Can You Eat Expired Mayo? (Is It Safe To Eat?)

Our health is a function of the food we eat. If you eat right, the body will respond by giving you good health. The reverse is the case if you don’t.

Mayo is popularly used as a base for salad dressings, especially the creamy type. It does contain high fat but can be part of a healthy diet. 

However, mayo has an expiry date. And many believe when foods expire, they automatically become unsafe to eat. Now let’s assume your mayo has expired, and you’re thinking in the same line.

Hold on for a minute! Can you eat an expired mayo? Would it have any adverse effect on your wellbeing? This post explains everything you need to know. Read on!

Can You Use Mayo After the Expiration Date?

Well, it depends on how you store your mayonnaise and the state it’s in. 

If your mayo has passed the expiry date and you have been storing it safely in the refrigerator, you can use it.

The Canada Food Inspection Agency has recommended storing mayo in the refrigerator once opened. That way, you can even use it for 3 to 4 months even after it passes its best before date (expiry date). 

So, the best place to store your mayo is the refrigerator. Store it at room temperature or below 20 degrees centigrade.

However, the bottom line is to consider the quality of your expired mayo. Does it give off an offensive odor? Has the taste or appearance changed?

Don’t use it if you noticed these changes while storing your mayo in the refrigerator. That’s a sign your mayo is no longer good and safe for consumption. 

But if you keep your mayo in the refrigerator regularly from when you open it, there’s a huge chance it would remain fresh for long. It could pass its expiry date and remain safe to eat for 3 to 4 months. 

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On the other hand, if you’re fond of keeping your mayo on the counter under humid and warm conditions, chances are it could go bad easily

The mayo might lose its taste, smell, and appeal even before expiration. And even if it manages to reach the expiry date, there’s a huge chance that it won’t cross it. 

A Handy Tip: Don’t wait for the expiry date to check if your mayo is safe to eat. Check if it’s safe before using it from time to time. The smell, taste, and appeal will tell you all you need to know. 

Not only mayo. You can determine if other foods are worth using once they pass their expiry dates by simple examination. The food has possibly spoilt if it has changed its taste, smell, or color.  

What Happens If You Eat Expired Mayo?

We mentioned earlier that expired mayo doesn’t mean the product is unsafe to eat. It all depends on how you have been storing and the state of the mayo. 

If you have been storing your mayo in the refrigerator or at room temperature, there’s a good chance your expired mayo will remain safe to eat for a few months.

However, if you notice that your mayo’s taste, smell, or appeal has changed, then it’s unsafe to eat. You’ll discover that the mayonnaise is separating, and the liquid on top is gathering. 

Why does this? It happens because of bacteria overgrowth. You’ll likely have an upset stomach or food poison when you consume these types of mayonnaises. 

Another thing you need to know is that the mayo has started turning acidic at this point. You can also have a stomach ache, diarrhea, or nausea

There’s another challenge you could face if the mayo were manufactured with unhygienic eggs. You can contract salmonella. From the salmonella, you can contract salmonella infection. 

This infection can cause digestive disorders or typhoid fever.  

So, eating expired mayo that’s already going bad can cause food-borne illnesses. The symptoms include the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Stomach cramps

How Long is Mayo Good After the Expiration Date?

As stated earlier, it all depends on the storage method. How did you store your mayonnaise after opening it? Or, perhaps, you haven’t opened it, but it has passed its best before date (expiry date). 

If you have opened your mayo and been storing it at room temperature or in the refrigerator since then, it might last for 3 to 4 months after the expiry date.

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Furthermore, if you haven’t opened the mayonnaise before its past expiry date, it can last for a long period. 

On the other hand, if you open the mayo and leave it on the counter, it might even go bad before the expiry date. 

The bottom line is your mayo is to know if your mayo is bad or not. And how can you tell your mayo isn’t good anymore?

Here are tips your mayo is bad and unsafe to eat.

1. Change in taste

One of the things you’ll notice when your mayo becomes bad is the change in flavor. It will start tasting very sour. 

2. Unpleasant odor

What reaction does your smell receptors (smell buds) give you when you open fresh mayonnaise? Of course, you may feel the urge to start consuming the mayo immediately. 

Unfortunately, a bad or spoilt mayo won’t smell that way. It will give off a strong odor when opened. You can differentiate how a fresh mayo smells from a bad one.

3. Uneven color

You can also identify a spoilt mayo visually. Examine the jar carefully. Is the color of the mayo at the surface different from the bottom? 

If this is what you’re seeing, then oxidation has taken place. Such a mayo is also unsafe for consumption. 

The color of a mayo that’s still good is even from top to bottom. Uneven color, where the top part of the mayo is darker than the bottom, indicates the mayonnaise is bad.  

4. Presence of lump

Take a clean tablespoon and deep it into the mayo. Is there a lump in it? If there is, that’s an indication that your expired mayo is bad and unsafe to eat. 

5. Mold on the jar lid

You can also check the jar lid to determine whether your expired mayo is bad or still usable. How will you know if the mayo is bad?

Check the jar lid if there’s mold growing on it. If the mayo is bad, you’ll discover mold (brownish or whitish) growing on the cover or, sometimes, on the mayo’s surface.

Most people may eat such mayo after scooping the mold away. But that’s a dangerous move. The only thing you need to do is to discard such mayo. Please don’t eat it! 

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6. Oil on the surface

Can you see oil on your expired mayo’s surface when you open the jar? If yes, the mayo has loosened, and it’s unsafe to eat. 

Scooping the surface away is not enough to make the mayo healthy for consumption. The oily surface is a sign the mayo is completely bad from top to bottom.

Can You Eat Expired Mayo If Unopened?

Yes, you can. Expired mayo can stay fresh for 3 to 4 months. The bottom line is to examine the mayo for signs that indicates it’s going bad.

If the mayo has started giving off an offensive odor, changed color, has lumps, changed the taste, or is moldy, it’s unsafe to consume. 

You have to understand that even expired mayo that has been opened can be unsafe to eat. The bottom line is to store your mayo properly, whether opened or not.

If you keep it in the refrigerator, or probably at room temperature, your mayo might stay fresh for a long period whether it has passed the best before date or not. 

Does Mayo Go Bad in the Fridge?

Here’s what you need to know. An unopened mayo left in the fridge can last long. It can stay fresh for months after its best before date. 

So, whether opened or unopened, mayo cannot last forever in the fridge. Once it’s past its expiry date, it might go bad after a couple of months. 

The best thing to do is observe your mayo before eating it. Check if it has started going bad. It doesn’t matter if it has passed its best before date or not.

A Handy Tip: An unopened mayo can stay fresh in the pantry for at least three months.  

Conclusion: Can you eat expired mayo?

You’ll find the answer to this question in this post. But here’s a summary. Well, yes, you can eat expired mayo, as long as it hasn’t gone bad. 

Mayo can stay fresh for months once it has passed its expiry date. But you have to make sure you store it properly. Please keep it in the fridge before or after opening it. 

Furthermore, always examine your mayo to see if it’s good before eating it. Do not assume anything. You can read the signs that mayo is going bad in this post.    

About Sylvette Brown

Sylvette is a homemaker and is passionate about cooking and other kitchen-related stuff. She also loves to do home improvement related tasks and keeps on writing about food and cookware on her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her 2 little kids. :)