Hummus is a spread or dip made of chickpeas, which you can use for making various sandwiches and cooked meals. If you are one of the people who enjoy this delicacy, you probably wonder does hummus go bad after a while and how long does hummus last. Let’s see.
Does Hummus Go Bad?
Nowadays, you can find shelf- safe, canned, and refrigerated hummus in the market, depending on the packaging and brand. Typically, these products are the best quality before the date indicated.
The specific date defines the end of the period by which the manufacturer undertakes that the hummus will retain its original taste, smell, and quality.
Still, this grocery eventually spoils even when you store it properly. If you don’t follow the recommendation about the place and temperature for keeping it, that can happen even before the date on the label expires.
How Long Does Hummus Last?
The first thing you need to know about the hummus-lasting time is that this spread spoils very quickly. So, avoid keeping it in an open package at room temperature for more than an hour or two.
It is safe to store an unopened shelf-safe packaging in the pantry for several months. However, once you start using it, keep it in the refrigerator at a low temperature and consume it in the next 3 to 5 days.
If you prefer refrigerated hummus, it can stay safe to use about one week after the date on the pack expires. However, you shouldn’t consume this grocery longer than five days after opening.
How Long Does Hummus Last (Chart)
|Shelf-safe new pack||Date + 1 to 3 months|
|Unsafe||3 to 5 days|
Date + 3 to 7 days
|Unsafe||3 to 5 days|
3 to 4 days
A home-made hummus has a shorter life than the one you buy in a store. The reason is that manufacturers use various additives that prolong its shelf life. If you prefer to have home-made hummus, always keep it in the fridge and use it no longer than 3 to 4 days.
5 Tips to Tell If Hummus Has Gone Bad
It is not complicated to check whether hummus is in good condition. There are five definite signals that it is time to buy or make a new dose:
The change in the hummus odor is the first indicator that it starts spoiling. If you feel a strong, sour smell of lemon, throw it out immediately because it is no longer safe for consumption. Sometimes, the odor of rotten hummus can even be reminiscent of soap or sewage.
The next item is a visual inspection. Spoiled hummus has a different color. It can darken or get a yellowish layer on the surface. In either case, there is no need to taste it, but throw it away immediately.
Black or green dots on the surface are a definite indicator of the bacteria presence in the hummus. In most cases, the spread is contaminated through other food or a dirty spoon.
Remember that it is not enough to clean the mold part and keep using hummus. The bacteria are surely developed in the part that is visually fine at first sight.
When hummus stays in the refrigerator for days, its surface hardens and becomes like cement. It is a sure sign that you need to throw it away.
On the other hand, stir hummus first when noticing that it becomes watery. Sometimes, liquid separates from the rest of the mix, although it is not spoiled.
Except for garlic-flavored hummus, this dipping sauce has a mild and neutral taste. Even though it visually looks OK and the smell is unchanged, you better not risk food poisoning if it tastes different.
6 Tips to Store Hummus for Longer
While you can keep a shelf-safe hummus pack for months, the one from an open package can’t stay in the fridge for more than seven days without spoiling. Therefore, use it all, freeze the leftovers, or throw them away. I will give you five tips you can use to prevent spoiling this spread or even extend its shelf life by one or two days.
The ideal temperature for storing the opened pack is around 40 F (4.4 C) or lower. If your refrigerator has a digital thermometer, set it to keep this temperature constant.
The higher temperature accelerates the hummus spoilage and shortens its shelf life. Therefore, place it in the colder part of your refrigerator. Keep it away from the door since the temperature fluctuations there can be significant.
A small piece of self-adhesive foil can extend hummus duration by a day or two, whether in the original packaging or a glass jar.
After using the spread, place the foil on the container and press it down to eliminate the excess air. Only then put the lid on and put the hummus back in the fridge. This method will also help you save your home-made grocery.
Be aware that the hummus surface dries and cracks when it stays in the fridge for a long time. Add one or two drops of olive oil to it every day and stir right away to keep it moist and prevent prematurely spoiling.
Seal a container
Sometimes, you can’t close the original pack airtight after opening it. In that case, transfer your hummus to another container like a porcelain bowl or a glass jar. It is crucial to prevent air from entering the hummus container. That way, microbes can’t contaminate your food, and hummus won’t pick up the smell from the surrounding food.
Always use a clean utensil to dip in the hummus. Don’t consume other food before shoveling a spoon in a jar with hummus since you can contaminate it. Instead, place a small portion of it on your plate and consume it from there. Plus, avoid dipping your food directly in hummus for the same reason.
Bonus tip: Always moisten the container you use to freeze hummus to prevent sticking. Otherwise, you can have trouble taking it out of the mold.
The Risk of Consuming an Expired Hummus
In most cases, it is easy to assess whether hummus is safe to eat regardless of whether it has expired because its smell and taste change significantly.
However, eating an expired hummus can lead to food poisoning accompanied by diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. The seriousness of your symptoms depends on the portion size you eat and the hummus condition.
Although rare, hummus can lead to a Listeriosis infection. Symptoms include fever, loss of balance, stiff neck, and convulsions. The problem is that these symptoms appear a few weeks after consuming contaminated food, so it is sometimes difficult to establish the right diagnosis.
Can You Freeze Hummus?
Hummus is one of the foods that you can freeze and use later in the same way as if you had just bought it. Sometimes it happens that the spread texture changes slightly after thawing the pack.
The degree of change depends on the brand and a used recipe. However, the taste and smell remain identical, and you only need to stir it with a clean teaspoon to even out the mixture.
Defrosting in the microwave is not a good idea because it separates the oils in the hummus from the dense part. Instead, transfer the hummus from the freezer to the fridge the night before consumption when deciding to use it.
Once defrosting the hummus, treat it like a fresh home-made spread. So, store it exclusively in the refrigerator and use it for the next 3 to 4 days.
Some people buy larger quantities of hummus and freeze the whole package. If you are one of them, remember that hummus expands when you freeze it. It would be wise to break a seal on the package so that the spread has space. Otherwise, the lid can crack under pressure.
You can also divide the new packaging into smaller portions and freeze the hummus in an ice cube tray or a muffin tin.
The handy trick is to use a spoon and separate small amounts of hummus on a sheet pan, freeze them and then pack them in zip lock bags. That way, you can defrost exactly the portion you need for a meal.
Don’t forget to write the date on freezing bags to remind yourself to use frozen hummus within six months. Make sure to place the bags with hummus on top of other foods to prevent accidental crushing.
Nowadays, there is hummus that you can store safely in the pantry even for three months after purchase. Still, you should keep it in the fridge once you open it. It would be best to use hummus up to seven days after opening and freeze the excess.