Does Mayonnaise Go Bad?

Mayonnaise, also called mayo, is a thick creamy dressing that is usually used as a condiment. Mayonnaise consists of egg yolk, oil, lemon juice and vinegar, but it also contains some other herbs and spices.

Also, there are some commercial mayonnaise alternatives without eggs, which are produced especially for vegans and for people who are allergic to eggs.

In this article you will find out something more about the shelf life of mayonnaise and about its proper storage. Also, we will discuss the factors that can cause the spoilage of mayonnaise and how to tell if mayonnaise has gone bad.

What Is the Shelf Life of Mayonnaise?

The shelf life of mayonnaise depends mostly on the storage conditions. If it is not stored properly, it will spoil even before its expiration date. The shelf life of mayonnaise also depends on the type of the mayonnaise. Actually, we should know the difference between homemade and commercial mayonnaise. Homemade mayonnaise is made of raw eggs and it goes bad much faster.

On the other side, commercial mayonnaise is made of pasteurized eggs and its shelf life is longer. Commercial mayonnaise can last several weeks if it is stored properly. When it is refrigerated, homemade mayonnaise can last about a week or two, while its commercial counterpart can stay in the fridge for up to two months after opening. After the expiration date of a mayonnaise, sometimes it can still be safe, but it will lose a lot of its quality. It will change in flavor, texture and color, but it will still be safe to consume if you have stored it in the fridge.

How to Store Mayonnaise Properly?

If the jar of mayonnaise is not opened, it should be stored at room temperature. The area must be dry, so you can keep it in the pantry or in the cabinet. Mayonnaise can be stored this way until the date that is printed on the use by date. After this date mayonnaise should be discarded.

If the jar of mayonnaise is opened, it should always be stored in the fridge, if it is not in use. Opened jar should be kept in the fridge within two months. After this period the jar of mayonnaise should be discarded.

Which Factors Can Cause Mayonnaise to Spoil?

Mayonnaise often goes bad because of the improper storage. Mayonnaise will certainly go bad if it is exposed to high temperatures or if it is not stored in the fridge after opening. The spoilage of mayonnaise also depends on whether it is homemade or commercial mayonnaise. It is known that raw eggs in homemade mayonnaise can cause food poisoning, so it is important to eat mayonnaise before its expiration date.

Also, it is very important to use clean utensils when you want to consume your mayonnaise, because some utensils can be spoiled with food contaminates. These contaminates cause bacteria and then mayonnaise will be harmful to consume.

Also, it is important never to double dip the utensil. What does it mean? If you spread mayonnaise onto the tuna fish and then you decide to put some more mayonnaise with the same utensil, it will certainly cause contamination. Tuna and breadcrumbs are the most common food contaminates. So, if you decide to take more mayonnaise, you should wash off the utensil first and then to spread more mayonnaise onto the tuna. Also, a good way to avoid contamination of mayonnaise is to purchase squeeze bottles of mayonnaise.

How To Tell if Mayonnaise Has Gone Bad?

It won’t be hard to notice if your mayonnaise has gone bad. There are some signs that will help you determine if the mayonnaise has spoiled. First you will notice that the color of mayonnaise has changed into a brownish or it can be a darker shade of white.

Sometimes also may appear mold and it is a definite sign that your mayonnaise is spoiled. Also, the mayonnaise will have a putrid smell and it will change in texture. If you notice any of these changes, you should toss the mayonnaise out and buy the new one.


As you should know by now, mayonnaise does go bad, but you can prolong its shelf life on many ways. If you want your mayonnaise to stay fresh until the expiration date, it is important to store it properly. It means that you should store it in a dry place at room temperature, if it is not opened. It is necessary to refrigerate mayonnaise immediately after opening it and store it there for up to two months.

Also, it is very important to avoid cross contamination, as we have explained before. If you are worried about eating the mayonnaise that has gone bad, it probably won’t happen. You will easily notice that your mayonnaise has spoiled, so you will discard it on time.