Blue cheese dressing is a popular condiment that adds a tangy and creamy flavor to salads, sandwiches, and even buffalo wings.
But as with any perishable food item, there’s always the question of how long it can last before going bad. Can you still use that bottle of blue cheese dressing that’s been sitting in your fridge for months? Is it safe to consume expired blue cheese dressing?
In this article, we’ll explore the shelf life of blue cheese dressing, how to properly store it, and how to tell if it’s gone bad.
So let’s dive in and find out if blue cheese dressing can go bad!
Can Blue Cheese Dressing Go Bad?
The short answer is yes, blue cheese dressing can go bad. Like any other perishable food item, it has a limited shelf life and can spoil if not stored properly or consumed past its expiration date.
Store-bought blue cheese dressing usually comes with a shelf life of 9 to 12 months, and easily keeps for an extra month or so. However, once opened, the dressing’s shelf life decreases significantly. Blue cheese salad dressing that has been continuously refrigerated will generally stay at best quality for about 6 to 9 months.
It’s important to note that the “Best By” or “Best Before” date on the package is not a safety date but rather an estimate of how long the blue cheese salad dressing will remain at peak quality. So, while it may still be safe to consume after the expiration date, it’s not recommended.
What Is Blue Cheese Dressing?
Blue cheese dressing is a creamy salad dressing that is made with blue cheese crumbles, mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, and various seasonings. The blue cheese crumbles give the dressing its distinct tangy and pungent flavor. It pairs well with spicy dishes like buffalo wings and adds a unique taste to salads.
Blue cheese dressing contains dairy and other perishable ingredients, which means it should not be left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature. An unopened bottle of blue cheese dressing can last in your cupboard for 1-4 months past the best by date. However, homemade blue cheese dressing has a much shorter shelf life and can last up to 7 days in the refrigerator.
It’s important to handle blue cheese dressing properly to prevent spoilage. Small things can make a big difference, such as starting with a solid wedge of blue cheese instead of using pre-crumbled blue cheese or not introducing bacteria by touching the dressing with unclean utensils or fingers. If anything with a cheese or milk base develops an off odor, strange color (often pink), or mold, it should be discarded.
How Long Can Blue Cheese Dressing Last?
The answer to this question depends on whether the blue cheese dressing is store-bought or homemade. Store-bought blue cheese dressing, if unopened and properly stored, can last up to 12 to 18 months. Once opened, it can last for about 6 to 9 months if continuously refrigerated and tightly covered.
On the other hand, homemade blue cheese dressing has a much shorter shelf life. It can last up to 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator, depending on the recipe. It’s best to follow the storage instructions provided by the recipe author, but it’s always safer to assume that homemade blue cheese dressing is only good for about a week.
It’s important to note that consuming expired blue cheese dressing can lead to food poisoning and other symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps. While it may be considered safe to consume store-bought blue cheese dressing for up to a month past its expiration date, it’s not recommended. It’s always best to check the dressing for any signs of spoilage such as an off odor, flavor, or appearance before consuming it.
Proper Storage Of Blue Cheese Dressing
Proper storage of blue cheese dressing is essential to ensure it stays fresh and safe to consume for as long as possible. The dressing should always be refrigerated and tightly covered to prevent bacteria growth and oxidation.
Unopened store-bought blue cheese dressing can be stored in the cupboard for up to 4 months past the “Best By” date. However, once opened, it should be consumed within 5 to 7 days. If sealed properly, blue cheese dressing that has already been opened can last for up to 4 weeks refrigerated.
Homemade blue cheese dressing has a much shorter shelf life and should be consumed within 5 to 7 days of preparation. It’s best to make it in smaller quantities to avoid wasting any unused dressing.
It’s also important to note that blue cheese dressing contains dairy and other perishable ingredients, so it should not be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. If the dressing develops an off odor, flavor, or appearance, or if mold appears, it should be discarded immediately.
Signs That Blue Cheese Dressing Has Gone Bad
It’s important to be able to recognize the signs that your blue cheese dressing has gone bad to avoid any potential health risks. The first thing to look for is an off odor. If the dressing smells sour, rancid, or has a strong ammonia-like odor, it’s likely gone bad and should be discarded.
Another sign to look for is a change in texture or appearance. If the dressing has become chunky, slimy, or has mold growing on it, it’s definitely time to throw it out. Mold can be dangerous and should never be consumed.
Finally, if you notice a change in taste, such as a bitter or sour flavor, it’s best to err on the side of caution and discard the dressing. While some changes in flavor may not necessarily indicate spoilage, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Can You Still Use Expired Blue Cheese Dressing?
Consuming expired blue cheese dressing can have its repercussions. The most common side-effect of consuming expired blue cheese dressing is food poisoning, just like any other expired food item. Symptoms of food poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps. Even if you don’t have food poisoning, there are chances that you might experience at least some of these symptoms.
While it is considered okay to consume blue cheese dressing for 1-2 months past the expiration date, it’s not recommended. It’s important to rely on your sight, smell, and taste buds to check the dressing before consuming it. Look for mold or any discolorations on the surface and the neck of the bottle. Give it a good whiff and if the dressing smells “funny” or foul, discard it. Lastly, give a small amount a taste to ensure everything seems okay before consuming it.
It’s also important to note that salad dressings usually have a best-by date and not a use-by date or expiration date. Because of this distinction, you may safely use salad dressings even after the best before date has lapsed if they are stored properly. However, if you have delicate health, always make sure to check the blue cheese dressing before consuming it.
Tips For Preventing Blue Cheese Dressing From Going Bad.
Here are some tips to prevent your blue cheese dressing from going bad:
1. Refrigerate: After opening your blue cheese dressing, make sure to refrigerate it immediately. Keeping it at room temperature can cause bacteria to grow and spoil the dressing faster.
2. Tightly cover: To maximize the shelf life of opened blue cheese salad dressing, keep it tightly covered. Exposure to air can cause the dressing to spoil faster.
3. Check for spoilage: Always check for signs of spoilage before using your blue cheese dressing. If it develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, or if mold appears, it should be discarded.
4. Use small portions: It’s best to make blue cheese dressing in small portions and consume it fresh for the best results. This will ensure that you are not storing it for too long and risking spoilage.
5. Freeze: If you have leftover blue cheese dressing and want to freeze it, keep in mind that the texture may change slightly, but the taste will remain the same. However, freezing is not recommended if you want to maintain the consistency of the dressing.
By following these tips, you can enjoy your blue cheese dressing for longer without worrying about it going bad.