Do You Actually Need To Refrigerate Mayonnaise?

Mayonnaise is a staple condiment found in many American refrigerators. The creamy spread is used for making favorites like deviled eggs, BLT sandwiches, potato salad, and countless other recipes. According to Epicurious, you can also use mayonnaise to make aiolis and ranch dressing. 

No one really knows the origin of mayonnaise, but the leading theories speculate that this popular condiment originated in Spain or France, however, the ancient Egyptians and Romans also made a spread similar to today's mayo (via The Nibble). Of course, it doesn't really matter where mayonnaise was created, we have it now thanks to the king of mayo, German-born Richard Hellmann, and that's what matters.

Storing mayo is also quite important, as freshness equals flavor, and where to keep mayo has been a long-standing question. In supermarkets, mayonnaise is found on non-refrigerated shelves but at home, it typically stays in the fridge. Does it actually make a difference where it's kept? What about store-bought mayonnaise in comparison to the homemade kind? 

It's better to be safe than sorry

As The Daily Meal points out, mayonnaise contains eggs, which require refrigeration, and also lemon juice, which helps prevent spoiling. Both of these seem a bit contradictory, but ingredients aside, a good rule of thumb is to read the manufacturer's label. Some brands may recommend refrigerating their product, while others may say their mayo is shelf-stable.

Regardless of what the label says, Southern Living reports that you should refrigerate the mayo once it's been opened. The United States Department of Agriculture recommends throwing out mayonnaise that has been sitting at 50 degrees or higher for more than eight hours. Storing mayo in the fridge is the safe bet, but even then, it won't last forever. Does It Go Bad reports that homemade mayonnaise should only be kept for about a week and store-bought mayonnaise should be tossed two months after it has been opened. It's also a good idea to check the expiration date as no one wants to get sick from old mayonnaise.