Does Mayo Go Bad?

Mayo is one of the most popular condiments that is used for sandwiches and burgers alike. But, can mayo go bad? If you are wondering about this same question, we’ve got you covered.

Does Mayo Go Bad?

Mayo can go bad just like most foods that have eggs. How quickly it will do so depends on whether the mayo is store-bought or homemade.

Keep in mind that when you purchase mayo from the store, it typically comes stamped with a best-by date. In most cases, it is best to adhere to this for safety precautions, however, if handled properly the date can be extended somewhat.

How Can You Tell if Mayo Has Gone Bad?

There are usually some telltale signs that will give you pause when it comes to determining whether or not your mayo has gone bad. For the most part, you will probably not be left wondering if it has gone bad since many of the signs are obvious.


When mayo has gone bad, the color will change to have a brownish-yellow tinge or sometimes just a darker white color. It is important to pay attention to what your mayo looks like every time you take it out of the fridge to ensure its freshness.

Additionally, you may notice mold or other bacteria growth in a jar of mayo if it has gone bad. If you notice anything that is off in the way it looks, it is best to throw it away and purchase a new jar.


If your mayo has gone bad, you will often catch a whiff that something is a bit off after opening the jar. In some cases, the smell may be foul or even more acidic than it should be, which will indicate that the mayo should probably be tossed.


Another way to tell whether or not your mayo has gone bad is to taste it to see if has an off taste. When mayo has gone bad, it will not have the same flavorful taste that you are used to when it is fresh.

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03/30/2023 08:56 pm GMT

How Long Does Mayo Last When Stored in the Fridge?

When it comes to determining how long a jar of mayo will last, it is important to consider whether or not you purchased it at the store or made it yourself. This is because the differences in the ingredients can determine just how long it will take to go bad.

Most store-bought mayo tends to have a longer shelf life than homemade since they add various ingredients that can make it last longer. Some of these ingredients are preservatives and additional acids such as vinegar.

Another reason store-bought mayo lasts longer is that they typically contain pasteurized eggs instead of raw eggs. This means that they are more resistant to bacteria that can grow thus making the mayo last much longer.

For the most part, if you have an unopened jar of mayo, it will likely last 3-4 months when stored in a cabinet or the pantry. Once the jar has been opened, however, it may last about 2-3 months in the fridge.

When you make homemade mayo, however, you are most likely using raw egg yolks, vinegar, and oil. Since you are using raw egg yolks, your mayo will likely only last about a week when stored in the fridge.

It may be important to note that you should use caution when making homemade mayo since most recipes call for using raw eggs. Since the CDC advises against eating anything that contains raw eggs, you may want to check out irradiated eggs that have become commonplace in many supermarkets today.

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How Should You Store Mayo?

Many people question not only how long mayo may last but also the best ways to store it once they have purchased or made their own. The answer to this question depends on whether or not the jar has been opened.

Keep in mind that if you made your mayo from scratch and used raw eggs, the only way to store it safely is in the fridge. You should also make sure that it is stored in an airtight container to prevent bacteria from reaching it sooner than you would like.

Unopened Mayo

If you recently purchased a jar of mayo, you likely picked it off of a shelf at the store and not in a refrigerated section. This means that when you take it home, as long as it stays unopened, you can safely store it in your cabinet or pantry.

It is recommended, however, that you ensure that the unopened jar is stored in a cool, dry environment that is far away from any heat source. Since the product contains eggs, if it is exposed to any heat it will likely go bad sooner.

Opened Mayo

Once you have opened the jar of mayo, you will need to store it in the refrigerator to prevent it from going bad. Again, since the product contains eggs, the air that it is exposed to after being opened can cause bacteria to grow.

Store-bought mayo, after it has been opened, can typically last up to about 3 months as long as you have taken certain precautions. This means that you will need to ensure that you have not to cross-contaminated it with other products such as chicken or any other types of food.

In most cases, mayo tends to go bad much faster if you have not been careful as you are using it in conjunction with other foods. The best rule of thumb is to ensure that you are always using a clean utensil when scooping your mayo from the jar.

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Can Mayo Cause My Salads or Sandwiches to Go Bad?

If you’ve just made a gigantic bowl of chicken salad, you should know that at some point the mayo will go bad. But the truth is, the chicken will likely go bad before the mayo. 

Therefore it is really difficult to blame a chicken salad for going bad because of the mayo. If you leave that salad out in the hot sun, however, this can cause the salad to go bad.

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Hope Davis

Born in Denver, Colorado as the oldest of 5 children, I learned at a young age that the grill was one of the best ways to prepare food for a crowd. And during the winter storm months, when the snow was likely to knock out the power to our house, the propane grill was a lifesaver! You wouldn’t believe the number of things you can cook on a grill when necessary. With parents who couldn’t tell salt from pepper unless you told them, I spent my late teen years making my own seasoning mixes and marinades to dress the meat before barbecues. It wasn’t long before I developed a secret marinade that people still beg me to make for them today! When I was 21 years old I bought my first smoker. Picked up some cedar chips for making a cedar plank salmon...and well, the rest they say is history! I’ve been grilling and smoking all kinds of creations ever since and I’m always excited to share my passion with others through my favorite medium--writing!

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