What happens if you eat expired yum yum sauce?

In this article, we will answer the question “What happens if you eat expired yum yum sauce?” and discuss what are the risks of eating expired yum yum sauce and how to properly store yum yum sauce.

What happens if you eat expired yum yum sauce?

Eating expired store-bought yum yum sauce is not likely to cause any harm or undesirable effect to your health, unless it is spoiled. Most of foods can be safely consumed after its expiration date, as the spoilage in food generally manifests by evident signs, such as alteration in the odor and appearance (1).

Yum yum sauce is a so-called Japanese Hibachi Sauce, a salad dressing prepared with mayonnaise, spices and additives and is relatively safe to eat, even after expiration date (1,3), although it possesses some health risks if spoiled (3,4). 

According to the United States Legislation, salad dressings containing mayonnaise should be acidified and thermally treated to ensure safety and shelf stability (3).

Homemade yum yum sauce should not be eaten past its expiration date, which is 4 days in the refrigerator (2). 

What are the risks of eating spoiled yum yum sauce?

The risks of eating spoiled yum yum sauce are, in a short term, experiencing an episode of foodborne illness. 

Although considered safe, salad dressings are not free from microbial contamination, mayonnaise based formulations with additional ingredients like spices that could potentially contain pathogenic microorganisms. 

Pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7 and L. monocytogenes are able to survive in contaminated yum yum sauce, especially in poor storage conditions (3). The ingestion of contaminated food can lead to foodborne diseases. 

The common symptoms of infection by these pathogens are severe diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and vomiting, in the case of E.coli and fever, muscle aches, gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea. The infection can spread through the nervous system and cause headache, confusion and even convulsions in the case of infection by L. monocytogenes (5).

In addition, salad dressing containing a high amount of lipids can undergo rancidity with a long time of storage. Lipids oxidize and generate oxidation products which are considered toxic to the body.

Compounds resulting from the oxidation of lipids can interact with the DNA and the cells and,  in the long term, the ingestion of oxidized fats can lead to mutation and diseases such as cancer (4).

Therefore, if you notice any off-odors indicating lipid oxidation, you should avoid consuming yum yum sauce or any other food.

How to know if yum yum sauce is spoiled?

To know if yum yum sauce is spoiled you should be able to identify possible signs of spoilage. The most common indications that yum yum sauce is spoiled are following (8):

  • Generation of off-odors, such as sour, rancid, putrid, fruity and alcoholic odors
  • Generation of off-flavors, such as medicinal taste, buttery, alcoholic, metallic, ammonia-like
  • Development of fuzzy white colonies or formations of different colors
  • Generation of gas, bloating of the packaging or can
  • Formation of slime on the surface or bubbling
  • Changes in the texture

What is the shelf life of yum yum sauce? 

The exact shelf life of commercial yum yum sauce is difficult to predict, because there is no information regarding the ingredients of the product. 

The shelf life of salad dressings are directly related to the presence of acetic acid (or vinegar) or other acid which can reduce the pH of the dressing and improve both safety and shelf life (6).

The shelf life and safety of commercial salad dressings also depends on the presence of other additives, such as stabilizers (gum guar, gum xanthan) and preservatives. In addition, thermal processings can improve the shelf life of commercial products.

In general, creamy salad dressings have a shelf life of 6 months stored at room temperature unopened and 4 weeks in the fridge, after being opened (2).

How should you store yum yum sauce?

You should store unopened yum yum sauce in a cool and dry place in the pantry away from heat sources and away from sunlight. The ideal temperature of the pantry is between 50 and 70°F (7).

After being opened, bottles of yum yum sauce should be stored in the refrigerator. Homemade yum yum sauce leftovers can be kept for up to 4 days in the fridge in an airtight container. Do not leave homemade yum yum sauce unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours.

It is recommended to not freeze salad dressings due to the loss in the texture by the freeze-thawing process.

Other FAQs about Sauces which you may be interested in.

How long does soy sauce last?

How long to marinate chicken in soy sauce?

How to counteract too much Soy Sauce?


In this article, we answered the question “What happens if you eat expired yum yum sauce?” and discussed what are the risks of eating expired yum yum sauce and how to properly store yum yum sauce.


  1. Food Product labeling. United States Department of Agriculture.
  2. Foodkeeper. United States Department of Agriculture. 
  3. Hwang, Daizy, et al. Survival of Escherichia coli O157: H7 and Listeria monocytogenes in an acidified low-fat mayonnaise based hibachi sauce. LWT , 2019,108, 297-300.
  4. Grootveld, Martin, et al. Potential adverse public health effects afforded by the ingestion of dietary lipid oxidation product toxins: Significance of fried food sources. Nutrients, 2020, 12, 974.
  5. Foodborne illness and disease. United States Department of Agriculture.
  6. Smittle, Richard B. Microbiology of mayonnaise and salad dressing: a review. J Food Protect, 1977, 40, 415-422. 
  7. Van Laanen, Peggy. Safe home food storage. Texas Farmer Collection. 200.
  8. Sperber, William H. Microbiological spoilage of acidified specialty products. Compendium of the microbiological spoilage of foods and beverages. 2009.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!