Does Mayo Go Bad? Fully Explained

Last Updated on July 8, 2022 by

Mayonnaise is a culinary essential that some of us use all the time. And if you’re in the second camp, you’ve undoubtedly questioned whether mayonnaise can go bad on more than one occasion. So even if everything seems to be great, you begin to wonder: does mayo go bad?

Yes, mayo has gone bad. If you see mold on your mayonnaise, it is best to discard it. Many believe that mayonnaise has the same storage and shelf life as ketchup or mustard. There are some commonalities, but since mayonnaise includes eggs, there are also some important distinctions.

Can Mayo Go Bad?

Yes, mayo does bad. Mayonnaise’s major ingredients are oil, egg yolks, and vinegar or lemon juice. Aside from the yolks, the remainder of the components can last long and do not deteriorate quickly. As a result, the shelf life of mayonnaise is pretty extended, frequently a year or more.

Each jar has a best-by or best-before date, specifying how long the mayo should be kept in good condition. And, since mayonnaise, in addition to the long-lasting components, generally contains some extra preservatives, it may easily survive a few months above that date if unopened.

How Long Does Mayonnaise Last?

Mayonnaise is made from egg yolks, oil, vinegar, or lemon juice. Apart from the eggs, the rest of the ingredients may be stored for more than a year without deteriorating. So check the jar label to see how long your mayonnaise will last! But don’t mistake the “best by” date with the “expiration date” – they’re not the same thing. The “best by” date refers to the day till when the product will be at its finest. This implies you may still eat it beyond the expiration date.

Because mayonnaise has such long-lasting chemicals and preservatives, it will stay for 2-3 months beyond the expiration date, particularly if unopened. However, it is unclear how long it will last beyond the “best by” date. This is determined by the quality of the mayonnaise’s components. For example, if the mayonnaise includes few preservatives, it will not last as long as one that contains many.

Aside from the date, the freshness of mayonnaise is also determined by how it is stored. A refrigerated jar of unsealed mayo, for example, will last for 2-3 months beyond its “best by” date. However, if the mayo has been exposed to germs for more than 8 hours at room temperature, it should be discarded. You may be thinking, “How about homemade mayo?” Because you used raw eggs (as opposed to commercialized mayo, which utilizes pasteurized eggs), don’t anticipate it to last as long. Homemade mayonnaise will stay in the fridge for one week.

Finally, let’s dispel the misconception regarding mayonnaise-infused meals. You’ve undoubtedly heard that putting mayo on your sandwich or salad can cause it to spoil quicker than others. We’re here to disprove that rumor. Mayonnaise, you see, is quite acidic. Because these qualities prevent germs from developing, it is unlikely that it would spoil other foods!

But you know what will? The remainder of the components in your meal! So, if you get food sickness, don’t blame mayonnaise. It’s most likely because you ate food that had been hanging out in the sun for many hours.

What Prolongs The Life Of Mayonnaise?

Mayonnaise has a shelf life determined by how it was prepared, whether the container was opened, and the temperature at which the condiment was kept. Mayonnaise in a jar or container is mass-produced using clean manufacturing processes that keep the product fresh for up to a year. As a result, most mayonnaise products have best-by dates long into the future.

To be sure, the best by date is not the same as the expiry date. The best by date is the age at which the producer assures that the product’s nutritional content remains the same as it was at the time of production, assuming the product is unopened. On the other hand, an expiry date is a point at which a product begins to decay and becomes dangerous for human consumption. As a result, most condiments are marketed with best-by dates at least a year in the future. However, it will still be safe to eat beyond that date; it will only have lost part of its nutritional content.

At room temperature, an unopened, mass-produced jar, container, or package of mayonnaise will survive for years. This is feasible because the product is maintained airtight, which eliminates oxygen. Consequently, any bacteria or fungus that survived the manufacturing process cannot reproduce. However, when mayonnaise comes into touch with air, it begins to oxidize and creates an ideal habitat for bacteria to proliferate.

If kept in a refrigerator, a mass-produced mayonnaise product will typically last 2-3 months after opening. It will only survive a few hours at room temperature once opened, so make sure you put it in the fridge immediately. The expiry date cannot be determined precisely since the pace of deterioration is determined by how you use your mayonnaise. 

The longer your mayonnaise is left out of the refrigerator, the longer it will last. Furthermore, resealing your mayonnaise promptly will extend its shelf life. Keep in mind that germs may increase in as little as twenty minutes. Use your mayonnaise quickly and keep it refrigerated to ensure its durability.

Some condiment manufacturers provide their goods in squeezable bottles to reduce air exposure. As a result, the amount of air entering the container is reduced. Purchasing a squeezable type will help you save money if you use mayonnaise daily.

During the production process, homemade mayonnaise is exposed to air. As a result, it does not survive as long as mass-manufactured mayonnaise created in hygienic surroundings. Homemade mayonnaise is usually kept in the fridge for about a week before becoming rancid.

5 Ways to Detect Whether Mayonnaise Is Bad

Even though it may seem evident to some, mayonnaise may degrade without displaying visible indicators of deterioration. However, there are five distinct techniques to determine whether or not your mayonnaise is safe to consume.

Color Changes: Discoloration is the first rancid mayonnaise indicator. Mayonnaise is a creamy white tint. When bacterial overgrowth occurs, the hue turns yellow or brown. It may not be extremely noticeable, but it is noticeable.

Texture Changes: The mayonnaise should have a creamy consistency. Inside the jar, it should not separate. If you observe your mayonnaise separating and liquid accumulating on top, it’s time to toss it. This may occur as a result of bacterial overgrowth. So, avoid eating bad mayo since it might cause serious food illness. If this occurs, it is likely that you did not properly shut the lid of the mayonnaise jar or that it was left at room temperature for too long.

Strange Smell: Even though mayonnaise contains vinegar, it does not have a strong sour or acidic flavor. It has very little to no scent. When your mayonnaise begins to smell strongly acidic or rancid, you know it’s no longer safe to eat.

Sour Taste: It might be difficult to discern whether the mayo is bad by its appearance and fragrance. You have to try it in such circumstances. Do not consume a large dollop of mayonnaise! Instead, take a small amount and taste it. If the mayo tastes sour or too fragrant, discard it. Unless it has gone bad, mayonnaise does not alter the flavor.

Visible Molds: This one is self-explanatory. Molds and spores should not be present in your mayo. Molds may grow if not correctly stored since it is mainly fat and liquid. Consuming moldy mayonnaise might lead to major health problems.

How To Store Mayonnaise

The storage recommendations for an unopened container of mayo are similar to mustard. That implies you should store it in a cool, dry area away from heat sources. A cupboard in the kitchen away from the oven is a common option, but the pantry also works well. Unopened mayonnaise does not need to be refrigerated (unless the label specifies otherwise), although keeping it in the fridge won’t harm either.

When not in use, keep the jar well packed in the refrigerator. Unlike ketchup or BBQ sauce, open mayo should not be refrigerated at room temperature. The same goes for any mayonnaise-based sandwiches or meals.

Last but not least, let’s speak about food safety. Always scoop mayo using clean tools that are only used for that mayo. You risk cross-contamination if you use the same ones for other meals. “Double-dipping” may introduce hazardous germs into your mayo, causing it to spoil sooner than you’d want.

What Happens If You Eat Expired Mayonnaise

Assume you ate rotten mayonnaise by mistake. What happens next? What effect will it have on your health? If you consume outdated mayonnaise, you may get stomach discomfort and diarrhea. In addition, because mayonnaise is essentially raw eggs, it has a salmonella risk, so use caution.

A Salmonellosis infection may cause typhoid fever. This is unlikely to happen with a few spoonfuls of mayo, but it is possible. The acidity level in mayonnaise rises dramatically as it ages. As a result, it not only smells horrible, but it also tastes exceedingly nasty. As a result, it might induce acid reflux and heartburn.

Conclusion On Does Mayo Go Bad

Mayonnaise is a tasty complement to any sandwich, salad, meat and other foods. Because children and adults like it, it is often a must-have commodity in every kitchen. The handmade mayo will only last a week. However, the bought one may last many months beyond the expiry date provided the seal is not opened. If you have any doubts about the quality of the mayonnaise, inspect it for any indications of rotting and discard it. Consuming stale mayo may result in food illness and indigestion.