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Author Topic: Refrigerating mayonnaise
Brett Wormley
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Here's a very well kept secret: contrary to what it says on the jar, you don't need to refrigerate mayonnaise! (This is where most people run screaming from the room). It is classified as non-perishable. Yes, you can get sick from an old chicken salad sandwich, but the more mayonnaise you add, the *safer* the sandwich is.

I grew up knowing this since we never refrigerated our mayonnaise. It was only as an adult that I found that there's such a strong aversion to keeping it in the cupboard. So I did the research, and confirmed it. But still, it's quite a conversation starter to bring this up at parties!

Cheers,
Brett

[ 25. January 2006, 06:48 PM:   snopes ]

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Arriah
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Did you have food poisoning frequently as a child?

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Troberg
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It's not kept refrigerated in the shops and there are probably rules about how they should handle it, so it should be OK at home.

I still keep it in the fridge, got more room there.

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/Troberg

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Jay Tea
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quote:
It is classified as non-perishable.
Bull pies! Pure and simple.

Commercial mayo is certainly a long-lived product in the jar (I assume you are talking of this) but it will break down pretty swiftly if you leave it in a warm kitchen and you will encourage the growth or bacteria. Because it is made with pasteurised eggs it's safer out of the fridge than perhaps some people think but an icebox is still the best place for it.

As far as home-made mayo goes - eat that the day you make it.

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Richard W
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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
It's not kept refrigerated in the shops and there are probably rules about how they should handle it, so it should be OK at home.

Yes, but the jars in the shops aren't open...
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Tiggeress
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I would like a cite for this, as I will show you what I have found.

Here it says you still have to refrigerate mayo after opening/useing it.
quote:
It's perfectly safe to carry a tuna salad sandwich for lunch with no refrigeration, but it is still always a good idea to refrigerate salads and cold dishes using mayonnaise.
Then again you have blue plate mayo saying,
quote:
To refrigerate Blue Plate Mayonnaise would be dependent upon one'sindividual's preference. The recommended storage temperature is between 40 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit; however, no special treatment is required for temperature below 100 degrees.
then we go back to saying
quote:
How to store: Refrigerate once opened. Homemade mayonnaise will only last 3-4 days; commercial for up to 6 months.
This quote can be found here

After looking at 12 sites only 1 says you can leave it out. For health reasons and wanting my mayo to stay fresher, and last longer, I will continue to refrigerate my mayo.

Tiggeress

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Radon Girl
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You also need to remeber mayo in the UK is completely different to mayo in the US.

UK mayo has a higher proportion of egg products and is more likely to cause problems when left unrefridgerated. US mayo (equivavlent to the UK salad cream) may not require as stringent temperture controls.

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Daciesmom
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Anyone know if Ketchup has to be refrigerated? I keep mine in the cabinet. I hate cold ketchup. My Mother-in-law insists that it should be kept in the refrigerator.

Crissy

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GenYus
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I never refrigerated my ketchup and it never seemed to go bad.

Regarding the mayonaise/salad dressing. I figure the potential drawback (getting sick) is worth taking up a bit of room in the 'fridge.

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Troberg
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quote:
Yes, but the jars in the shops aren't open...
What, you don't taste before you buy? [fish]

I usually buy it in squeeze bottles or tubes, I imagine they will keep fresh longer, which is probably wrong.

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/Troberg

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Tiggeress
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I had to change my post I had all but 1 and it should and now does state all but 1 says to refrigerate.

Tiggeress

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Gale
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I thought mayo was the same and salad dressing like Miracle Whip is the same as salad cream. Personally, I think it's all pretty nasty as a rule.
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Menolly
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We refrigerate mayo at our house. Troberg, I get the squeeze bottle too. Figure the mayo stays 'cleaner'. Sometimes my family doesn't get a clean knife after they've cut lettuce, tomatoes, etc. and they use the same knife to get out the mayo. The squeeze bottle eliminates getting food crumbs in the mayo from the knife.

AFAIK, catsup does not have to be refrigerated.

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Lainie
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Ick. Food crumbs in mayo. The worst is tiny bits of tuna in the mayo.

US and UK formulations of actual mayonnaise may differ, but I suspect Gayle's right: UK "salad cream" is equivalent to US "salad dressing" or Miracle Whip, not to US mayo. Some people here call Miracle Whip or other such mayonnaise-based salad dressings "mayo," which may lead to the confusion.

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Quack
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quote:
Originally posted by Daciesmom:
Anyone know if Ketchup has to be refrigerated? I keep mine in the cabinet. I hate cold ketchup. My Mother-in-law insists that it should be kept in the refrigerator.

Crissy

Ketchup does not require refrigeration. Point out to your Mother-in-law the fact that most diners and "casual" restaurants (Appleby's, TGIF Friday's etc) keep ketchup bottles on the table 24/7 along with salt, pepper, and sugar. The health department obviously wouldn't allow this if refrigeration was required.

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Purple Iguana
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My hubby insists on refrigerating ketchup, but I NEVER did in my whole entirely pre-married life. Certainly, refrigeration doesn't HURT anything... and it helps cool off those fresh-out-of-the-oven potato products... but it's entirely unnecessary.

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happyholidaysfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Quack:
quote:
Originally posted by Daciesmom:
Anyone know if Ketchup has to be refrigerated? I keep mine in the cabinet. I hate cold ketchup. My Mother-in-law insists that it should be kept in the refrigerator.

Crissy

Ketchup does not require refrigeration. Point out to your Mother-in-law the fact that most diners and "casual" restaurants (Appleby's, TGIF Friday's etc) keep ketchup bottles on the table 24/7 along with salt, pepper, and sugar. The health department obviously wouldn't allow this if refrigeration was required.
Fascinating!!! I wondered about this the other day when I noticed there was no "Refridgerate after opening" warning anywhere on the bottle!

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Samantha Vimes
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Over time, unrefrigerated, open ketchup may darken. But it's still safe.
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NobbyNobbs
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quote:
Originally posted by Brett Wormley:
So I did the research, and confirmed it.

I would like to see the sources for that research.

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Kathy B
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According to the Association for Dressings and Sauces, "an international association of salad dressing, mayonnaise, mustard and other condiment manufacturers and their suppliers," in Make Mine Mayonnaise! The facts and fallacies behind commercial mayonnaise
quote:
More than 60 years of research has proven that commercially prepared mayonnaise does not cause foodborne illness. In fact, these commercial products are carefully prepared with ingredients such as vinegar, lemon juice and salt to create an unfriendly environment that slows and even inhibits the growth of bacteria and, indeed, can kill it.
[snip]
Q. What happens if I leave mayonnaise unrefrigerated for a long period of time?

A. From a food safety standpoint, commercial mayonnaise and mayonnaise-type dressings are perfectly stable when stored at room temperature after opening. Quality, not safety, is the only reason the labels on these products suggest that they be refrigerated after opening. Refrigeration ensures that the commercial mayonnaise keeps its fresh flavor for a longer period of time. Please review the product’s label for more information on storage and shelf life.

The "indeed can kill it" comes from Death of Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Real
Mayonnaise and Reduced-Calorie Mayonnaise Dressing as
Influenced by Initial Population and Storage Temperature
which concluded "The pathogen did not grow in either mayonnaise formulation, regardless of the inoculum level or storage temperature. Increases in storage temperature from 5 to 20 degrees C and from 20 to 30 degrees C resulted in dramatic increases in the rate of inactivation." [30 degrees C = 86F]

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Rhiandmoi
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You don't have to refrigerate mayo, but warm mayo is yucky. It has a completely different consistency than cold mayo.
Plus once you start dipping your knives in the mayo you are introducing all kinds on little things for mold and bacteria to grow on. They might not actually grown on the mayo because of the acidity, but if they are growing on your zillion bread crumbs that are mixed into your mayo, that is still gross. I also refrigerate jelly for the same reason. The bread crumbs can draw moisture out of the mayo or jelly and cause problems.

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Gale
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quote:
Originally posted by Quack:
quote:
Originally posted by Daciesmom:
Anyone know if Ketchup has to be refrigerated? I keep mine in the cabinet. I hate cold ketchup. My Mother-in-law insists that it should be kept in the refrigerator.

Crissy

Ketchup does not require refrigeration. Point out to your Mother-in-law the fact that most diners and "casual" restaurants (Appleby's, TGIF Friday's etc) keep ketchup bottles on the table 24/7 along with salt, pepper, and sugar. The health department obviously wouldn't allow this if refrigeration was required.
Every restaurant I've worked at has refrigerated the ketchup overnight. Parmesan cheese, too.
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monkey
Happy Holly Days


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We keep our ketchup in the cabinet. My parents always kept it in the fridge, and I freaked out the first time husband put it away in the cabinet because I thought it would go bad. We ended up consulting a family friend who is quite high up the chain of command at the FDA. She keeps hers in the pantry. We figure, she helps run the FDA, she probably knows whether ketchup is going to go bad!

Also, fast food places keep their little ketchup packets out at room temperature all the time, but for some reason it never occured to me that you could do the same with an actual bottle of ketchup.

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Brett Wormley
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Some clarification: my original post only refers to commercial mayonnaise in the US.

The pervasiveness of this myth even extends to major food manufacturers. To prove my assertion (yet again!), I emailed the consumer advocate at Kraft Foods. Their first reply was only to parrot "refrigerage after opening." But after pressing them further, they admitted that their mayonnaise products need not be stored at less than cellar temperature.

I can understand how and why the myth got started. The egg products in homemade mayo can kill you if you don't have sufficient oil. But mayo (in the US) is required to have sufficient oil to bring the pH to a level that doesn't allow bacteria to grow.

Years ago, my new bride and I came to odds over the perishability of mayonnaise and, after several months, came to a much-needed marital compromise. She first claimed that my family must have had an uncanny immunity to food poisoning! But after many months of data, she finally conceded to the imperishability of mayonnaise. And my part of the compromise? We have to store it somewhere, and we store ours in the fridge.

Cheers,
Brett

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Tiggeress
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quote:
Originally posted by Brett Wormley:
Some clarification: my original post only refers to commercial mayonnaise in the US.

The pervasiveness of this myth even extends to major food manufacturers. To prove my assertion (yet again!), I emailed the consumer advocate at Kraft Foods. Their first reply was only to parrot "refrigerage after opening." But after pressing them further, they admitted that their mayonnaise products need not be stored at less than cellar temperature.

I can understand how and why the myth got started. The egg products in homemade mayo can kill you if you don't have sufficient oil. But mayo (in the US) is required to have sufficient oil to bring the pH to a level that doesn't allow bacteria to grow.

Years ago, my new bride and I came to odds over the perishability of mayonnaise and, after several months, came to a much-needed marital compromise. She first claimed that my family must have had an uncanny immunity to food poisoning! But after many months of data, she finally conceded to the imperishability of mayonnaise. And my part of the compromise? We have to store it somewhere, and we store ours in the fridge.

Cheers,
Brett

Please prove your assertion for the first time here. So far you have posted the OP and a second saying you emailed Kraft but no where is there proof or a cite from you. So please do prove your assertion. You can cut and paste the email.

Tiggeress

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Horse Chestnut
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It may not go bad, but it turns yellow and clear. No way I'm eating that.
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Menolly
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Yes, HC, a very nasty, bad, slimy-oily yellow. I would much rather attempt to eat the dark colored dried out Velveeta we get when the wrapper has slipped out of place! [lol]

:shudder:Not an appetizing color At All.

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NobbyNobbs
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Mayonnaise is made from eggs. Leave eggs in the cabinet instead of the refrigerator and see what happens.

Eww.

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Ms Congeniality
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quote:
Originally posted by Horse Chestnut:
It may not go bad, but it turns yellow and clear. No way I'm eating that.

Ditto! It LOOKS like it went bad...

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reflex
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quote:
Originally posted by NobbyNobbs:
Mayonnaise is made from eggs. Leave eggs in the cabinet instead of the refrigerator and see what happens.

Eww.

They do that in Guatemala, and nothing happens. But by that logic, leave tomatoes on the counter for a few weeks, next to a bottle of ketchup, and see which one goes bad.

The point is, the ingredients in mayo other than the eggs create a medium on which bacteria cannot survive. Same goes for the ketchup. That's why, before refrigerators, humans used to salt their meats.

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Lydia Oh Lydia
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I went to school with a girl for several years, spent the night at her house when we were in grade school, ate at her house several times. I distinctly remember eating at her house one summer after we had started college. I was shocked when she pulled the already opened, half-used jar of mayo out of the cupboard for our burgers. Another friend and I asked her what it was doing in the cupboard. She and her mother responded that they always kept it there. To the best of my knowledge, no one was never sick from it.

Personally, I refrigerate all condiments, mayo and ketchup included.

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ali_marea
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Still related to mayo, but not to its perishability... I'm with Gayle. I thought mayo was the same here and in the UK, but salad cream/miracle whip/salad dressing type things were different.

There's a giant difference between salad dressing type stuff and mayo, IMO. Miracle Whip and mayo are not even related as far as I'm concerned.

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Jaime Vargas Sanchez
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quote:
Originally posted by Rhiandmoi:
Plus once you start dipping your knives in the mayo

...you get expelled from civilized society.

Mayonnaise is used by everybody with common sense by using a spoon to leave a small quantity in your plate and using that for your knife- and food-dripping.

Jaime

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Rhiandmoi
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quote:
Originally posted by Jaime Vargas Sanchez:
quote:
Originally posted by Rhiandmoi:
Plus once you start dipping your knives in the mayo

...you get expelled from civilized society.

Mayonnaise is used by everybody with common sense by using a spoon to leave a small quantity in your plate and using that for your knife- and food-dripping.

Jaime

Well than that cinches it then, I am no longer part of civilized society because when making a sandwich I put the knife directly into the jar. And even use the same knife to make the second sandwich.

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I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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Keeper of the Mad Bunnies
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Mayonnaise:

It seems to depend on who you talk to:

"Always check the labels on cans or jars to determine how the contents should be stored. Many items besides fresh meats, vegetables, and dairy products need to be kept cold. For instance, mayonnaise and ketchup should go in the refrigerator after opening. If you've neglected to refrigerate items, it's usually best to throw them out."

FDA Consumer

"Commercially produced mayonnaise is an unlikely cause of food poisoning. This is because it is made with pasteurized eggs, which are heat treated to kill harmful bacteria, such as salmonella. It also has a high level of acidity — from ingredients such as vinegar or lemon juice — which inhibits bacteria growth. Homemade mayonnaise, on the other hand, is made with raw egg yolks, which may contain harmful bacteria, and should be avoided."

Mayo Clinic (the hospital!)

"Commercial mayonnaise and most bottled salad dressings are what we call “acidified foods”. They are safe at room temperature even after opening, although most restaurants and the manufacturer want them refrigerated to preserve the freshest flavor. Mayonnaise and salad dressings have an acid level low enough that they do not support growth of microorganisms, unless they are heavily contaminated by a dirty utensil or mixed with other foods changing the acidity level. Mayonnaise mixed in foods such as in potato salad, etc. must be refrigerated, but the mayonnaise alone at room temperature is OK although flavor is better refrigerated. As a food safety point, pre-chill ingredients (such as mayonnaise) for salads to 41°F or below, so the final product is not in the temperature danger zone (41°F to 135°F)."
Food Handler

It is not so much a 'very well kept secret' as it is common sense. The normal adult in America will not make the differentiation between 'mayonnaise' and 'salad made with mayonnaise'. It is better to get them in the habit of refrigerating anything with mayo to prevent accidental problems. Also, homemade mayo should ALWAYS be refrigerated, so get everyone to always refrigerate any form of mayo.

Ketchup:

I store that which I use (in the squeeze bottle) in the refrigerator because I like it that way. The balance is stored at room temperature because it pours into the squeeze bottle easier during refilling.

James Powell

Posts: 588 | From: Michigan | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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