How fast does mayo go bad?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how fast does mayo go bad” with an in-depth analysis of the time it takes for mayo to spoil and different ways to spot bad mayo. Moreover, we are going to discuss the health implications of eating bad mayo.

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

How fast does mayo go bad?

Open mayo stays for about 2 months before going bad when stored in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in an air-tight container. 

On the other hand, commercially processed store-bought unopened mayo 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.

Last but not least, if we talk about homemade mayo 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 mayo lasts for about 7 days if it is kept in an air-tight container or jar in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is worth mentioning that these figures are just the estimated shelf life of the mayo and you should do a sensory evaluation of the mayo to reach a final verdict on whether or not it is still suitable to consume.

There are a couple of indicators that point out bad mayo. You should consider the appearance, color, texture, smell, and taste of the mayo to give a final verdict of whether or not it has gone bad.

Appearance

If you spot a mold or any other organic growth in the mayo jar then it is better to get rid of it as it is an indication of bad mayo. 

Moreover, the mold on the mayo can produce mycotoxins. So if you see a visible mold on the surface of your mayo then it is recommended never to smell such mayo 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 mayo color has inclined towards a shade of yellow, if there are hints of yellow in your otherwise white mayo, or if mayo has a brownish tinge in it then it is better to discard such mayo.

Texture

If the mayo has separated to such an extent that you cannot even revive it after whisking then it is better to discard such mayo.

Smell

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

Taste

If the mayo has passed the visual and smell test, then you can go ahead and taste it. If you feel some off-flavors (sour or bitter) while tasting a bit of your mayo then it may point out that your mayo has gone bad and you should discard it.

If microbes somehow found their way to your mayo and have spoiled it then the best thing you should do is to discard it.

Health implications of eating bad mayo?

Mayo that has gone bad contains bacteria mainly Salmonella which can result in food poisoning.

So if you have devoured mayo that has gone bad, it can result in food poisoning that is characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, weakness, headaches, and dehydration.

A mild food poisoning lasts for about a day or two while a more persistent case of food poisoning can last for about 10 days.

So in case you have devoured bad mayo and are now suffering from vomiting and diarrhea,  you should try to drink as much water as possible so that while the body is getting rid of the toxins in form of diarrhea and vomiting, the water that you drink will protect your body against dehydration that vomiting can otherwise result in. In case the symptoms worsen, or diarrhea and vomiting persist for more than 3 days you should seek medical help.

Is store-bought mayo safe to use after the best-before date?

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

It is the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality and flavor of mayo but you can still use mayo that is past this date as long as it was stored properly, there is no leakage in the packaging and no signs of spoilage are associated with it.

You can read whether or not mayonnaise is good for you here.

Other FAQs about Mayonnaise that you may be interested in.

Can you cook mayonnaise?

How long can mayonnaise be left out?

How to tell if mayonnaise is bad?

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how fast does mayo go bad” with an in-depth analysis of the time it takes for mayo to spoil and different ways to spot bad mayo. Moreover, we discussed the health implications of eating bad mayo.

Citations

https://healthfully.com/signs-symptoms-food-poisoning-mayonaise-6023314.html
https://www.doesitgobad.com/does-mayonnaise-go-bad/
https://www.thespruceeats.com/mayonnaise-spoilage-myths-and-safety-1808083

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.