We all need a balanced diet to live whole and healthy lives. Including salads into our lifestyles is a big part of that. But, unfortunately, not all of us like salads.
That is where salad dressing comes in, making our salads more exciting and versatile. Salad dressing is so popular and readily available today, with almost every home having a bottle in the fridge. But that might make us wonder whether salad dressing goes bad.
Table of Contents
Does Salad Dressing Go Bad?
There are several salad dressings available on the market today containing different ingredients. It is easy to find your favorite kind of salad dressing, but you must know that it can go bad and spoil a salad.
Most good quality salad dressings are made with fresh ingredients that means it won’t stay fresh forever. However, these salad dressings are typically sold in airtight containers, making it possible for the salad dressings to last for a long time, even a couple of months past their best-by date on the container.
So whether you have opened your salad dressing or not, it is best kept in the refrigerator for prolonged shelf life.
How Long Does Salad Dressing Last?
Although there are many salad dressings made today, all of different qualities, recipes, and ingredients used remain similar, meaning they have identical shelf lives, too.
Balsamic vinaigrette and Italian dressing last well due to the high vinegar content in both. Once opened, they can both last in the fridge for up to four months past the date printed on the label.
The other salad dressings, including ranch, caesar, blue cheese, and thousand island salad dressings, can last up to two months after the best by date if stored in your refrigerator.
Mayonnaise is often considered a salad dressing, and it lasts well in the fridge, too. If you keep your mayonnaise in its original airtight container, properly sealed, it can last up to four months past the date printed on the label. As with all salad dressings, keeping your mayonnaise in the fridge is essential as a warmer environment will shorten its shelf life.
However, if you make your own salad dressing, the shelf life will be much shorter than store-bought salad dressings, and it is recommended that you consume your homemade salad dressing within five days of preparation.
How Long Does Salad Dressing Last?
|Balsamic vinaigrette||4 months past best by date|
|Italian dressing||4 months past best by date|
|Ranch dressing||2 months past best by date|
|Caesar salad dressing||2 months past best by date|
|Blue cheese salad dressing||2 months past best by date|
|Thousand island salad dressing||2 months past best by date|
|Mayonnaise||2 months past best by date|
|Homemade salad dressing||5 days|
4 Tips To Tell if Salad Dressing Has Gone Bad
Knowing how to tell that your salad dressing has gone bad or lost its flavor will help you avoid spoiling a good salad with rancid salad dressing. Here are 4 ways that you can check whether your salad dressing is still fresh and fit for consumption:
Examine your salad dressing
There are so many salad dressings available that it is tricky to have a singular rule of what they all must look like while they are still good.
However, there are a few things that you never want to see in your salad dressing, regardless of the kind of salad dressing that it is. For example, if you notice any mold or organic growth in your salad dressing, the time has come to throw it out.
Similarly, if your salad dressing has undergone a dramatic color change, it is probably not fresh anymore.
Finally, if your salad dressing is store-bought and has split, it is past its best. It isn’t uncommon for homemade salad dressing to separate, and you just need to give it a good shake, and it will be ready for use.
Smell your salad dressing
Your salad dressing should smell fragrant and pleasant. The unmistakable smell of your salad dressing will depend on the ingredients of your salad dressing.
If your salad dressing contains herbs or spices, it will smell like those ingredients. Salad dressings that have a strong vinegar base will have an acidic smell. However, if your salad dressing smells bad and unusual, it is a good idea to avoid putting it on your salad.
Taste your salad dressing
If your salad dressing has become dull or tasteless, the time has come to buy a fresh batch. In addition, if your salad dressing has an unpleasant or rancid taste, you should discontinue use. You won’t enjoy it anyway, and it will make your whole salad taste bad.
If you enjoy making your own salad dressing and you want it to last longer than five days in the fridge, you can try using a recipe that makes a vinaigrette since the higher vinegar content will make it last a few days longer.
3 Tips to Store Salad Dressing
When it comes to keeping your salad dressing fresh, knowing how to store it makes all the difference. Alternatively, you can try homemade recipes that last longer in the fridge. Keep these tips in mind when storing your salad dressing:
Storing your store-bought salad dressing
If you are using store-bought salad dressing, be sure to put it in the fridge from the date of purchase and not the opening date. By storing your store-bought salad dressing in the refrigerator as soon as you get back from the shops, you will enhance the salad dressing’s shelf life. If you find a forgotten bottle of salad dressing that is still unopened and hasn’t been stored in the fridge, examine it to see whether it still looks good. If it appears to be suitable for consumption, place it in the refrigerator and keep it there.
Storing your homemade salad dressing
Homemade salad dressing doesn’t last as well as store-bought salad dressings, but it is still delicious and well worth the effort. Make sure your preparation area is clean and germ-free before beginning your salad dressing. In addition, you must store it in a clean and airtight container that will prevent it from going bad. Remove it only to use on your salad and place it back in the fridge as soon as possible.
Store your salad dressing in the freezer
It is possible to store your salad dressing in your freezer for a longer shelf life.
The Risk of Consuming Expired Salad Dressing
Most salad dressings won’t make you sick if you eat them after they have gone bad. They will just lose their potency and freshness. However, if there are salad dressings that can make you ill, you eat them after they have gone bad.
Ranch dressing and thousand island dressings should be avoided after they have gone bad. Consuming these salad dressings after they have gone bad can result in food poisoning.
You might experience stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and a low-grade fever after consuming ranch or thousand island salad dressings that have gone rancid.
As with any case of food poisoning, it is crucial to stay hydrated until it passes. If you still have a fever or continue to show signs of food poisoning after 48 hours, you should seek medical help.
People who have allergies to certain herbs or spices should be careful when buying store-bought salad dressings. Be sure to examine the ingredients label before trying the salad dressing.
Alternatively, if you are very allergic, try making your own salad dressings so that you have complete control over the ingredients that go into the dressing.
Can you Freeze Salad Dressing?
Yes, you can freeze salad dressing. Most people are surprised to hear that salad dressing freezes very well. You can freeze your salad dressing in its original container or transfer it to any airtight container or ziplock bag.
Your salad dressing should last well for up to three months in the freezer. If you are ready to use your salad dressing, give it sufficient time to thaw before using it on your salad.
It is recommended that once thawed; you avoid refreezing your salad dressing. By freezing your salad dressing again, you can affect the quality and freshness of your salad dressing.
When it comes to freezing homemade salad dressings, the results will be varied because of the variety of ingredients you use in your homemade salad dressing.
If you use any milk products in your salad dressing, it is best not to freeze it. Instead, keep it in the fridge and use it within five days.
Adding a splash of salad dressing to your salad will make it much more delicious and exciting. With so many excellent salad dressings available today, you can have a different salad dressing for every kind of salad you love.
These dressings make eating healthy much more fun and tasty. In addition, you can easily make your own salad dressing and enjoy your unique dressing on your salad. Storing your salad dressing will help you prevent your salad dressing from going bad.