General Question

miasmom's avatar

Are you ok with eating salad dressing after the expiration date?

Asked by miasmom (3490points) April 5th, 2009 from iPhone

I bought some salad dressing recently because it was on sale. I usually check the expiration date because if they are on sale, sometimes it is because their shelf life is nearing its end. Anyway, I didn’t and I just noticed that they expire in May of 2009. Now, we go through alot of dressing, but probably not as much as we have. So, are you ok with eating dressing after it expires? Especially since they won’t have been open for very long, it’s not like they’ve been sitting in my fridge open for a year. How long do you think they are good for?

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17 Answers

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Only if it is not a milk-based dressing. Ranch, thousand island, etc. should be handled with more caution than oil-based, acidic dressings. The acidity should keep it longer, based on the properties of acid.

casheroo's avatar

Depends on what kind it is, and what’s in it.
You have to be careful with stuff, for some things expiration dates are to ensure products are getting rotated off the shelves.
It wouldn’t be good if it was left open and used sparingly for the past two years, but I’m sure it’ll be fine for a little while after the expiration date.

miasmom's avatar

@TitsMcGhee It’s Ranch w/bacon. So that would be a no go?

jbfletcherfan's avatar

If it’s dated May 2009, it should be okay if you eat it fairly soon. I agree, it depends on what kind it is. If it’s Italian, Catalina or French, it’d last longer. Ranch, blue cheese, etc., I’d eat it up or toss it. I use ranch dressing along with mayo when I make potato salad. That’d be one way you could use it up faster.

essieness's avatar

I’m not okay with eating anything past the expiration date. I have a weird phobia about old food and food poisoning. It’s been quite the topic of conversation in my house.

If I were you, I would seriously try to eat it up before the expiration date and then toss it. There’s no reason to risk it, in my opinion! We don’t need another thread like this anytime soon!

A_Beaverhausen's avatar

i never look. lol.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@miasmom: Would you eat butter or milk after the expiration date? Would you eat bacon after the expiration date? I would say after the first few days of May, toss it.

3or4monsters's avatar

As others have said, depends on what’s in it. If it’s got cream of any kind, hell no. Toss it.

But other dressings, particularly the oil based dressings, have a slightly longer shelf life. True olive or flaxseed oil bases have about a short of a shelf-life as dairy, and many of them SHOULD be stored in a dark bottle and away from sunlight to boot… not an issue from the inside of your fridge.

Dressings made with grapeseed, rapeseed, or safflower oils have a much longer shelf life, and you can consume those with relative safety a few weeks beyond the expiration date. Soybean oils (NOT partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated) fit in this category as well.

Anything made with hydrogenated oils, regular or partially hydrogenated base… well, that shit is put into a lot of processed foods because it’s a preservative. That’s the stuff that still looks and smells good even years beyond the expiration date. Stay the fuck away from it. Sometimes it’s listed on the label as just “vegetable oil” but normally that’s just code for “soy”.

I’m of the opinion that if a food is altered in a lab to survive with the cockroaches post nuclear fallout, that it shouldn’t be put into your body. Oh, and yeah I’m taking a jocular tone with this, but I’m half-serious too. :)

Darwin's avatar

All I have discovered about eating bottled salad dressing after the expiration date is that the oil in it is more likely to have begun to be rancid and give a nasty taste to the dressing. Thus, if I do buy any (I prefer to make my own as I need it) I try to consume it well before its expiration if only to have it taste its best.

I am not a huge fan of Ranch dressing anyway, or even bottled dressings of any sort. Give me a good, homemade vinaigrette any time.

3or4monsters's avatar

@Darwin I’m a big fan of making my own, too. :) But I’ve only really had success with this slapdash red onion, red wine vin, rice wine vin, sugar, and minced garlic dressing. I’ve had suprisingly bad luck getting recipes online, they end up tasting pretty bad. Would prefer some personal testimony. Got a quick rundown of a good home dressing recipe?

Darwin's avatar

@3or4monsters Basically I use 1 part good vinegar to 3 parts best olive oil with whatever flavorings I think should be there. I very rarely make a sweet dressing other than a Balsamic vinegar dressing – I don’t like them with lettuce-based salads. I also don’t really have a recipe that is written down. It is more seat-of-the-pants and spur-of-the-moment.


1 part Balsamic vinegar
3 parts Extra Virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove finely diced
1 pinch of sea salt

Combine ingredients and shake until the dressing emulsifies. Then use on your salad.

I might use red wine vinegar or herb vinegar in place of Balsamic, or I might add crumbled blue cheese or avocado to the dressing, mashing it into the oil before putting the whole thing together. I have sometimes added a dollop of a good brown mustard or even a green peppercorn mustard to it in place of some of the vinegar. For a Greek salad I might switch half the vinegar for lemon juice and add in oregano, basil, marjoram, and extra garlic. To make a creamy dressing I start with mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip) in place of most of the olive oil, and add flavorings, sometimes including plain yogurt or buttermilk, until I am happy with both flavor and texture. Sometimes instead of salt I might use anchovy paste, a touch of soy sauce, or Maggi.

I suggest you start experimenting with things that you like. Start with that red onion vinaigrette that you say you like, and change one thing at a time so you can see the effect. Add an herb, change the type of vinegar you are using, decrease the sugar, and so on

3or4monsters's avatar

@Darwin Much appreciated, thanks! I really like the mustard or blue cheese ideas… duh! I guess I just got turned off from factory-made blue cheese because it’s often in an already-creamy base. I should make my own with an oil base..

jo_with_no_space's avatar

Anything with an oil and vinegar base will be fine.

TheLoneMonk's avatar

@TitsMcGhee : I would eat butter after expiration. I would cook with milk after expiration. I would even use bacon after expiration. Of course, chance are I might expire. Really, aged milk and butter won’t kill you or probably even make you sick if they have aged in the fridge. If left out, most definitely don’t use them. Bacon is usually smoked and has a much longer shelf life than the expiration date. I wouldn’t eat it raw, but cooked should be no biggie. Even if you see some mold, just cut it off. Actually the flavor might be enhanced a bit. Again, if left out don’t eat but refriged? Sure.

Safe side? Shit-can anything past the date. Reality? If it doesn’t smell too horrible it’s probably ok. (Save for poultry and fish…if it even stinks a bit toss it.

Edit: Here’s a link regarding milk.

Dog's avatar

It expires???

YARNLADY's avatar

I hardly ever even look at expiration dates. I have read that they are mostly to keep merchants from selling old products and not for the consumer to worry about. If you are concerned, contact the producer on the label, and ask them. They will usually send you a coupon for a new bottle.

miasmom's avatar

@YARNLADY Thanks, I think I will call them, that’s a great piece of advice!

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