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How Long Does Mayonnaise Last? Can it Go Bad?

If you endeavour to add extra flavour to your food and snacks, we bet you never miss mayonnaise at your home. This condiment is used at home and on both fast food and high-end food joints. You can also use mayonnaise as a dip.

You can make mayonnaise at home or buy it ready from food stores. It uses some of the most available ingredients and is not costly. Olive oil, eggs, salt, lemon/vinegar is all you need to make this magical condiment at home.

A few factors determine its longevity. Of course, a commercial mayonnaise lasts longer since it has preservatives to prolong its shelf life. But, for the homemade one, sorry, but its lifespan is way shorter.


(Also Read: 10 Tips to Lighten Up Your Recipes)

Making Homemade Mayonnaise    


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Do you always feel excited when consuming stuff you made by yourself? Maybe you like being specific about what you consume. If you are always cautious about what you eat and like everything organic, you should definitely make your mayonnaise at home.

Here, you can utilize all the fresh ingredients and use lemon instead of vinegar. Once you are done, consider using a clean, dry glass jar to store your condiment. Keep it under refrigeration. You should keep in mind that mayonnaise can be disappointing when the wrong method is used in making it. You can end with an ugly looking mixture.

When you do your mayonnaise in the wrong way, the ultimate solution is to discard it. You know your mayonnaise is not well done when you see different layers of the ingredients used, and it produces a brown colour.

If you are not a patient person who cannot stand the sight of raw eggs, go with the commercial mayonnaise. With this one, you do not have to experience frustrations of something that looks totally inedible.

Can Mayonnaise Go Bad?


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Anything made for human consumption has an expiry date, right? Same goes for mayonnaise. Manufacturers of the commercial mayonnaise give a best before date for their products. Although some products can go for up to 1 year while safe for consumption after this date, it is not the same for this condiment.

Because the manufacturers have their way of making their products to differentiate them from others, you have to be careful about this date.

Other than best before date, another important aspect to consider is the state of the mayonnaise. That is, is the packaging jar opened or unopened? Commercial mayonnaise does not need refrigeration when unopened. However, it needs to be kept in a cool and dry place. Any heat source is an enemy to your mayonnaise and can make it go bad even when unopened.

How Do You Store Mayonnaise?


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Once you open that jar, you have to refrigerate it. Otherwise, you risk spoiling the entire jar within 8 hours of opening and not refrigerating. Then, after the recommended date for use, your mayonnaise can last approximately 2 to 4 months while under refrigeration.

When preserving a homemade mayonnaise, the only way to store it is in a refrigerator. The fresh ingredients are susceptible to attack by bacteria, and room temperature will encourage their multiplication. Homemade mayonnaise can only last for 1 week.

Additionally, you have to practice high levels of hygiene. We recommend sticking to one scooping utensil to prevent cross-contamination. This contamination can affect the longevity of both commercial and homemade mayonnaise.

How Do You Tell Whether Your Mayonnaise has Gone Bad?

Are you suspecting your mayonnaise has gone bad but not sure about it? Worry no more. Check your condiment before deciding to throw it away. Use these hacks:

Before doing anything else, observe the physical appearance. Does it have its usual white or off-white colour? Do you observe unusual fungi growth on the surface? You should discard your condiment if it has turned its colour, and visible fungi such as mould have started growing.

Another simple way of checking whether your condiment is safe for consumption is by smelling. Spoilt mayonnaise has a strong and choking smell. It is almost nauseating, especially the homemade one.

You can also notice a difference in how your mayonnaise taste. When spoilt, it becomes sour as if it were fermented.

If you notice these things in your mayonnaise, do not take chances. Discard immediately so that no one can mistakenly consume it.

Is it Okay to Use Expired Mayonnaise?


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As long as your condiment does not show signs of being spoilt, it is okay to consume it past the expiry date. This only applies to commercial mayonnaise since it can be challenging to tell a homemade one’s expiry date.

So, if your mayonnaise is not past 3 months after the expiration date, you can consume it worry-free. But, if you consume it with all the spoilt signs (which is almost impossible by the way), trouble begins.

You can have serious food poisoning accompanied by diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach upset, and fever. Often, pathogens that are contained in that mayonnaise enter your body can cause severe reactions as your body tries to fight them.

How Do You Prevent Mayonnaise from Going Bad?

You can store your readymade mayonnaise in your pantry or cupboard if you have not yet opened it and still enjoy its flavourful tastes a few months after the expiry date. Make sure these surfaces are not exposed to sunlight or heat.

Make sure you do not let in moisture in your opened mayonnaise. That is, if your condiment is packed in a tube, we recommend wiping it with a clean, dry kitchen paper towel instead of a damp cloth. This way, the growth of fungi will not be encouraged.

If your mayonnaise is stored in a jar, do not be tempted to scoop it with the same utensil you have used on your jam, mustard, or any other food item. Eggs used in making this condiment make it highly perishable. When such things are introduced to your jar, it makes your mayo susceptible to going bad fast.

Additionally, for commercial mayonnaise, manufacturers provide guidelines on how to store them. Because of the types of ingredients used, these guidelines may vary. So, go through them carefully and adhere to them for prolonged life.

Related Questions

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Is it Okay to Freeze Mayonnaise?

You can freeze your mayonnaise, but we do not recommend doing so. This is because it changes its form during thawing. It no longer holds firm and instead breaks into layers. Re-emulsifying the ingredients is tough, and you cannot achieve the original firmness. Additionally, it loses its taste and makes your bread soggy when applied.

When mayonnaise is frozen when applied in certain foods such as salads and casseroles, the ingredients get absorbed, making them taste better. However, you should never freeze it when used on lettuce. It becomes soggy or wilts altogether.

Can You Use Mayonnaise in Other Things Other than Food?

Yes. Mayonnaise has lots of uses and benefits at home.

If you have wooden furniture that has been stained by water, mayonnaise can help you remove the mark. Apply a little mayo on the stain and let it rest for a few hours before wiping. It works by exchanging water particles from the furniture with the oil particles from the mayo. The result is a shiny surface that is free from stain. 

You can treat your hair to make it healthier using this magical condiment. If you prefer natural treatments, you can never go wrong with mayonnaise. Fats and proteins available in mayo moisturize your hair and make it look shiny.

Apply mayo in your hair sparingly. Wait for it to rest before cleaning for better results. After a few minutes (about 20), you can use a mild shampoo to wash your hair and remove the mayo. After several uses, you will notice a difference in your hair.

It can also be used in wiping your indoor plants. You see that glossy look you always admire in other people’s plants? You can have it too. Apply a little mayo on your wiping cloth and wipe the leaves of your in house plants. The oil in the mayo makes them shine with a slight polishing.

How Long Does it Take to Make Homemade Mayonnaise?

Depending on the quantity you intend to prepare, homemade mayonnaise should take you a maximum of 15 minutes. You have to be careful to avoid breaking your mayo when making it. You can make mayo with a whole egg or the yolks alone.

In a homemade mayo, you can flavour it with your preferred ingredients to add on the basic ones. Use pasteurized eggs to minimize the risks of food poisoning. When it is ready, keep it chilled so you can enjoy it up to 1 week after production.

As we have seen, the duration of both homemade and commercial mayonnaise is determined by your input. You can enjoy yours for a long period if you choose to handle it the right way. Alternatively, you can keep buying or making mayo often if you are not ready for proper handling.

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