Does Mayonnaise Go Bad?

A lot of people take mayo to be the same as ketchup when discussing shelf-life and storage. You've stored your mayonnaise in the cupboard for a few months. Suddenly your eyes hit the expiry date, and it indicates it's expired, and you are surprised.

Does mayo go bad too? Note that eggs are present in mayonnaise, making it very different from ketchup, although there are some similarities. I'll provide some insights about mayo and how to tell if it's bad as we proceed.

How Long Does Mayonnaise Last?

All condiments and sauces come in jars, and these jars also have expiration dates. Some come with best-by-dates – this gives an estimate of how long the condiment will last. Telling the exact time mayo will last is unpredictable because there are various companies manufacturing mayo.

These companies have secret/unique ingredients peculiar to them alone. Hence, making it somewhat impossible to tell how long mayonnaise will last. Here are some ways to predict how long your mayonnaise will last

  • Best by Date and Date of Expiration

”Best by ”date doesn't equal the ”date of expiration”.It's just a rough estimate date that how long the product will last or the day that the product can remain at its peak quality. It means you can still consume it though past that date. However, how long when past that date is still safe, depends on a specific food.

  •  Homemade

Homemade mayo is regarded as riskier because of the ingredients. It is made of raw eggs. When unopened, it could only last for a week. For the opened mayo, it could last for 2-5 days once opened. Hence, you should consume homemade mayo in 2-5 days and a week maximum.

  • Store-bought

Mayo gotten from the store lasts longer than the homemade mayo. Pasteurized eggs are used in making store-bought mayo, and this makes them last longer. If unopened, the store-bought mayo could last for almost a year. Once the store-bought mayo is opened, the shelf-life reduces to a month.

How to Tell if Mayonnaise Goes Bad?

Make sure you check your mayonnaise carefully before consuming or buying, even if it's properly stored. There are several ways to tell if your mayonnaise is going or has gone bad.

  • Look

Taking a stern look at your mayo before consuming it is essential. It should be noted that once you notice;

Color Change: A change in your mayo color from your usual white mayonnaise to a yellow or brown color shows your mayo is getting worse and should be disposed of.

Mold Growth: the appearance of mold shows the influence of bacteria overgrowth in your mayo. Liquid forming at the top of your mayo or the formation of separated layers in the jar confirms your mayo is spoilt.

  • Smell

The moment you notice any unusual smell from your mayonnaise jar, you should dispose of it immediately. The putrid, off, or acidic mayo smell is a pointer to a bad mayonnaise.

  • Taste

Once your mayo tastes any different from the way it ought to, you should dispose of it. Irrespective of whether you are just bringing it from the refrigerator for use. It shouldn't be consumed.

To keep your mayo from getting worse quickly, mostly homemade, make sure you make use of a clean spoon when scooping. It will help prevent cross-contamination. And, do not double-dip your spoon in the mayonnaise while scooping.

How to Store Mayonnaise?

Just like every other condiment/sauce, you should store your mayonnaise appropriately. Storing could be done as explained below;

  • Homemade

When it comes to Homemade Mayonnaise, the recommended method is storing it in the fridge. Out of lacking preservatives, the shelf life is shorter than store-bought ones. To keep longer, you can substitute pasteurized eggs but not common fresh eggs.

  • Store-bought

For unopened Mayonnaise anywhere that dry and away from any heat sources are perfect. You can store it in a cabinet or a pantry. Unless the label tells you don't need to store in the refrigeration. Last but not least, always keep a cool temperature.

How about opened Mayonnaise? Once you've opened the jar, seal it tightly after using it, and keep it in the fridge immediately. Keep in mind that do not open at room temperature.

Can Mayonnaise Make Salad or Sandwiches Spoil?


Mayo cannot make your sandwiches or salad spoil. As I mentioned earlier, mayonnaise has preservatives and is acidic. It means it doesn't allow the growth of bacteria. However, sandwiches and salads have ingredients that would enable the development; hence, if your salad or sandwich goes bad, it's not the mayo but the ingredients in the salad or sandwich.


Mayo has a short shelf-life unlike other condiments and should be stored and treated with utmost care. Bear in mind that mayo is better kept in the refrigerator irrespective of whether it's homemade or store-bought. It's untrue that mayo causes sandwiches and salad to go bad. Mayonnaise has primary preservatives as its ingredient; hence, it doesn't contaminate other food items.

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