad and you should discard it.

What is the proper way to store mayonnaise?

  1. Unopened mayonnaise can be stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat for a long time. You can even refrigerate it to prolong its shelf life.
  2. Once opened, you should always store your mayonnaise at 40°F or below in the fridge. Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40°F and 140°F, therefore it is always advised to store mayonnaise at a lower temperature to preserve its freshness and quality for a long time.
  3. You should never leave your opened mayonnaise at room temperature for more than 2 hours as bacteria grow at a faster pace in warm temperature therefore if your opened mayonnaise was kept out for more than 2 hours then it is better to discard it as there are great chances that bacteria would already have spread over it.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “does mayonnaise go bad” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not mayonnaise goes bad. Moreover, we discussed the shelf life of mayonnaise, ways to spot bad mayonnaise, and the proper way to store mayonnaise.

Citations

https://www.doesitgobad.com/does-mayonnaise-go-bad/

https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/17668

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

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