Can Mayonnaise Go Bad?

Mayonnaise is a popular condiment often used as ingredients or flavoring to sandwiches, spreads, dips, hot and cold salads. This product is made with egg whites, which have a short shelf life. Mayonnaise is widely available in supermarkets although you can also make this product from scratch.

Can mayonnaise go bad? Just like any type of food, mayonnaise will go bad at some point. This goes especially if it is exposed to heat, moisture, and humidity. The ingredients are quite temperature sensitive so proper storage is a must! If you’d like to know more about storing mayo properly, continue reading below:

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Can Mayonnaise Go Bad?

Store-bought mayo will take a while to spoil because it contains a variety of preservatives. Homemade mayo, on the other hand, will go bad quickly if it is not stored properly. So yes, mayonnaise could go bad but only if the storage conditions are not ideal.

As far as storing mayo goes, the temperature has to be right to prevent spoilage. The egg whites, along with the other ingredients, are quite sensitive to direct heat. Exposure to moisture could also increase the risk of spoilage. If you are not careful, mayo could go bad far more quickly than it should.

When kept at room temperature, unopened packs of mayo will keep for 3 to 4 months beyond its expiry date. Opened bottles of mayo kept in the fridge will keep for 2 to 3 months.

Signs that Mayonnaise Has Gone Bad

How do you know if that bottle of mayo that’s been sitting in the fridge for months is still safe to eat? Check for slight discoloration. If say, the mayo is turning a weird shade of yellow instead of creamy white, discard the product. If the texture of the mayo has become lumpy or overly goopy, best to toss it in the trash. If the bottle of mayo starts producing a foul stench, then it is no longer safe to eat. The same thing goes if you see the presence of mold.

How to Store Mayonnaise?

The best way to store unopened bottles of mayo is to keep it in the pantry at room temperature. Never store opened bottles of mayo at room temperature. Hot, humid temps trigger bacterial growth that causes sickness. Since the product contains egg whites, it is so easy for bacteria to spread. If the bottle of opened mayo has been sitting in the pantry for at least a day, it is no longer safe to eat.

Keep opened bottles of mayo in the refrigerator. The chilly temperature will slow down bacterial growth. Place the bottle of mayonnaise in the coldest part of the fridge. The back of the fridge is ideal for storing mayonnaise because the temperature is stable. Always keep the lid tightly closed after every use to maintain freshness.

Image used under Creative Commons from Samuel Paz

Can You Freeze Mayonnaise?

Technically, yes, you can freeze mayonnaise. However, it is not the recommended storage method for this product. You see, freezing temperature could alter the texture of mayonnaise. Once thawed, the product could turn watery. The flavor may also change after freezing. Still, you can freeze the product if say, you are desperately trying to extend its shelf life. Our advice is to consume the bottle of mayonnaise as soon as possible so there is no need for freezing.

Also, keep in mind that only mayo in plastic packaging should be frozen. Glass containers will shatter in freezing temperature. If you must, transfer the product in a resealable plastic bag. Just spoon the mayo into the resealable plastic bag and fill the container halfway through. Squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing the bag. Write the storage date and then stick in the freezer.

Summary

Can mayonnaise go bad? This popular condiment could go bad quickly if not stored properly! But as long as you keep the storage tips we’ve outlined in this guide, your supply of mayo will keep for a long time.

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