Does Mayonnaise Go Bad?

Does mayonnaise go bad or not? How long does mayonnaise last and how can you tell if your mayonnaise has gone bad? Here is a simple guide.

Mayo! It’s one of the most popular condiments worldwide. Perfect with fries or in a sandwich, it’s definitely a staple in most homes.

If you’re a big fan and can’t eat anything without a dollop of mayo, it’s likely that you get through it quite quickly before it’s reached its expiry.

However, if you only use mayonnaise occasionally, you may well have an open jar stored in the back of your fridge for a few months, so it’s sensible to eventually ask the question:

Does mayo go bad?

Well, you have come to the right place to find out.

Here’s the lowdown: Mayo definitely goes off because it has perishable ingredients, like egg, in it. To keep your jar or bottle fresher for longer, store it in a cool, dry place, unopened, and in the refrigerator once opened.

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How to Tell If Your Mayonnaise Has Gone Bad

salad with mayonnaise

Shop-bought mayonnaise, whether in a glass jar or a plastic bottle, will come sealed to stop moisture or bacteria from getting to it. So, as long as all the packaging is intact and there are no signs of splits, cracks, or leaks, you should be good to go.

If your unopened jar looks damaged, such as dented, leaking, swollen, or the seal has been broken, there is a good chance that bacteria may have gotten to it and the mayonnaise is spoiled, so be safe and get rid of it!

As for the actual mayonnaise, it is quite easy to tell whether or not it is bad. Your mayo should be white in color and a thick, spreadable consistency.

Sometimes, the mayonnaise may have a little liquid on the top where it has separated after not being used for a while. As long as none of the following spoilage signs are spotted, this is normal and should still be safe to eat just give it a good stir.

Common signs of mayonnaise going bad include a sour vinegar-like smell and the presence of molds. Also, if it is yellowish or has darkened in color, it has gone bad.

If there are no changes in appearance, but you still have a suspicion, you should also be able to taste when mayonnaise has gone a bit funky! Taste sour and a bit like vinegar? Chuck it!

How to Store Mayonnaise


Before opening, your mayonnaise should be fully sealed to keep it from bacteria, and you can store it like all other jars – in a cool, dry place away from sunlight, moisture, and sources of heat. A pantry is preferable, but really anywhere away from your oven or stove will do.

When it comes to storage, once the mayonnaise has been opened, there is much debate as to whether or not you should keep it refrigerated or not!

Keeping your unopened mayonnaise out of the fridge is considered safe, so don’t worry if you forget to stick it in the fridge after you’ve started using it.

However, it is highly recommended to keep your mayo refrigerated. It will last a lot longer and preserve freshness and flavor for an extended period.

The story is entirely different for homemade mayonnaise, which is perishable and should be kept refrigerated at all times.

How Long Does Mayonnaise Last?

macaroni salad with mayonnaise

Good news! Mayonnaise lasts for a long time in the fridge (if you don’t eat it too quickly!)

There will be an expiry date on the packaging, which, similarly to other packed foods, refers to quality rather than safety. But to be on the safe side, it is best you go by the date on the packaging.

Once opened, mayonnaise retains its freshness for around 3 to 4 months if kept refrigerated. So that’ll give you plenty of time to enjoy one of the world’s most popular condiments!

So, Does Mayonnaise Go Bad?

Preservatives in shop-bought mayonnaise will keep your mayo good for years before you break the seal and open it.

However, your opened mayonnaise will eventually go bad. But when it does, it’ll be very obvious by the sour smell and green mold growing on it.

To keep it as fresh as possible, keep it refrigerated!

By following our tips, your mayonnaise will last for up to 4 months!

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Alisa Shimoyama

Alisa eats her way around the world on her travels and likes to have good food ready and waiting for her when she gets back.