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Does Mayonnaise Make Food Spoil Faster?

A spoon scoops mayonnaise from a bowl.
Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

When it comes to food storage and safety, there are a lot of rules to follow. There are also a lot of myths out there. One of them involves all those chicken and pasta salads, and any other mayonnaise-based dish you stash in the fridge.

You might have heard before that mayonnaise will make food spoil faster, but is this true? Well, as it turns out, this long-standing myth isn’t just untrue, it’s the opposite of what actually happens.

To be specific, we’re talking about commercially made mayonnaise here—not the homemade stuff. When you look at the back of the jar, you’ll notice that not only do most brands consist of oil, egg yolk, and acid, but they’re also full of preservatives.

Mix those with the acid and pasteurized yolks that can kill certain bacteria, and you’ve got a condiment that actually helps food stay fresh longer.

In fact, there was a study published in the Journal of Food Protection that proved it. In the research, store-bought mayo was added to contaminated chicken and ham. When stored, the mayonnaise helped to slow down or stop salmonella and staph from growing.

So, next time you make chicken salad, you don’t have to be concerned about the mayonnaise. As long as you store your leftovers correctly, you’ll be able to enjoy them to the very last bite.
Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Editor In Chief of LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
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