What Happens If You Eat Expired Mayo? Can You Eat Expired Mayonnaise?

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If you love mayonnaise, you aren’t alone. But what happens if you eat expired mayo? Will it make you sick? You may be surprised to know the truth. Keep reading for answers to these questions and more as we attempt to take on all of your burning questions about expired mayo in today’s post. 

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eating mayo

How Long Does Mayo Last?

We all know the feeling of not knowing how long our beloved shelf staples will last. From Can You Eat Expired Bread?” to “Does Granola Go Bad?” these questions often swirl in our minds as we ponder the negative impact that eating old food could have on our health.

To answer the quesiton about the longevity of mayo, store-bought mayo often lasts 3-4 months past its due date while homemade mayo will last 2 weeks refrigerated–or less. 

Because store-bought mayo often contains preservatives to keep it fresh, it will likely last you much longer than if you were to make mayo on your own at home.

Having said that, homemade mayo is a simple and delicious way to top your sandwiches and salads, and as such, you may have no qualms whipping up a batch or two of this daily.

If that’s you, just be sure to refrigerate your homemade mayo for the entire two weeks it lasts, or at least until it is eaten up. 

Any signs of spoilage such as an off taste, color, or smell, is an indication that your mayonnaise has gone rancid and should be thrown away immediately. 

Can You Eat Mayo After Expiration Date?

Yes, you can eat store-bought mayonnaise after the expiration date.

Generally speaking, the mayo will remain edible up to 3-4 months past its expiration date. Always check for signs of mold growth and note any changes in texture or taste. These are indicators that your mayo is starting to go downhill and that you may need to plan to purchase a new jar soon.  

Can Expired Mayo Hurt You?

Any food that is expired can hurt you if the right bacteria grows in it, and mayonnaise is no different.

Still, mayonnaise that is store-bought likely won’t cause you many issues as long as it is within the 3-4 month range by which mayo typically remains safe after expiry.

Having said that, if your mayo develops mold or changes in any way, or if you begin to experience diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or the like, be sure to discontinue your consumption of the expired mayo and see a doctor for treatment of your symptoms if they don’t go away on their own within 24 hours. 

dip in mayo

Can You Eat Expired Mayo?

You can eat expired mayo given that it has been 3-4 months within expiry. After that, you won’t want to eat the expired mayo.

Remember, consuming anything past its printed best buy date is a risk. People often develop food poisoning from eating food that is old as expired food can be a breeding ground for bacteria. 

If you are unsure about how your mayo looks, smells, or tastes, it may be best to forgo eating your expired mayo. 

What Can We Do With Expired Mayonnaise?

You may not have guessed it, but there are many things you can use expired foods for before you throw them out. 

If your mayo isn’t quite ready to kick the bucket just yet but is getting close, we’d recommend throwing your mayonnaise in a quick potato salad or using it to make your next batch of alfredo sauce extra creamy.

If potato salad or alfredo sauce isn’t your thing, some have reported success with shining shoes with old mayo. The oils in the mayonnaise supposedly give shoes an impeccable shine. 

There are many things you can do with mayo to use it up before it goes rancid…but you might have to get a little creative! 

Can I Use Expired Mayonnaise?

You can use expired mayonnaise in several ways including recipes, snacks, and more. 

Beyond that, you can feel free to use your mayo on sandwiches and for whatever else you normally use your mayo for, just be sure to use your mayo up within two to three months or whenever your mayo shows signs of spoilage. 

If you’re worried about how long your homemade batch of mayo might last before going bad, know that homemade mayo can be safely kept refrigerated for up to two weeks. Once your two weeks are up, go ahead and pitch your mayo, especially since mayo made at home is made with raw eggs, thus increasing the risks of foodborne illness. 

Can Expired Mayo Make You Sick?

Yes, it is possible that expired mayonnaise could make you sick.

Remember that eating anything that has gone past its expiration date can make you ill. The longer your food sits past expiration, the more time the food has to develop harmful bacteria that could hurt your health.

Having said that, if your mayo is only a week or two past expiration it is probably still okay to eat. As always, be sure to check the taste, smell, and consistency of your mayo before you use it. 

Still, not sure? Take a look at the neck or the jar or bottle. Is there mold growing there? This is another sign that your mayo is going bad and may need to get tossed! 

How Long Does It Take to Get Sick After Eating Bad Mayonnaise?

According to Hopkins Medicine, foodborne illness symptoms can show anywhere from 30 minutes after consuming contaminated food to three weeks.

If you do notice that you become ill quickly after eating mayonnaise, be sure to check the expiration date. If your mayonnaise has expired, quickly throw it out. It could be that your mayo is harboring germs and bacteria that have the potential to make others sick as well.

Common symptoms of foodborne illness include: 

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Aches and Pains
  • Fatigue

If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above after consuming mayonnaise, be sure to contact your local healthcare provider, especially if your symptoms last longer than a few days. 

fast food with mayo dip

What to do After Eating Expired Mayo

If you’ve eaten expired mayo and you suspect you might have gotten food poisoning, there are a few things you can do. 

  • Wait it Out: Food poisoning symptoms often subside within as little as 1-3 days. If, however, you notice that your symptoms are starting to grow worse or aren’t showing any signs of stopping, you may want to reach out to your local physician for help. 
  • Drink Up: If you’ve ever wondered, “Is green tea good for diarrhea and vomiting?” the answer is yes! There are countless teas and beverages you can drink to help you stay hydrated while also giving you the nutrients you need while you wait to feel better. 
  • Rest: Even if you feel well enough to go on with your daily activities, if you’re dealing with diarrhea or vomiting regularly, it’s best to sit it out. Do your best to clear your schedule during this time. Nourish yourself with drinks and bland food– that is, if you can keep everything down! 
  • Try OTC Medications: If nothing else works, you can always try over-the-counter medications to help you get back to normal. Medicines like Pepto-Bismol, Tylenol, and Advil can be used to nix your symptoms and the pain associated with them. Just be sure to ask your doctor about which medications to take as some drugs may interact negatively with others.
  • See a Doctor: If your symptoms persist or you feel they are getting worse, it may be time to schedule an appointment with your doctor. 

How to Tell If Mayo Is Bad

Mayonnaise can be considered bad when you spot signs of mold or note changes in the taste, texture, or smell.

Although mayonnaise is generally considered safe for 1-2 months after opening, the fact remains that your mayo can go bad before then. It’s important that you can spot the signs of bad mayo before it enters your stomach.

Mayo that has gone bad may smell putrid or acidic and may develop colors with mold. Old mayo may also grow mold on the neck of the jar. The taste of old mayo may be more sour than fresh-tasting. These are all indicators that it could be time to toss your mayo out.

What Happens if You Eat Expired Mayo: FAQs

What Does Expired Mayo Taste Like?

Expired mayonnaise will typically taste sour once it has gone bad. That’s because mayo tends to become acidic after it’s gone rancid so “sour” is the best way to describe the taste. If, however, your mayo has expired but still tastes, smells, and looks fresh, it is probably safe to consume provided that you do so within the recommended time frame of two to three months past expiration for store-bought mayo and two weeks stored in the refrigerator for homemade mayo.

Eating Expired Mayo May Cause Issues After a While…

Eating expired mayo may cause you issues, but it might take a while, especially if the mayo was store-bought. Once opened, be sure to store your mayo in the fridge for up to 2-3 months past expiry.

For homemade varieties, the mayo will generally stay good for up to two weeks. Once you begin to notice an odd taste, texture, smell, or mold growth, be sure to throw your mayo out. This helps prevent the risks of foodborne illness. 

By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating!

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