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Oct 20, 2007 08:16 AM

Mayo - No Refrigeration Needed?

My wife first pointed it out to me last night. Our most recent purchase of a small plastic squeeze container of Best Foods (Hellmann's out East) has printed right on the front of it "No Refrigeration Needed". This means both before and AFTER opening evidently.

Is this something that's been around for a while and I just haven't noticed it before?

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  1. Yes, if it's a "normal" mayo nothing ("bugs") will grow in it. Plus I bet it has enough "additives" to "preserve freshness"....

    10 Replies
    1. re: Pollo

      Thanks. I guess I have been out of the mayo loop, or something.

      1. re: Pollo

        I don't get it. Why does everyone freak out over potato salad with mayo at a picnic, if you don't have to refrigerate it? I have always heard that you have to keep it cold to be safe. Have they changed the formula?

        1. re: danhole

          Explantion: water activity (aw)....

          1. re: danhole

            That common misconception dates back to the days of homemade mayo. Today's commercial pasteurized mayos are very safe. That being said, potato salad shouldn't be left at room temperature for too long, because the potatoes are still a breeding ground for bacteria.

            1. re: smarsh

              What misconception? Potatoes have high water activity (>0.98) and mayo has much lower water activity (~0.90) which prevents all pathogens of concern from growing (acidification also helps). Even home made mayo will be OK if it's made properly. Yes, the current production requirements/regulation call for use of acidified and pasteurized eggs (note that the final product is not pasteurized) but you could get the same results using non-pasteurized eggs and accidification (i.e. lemmon juice/vinegar)....have a look:

              1. re: Pollo

                If you look, I was replying to danhole, not you. The misconception I was referring to was that of the mayo being the culprit in picnic potato salad poison.

              2. re: smarsh

                It's not the mayo, its not the potatoes, it's the MEAT in meat salads thats a breeding grounds for bacteria if left at room temp too long.

              3. re: danhole

                What many people don't know is that potatoes (and pasta and rice for that matter) can be as risky as meats in regard to keeping them in the danger zone for too long. Mayo does not need refrigeration.

                1. re: jfryw8

                  According to a Toronto Public Health course I took, rice is the number one case of food bourne illness, followed by salad greens, specifically spinach.

            2. Noticed it the other day at local burger place. Kind of freaky. Leaves me thinking- gross- mayo was on my shouldn't eat but do list. I think it just moved higher on the list and got aded to the make myself list

              1. I asked the health inspector about this the last time she was in - she said that it did not need to be refrigerated!

                1. I don't believe that ketchup needs refridgerating even if it says it does on the bottle. In the olden days my mother hardly kept anything in the refridgerator such as ketchup, mayo, mustard, jams, sauces, now it seems we are supposed to fill our fridge doors with all kinds of jars and bottles.

                  1. guys, mayo is safe at room temperature - as a matter of fact, if you make homemade mayo, they tell you NOT to refrigerate it on the first day - the acid can only kill the nasties at room temperature - of course this means you do need to put enough vinegar in your mayo