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Does Hummus Go Bad? – The Ultimate Guide

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Hummus is or should be a staple in every home. It’s delicious, packed with nutrition, and very versatile. You can eat a lot without feeling guilty or completely ruining your diet goals, and it is filling and satiating. This dip or spread is equally enjoyable in the morning as at night, in winter or summer, and at all times in between.

If hummus is a common food staple in your home, you may find yourself buying in bulk to save money and trips to the grocery store. 

Does hummus go bad? Yes, unfortunately, it does, however, if you store it properly, it will last plenty long enough for you to eat it all before it loses its freshness. 

In this article, we’ll discuss how long you can expect to keep your hummus fresh and safe for consumption, whether it’s storebought or homemade, opened, or sealed.

We’ll also offer you suggestions for extending life as much as possible and share some important tips to help you decide if your hummus is still safe to eat, or if it has gone bad. 

Does Hummus Expire If Unopened?

Yes, even if your hummus has been unopened, it will eventually expire and grow mold.

Commercially produced hummus is made with preservatives and is often pasteurized as well. It may even be packaged and sealed in a sterile environment, further protecting the spread from contamination by bacteria.

The amount of moisture in hummus, however, means that eventually, bacteria will eventually form and ruin your hummus. 

Does Hummus Need To Be Refrigerated?

It is rare to find, but there are a very few companies that make a shelf-stable hummus, which means if left unopened, it does not need to be refrigerated.

If you find hummus in a grocery store that is not in the refrigerated section, and it hasn’t simply been misplaced by an inconsiderate shopper, that is a good indication that it doesn’t need to be refrigerated, though it will still have an expiry date.

In almost all cases, and every time you find hummus in the refrigerated section of your grocery store, it does need to be refrigerated at all times, even before it’s opened.

Homemade hummus should also always be stored in the refrigerator, well-sealed in an airtight container.

How Long Can Hummus Sit Out?

If you’re going to store your hummus leftovers, it should be left out at room temperature for as short a time as possible. If you’re going to eat it, you can enjoy it over a leisurely hour-long social siesta without being concerned about quality.

If you’re outside or in a very warm environment, try to adjust the snacking window down as low as possible without feeling like you need to rush your meal.

Bacteria can contaminate hummus any time it’s open and at room temperature. If you’re eating it right away, the bacteria won’t survive your digestive process and will be completely safe to eat.

However, if your hummus is contaminated and then it goes back in the fridge, it gives the bacteria time to grow and develop into mold, which is unpleasant and potentially unsafe. 

If you don’t think you’ll eat all your hummus in a single sitting, take some out of the container to serve and put the rest back in the fridge immediately. Always use a clean utensil to serve your hummus in order to avoid cross-contamination.

How Long Does Hummus Last?

Hummus can last anywhere from 4 days to 1 week if stored properly. There can be a considerable variation in shelf-life, depending on how the hummus was made. 

Commercially produced hummus may have preservatives designed to extend the life of the dip, but that’s not necessarily guaranteed.

It’s always best to check your container for a best-before date or a use-by date and let that guide your decision-making process as to whether your hummus is likely to still be fresh.

How Long Does Hummus Last In The Fridge?

Hummus should always be stored in the fridge, whether or not it has been opened. As previously mentioned, the shelf-life can vary depending on whether it was commercially produced or homemade, and what ingredients or additives were used.

Most hummus will last in your fridge for a minimum of 4 days.

How Long Does Opened Hummus Last?

Opened storebought hummus should be consumed within a week of being opened. The longer it’s open the more opportunity it has to be exposed to contamination, either from being taken in and out of the fridge, or from the utensils used to serve it.

Hummus does tend to go either watery or dry after it’s opened, sometimes both at the same time. The liquid begins to separate from the fat content, pooling at the bottom of the container and leaving the spread a bit dry compared to the day it was first opened. 

You can mix the hummus to get the perfect consistency back, but if you do so it’s best to eat all the hummus you’ve mixed, rather than putting it back in the fridge. 

How Long Does Unopened Hummus Last?

Unopened, storebought hummus should last at least a week in your fridge. Most brands will stay fresh much longer, 10 days at least. We’ve enjoyed hummus safely after finding it in the fridge a month after it was purchased.

If there are no signs of spoilage, and the package has never been opened, hummus is known to last beyond it’s best before date by quite a while. As you push the limits, however, you’re taking responsibility for your own health and tastebuds.

How Long Does Homemade Hummus Last?

Homemade hummus doesn’t usually have any preservatives added and, as clean as your kitchen is, it’s not usually considered a completely sterile environment. For these reasons, homemade hummus doesn’t last as long as storebought hummus. 

You should always try to eat your homemade hummus within 4–5 days at most, and keep it well-sealed and stored in your fridge at all times unless you’ve separated out a serving for immediate enjoyment.

Can You Freeze Hummus?

You can freeze hummus, and very effectively. If you buy in bulk, you can put a container of hummus almost directly in the freezer, though there are a few steps you want to take first. 

Write the date of purchase on the container. This way, when you thaw it, you can judge how long it will stay fresh in your fridge by comparing the date frozen to the best before date stamped on the container.

You’ll also want to break the seal on the hummus, just a small amount. Most refrigerated hummus isn’t pressure sealed, but hummus will expand as it freezes so breaking the seal gives it room to grow without popping the lid off through the pressure.

Expired Hummus – What You Need To Know

The date stamped on a container of storebought hummus is actually a best before date, or a recommended use by date, not an official expiry date.

This means that the manufacturer is confident that their product will be fresh up to a certain date, as indicated on the container, but not necessarily beyond that date. 

Hummus is not going to instantly deteriorate or go bad the very next day, but the quality does become more suspect the longer you keep it beyond its recommended lifespan.

You can often eat hummus even after it’s expired, but you’ll want to check for signs that it may have gone bad before digging in.

How To Tell If Hummus Is Bad

The most obvious indication that hummus has gone bad is visual. When hummus spoils it can either grow mold or start to ferment. Sometimes it will do both. 

If your hummus is oily, watery, or dry, that’s not necessarily a sign that it has gone bad, it may just need a good stir to recombine the water and the fats in the spread.

It is possible for the oil in hummus to go rancid, but that typically takes longer than it takes for mold to develop, so it’s unlikely that rancid oil will be the reason you decide to toss your container.

If you open the container and you notice it has a sour or otherwise unusual smell to it, especially if you notice some wateriness, it is best to get rid of it and start with a fresh container. That sour smell is a sign that your hummus is starting to ferment

And, of course, if you can see any color changes, sliminess, or fuzzy growths, you may have mold.

Mold on Hummus

Mold on hummus is not appetizing and you should discard it if there are any signs of mold growth. Some people will simply scoop out a small affected area and eat the rest, but you’re taking a risk.

Hummus is not like hard cheese. Mold can go deeper in the hummus than you see, once it starts to form.

If your hummus is old enough to grow fuzz or turn black, there’s also a good chance it may also be fermenting. Even if you don’t directly eat the mold, your hummus will probably be more sour and tangy than it should be, and not in a good way.

Eating mold that has gone bad with age in your fridge is not likely to be harmful to your health, but it won’t taste good and it’s not good for you, so avoid it if you can. 

Hummus Food Poisoning

It is possible to get food poisoning from hummus, but this will usually happen from cross-contamination of other foods rather than natural spoiling. 

There have been hummus recalls both in Europe and North America after discovering a batch was contaminated in the production facility with either listeria or salmonella. This is very rare, however, so it definitely shouldn’t cause panic.

To keep your hummus safe at home, make sure that you keep it stored in an air-tight container in your fridge, and you never leave it sitting next to uncooked meat.

Hummus that has gone bad simply because it’s old may turn your stomach, but it’s not likely to make you seriously ill.

How Long Does Hummus Last Chart

Unopened Storebought HummusUp to 10 daysUp to 1 year
Opened Storebought Hummus1 weekUp to 1 year
Homemade Hummus5 daysUp to 1 year

Frequently Asked Questions About Hummus

Does hummus have protein?

Hummus is full of healthy, plant-based protein from the chickpeas and tahini.

The average commercially produced hummus will have about 2.4 grams of protein in 2 tablespoons.

The average serving size is 1 cup of hummus, which has 19.5 grams of protein.

It’s less than the same serving size of peanut butter, which is an impressive 8 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons serving size, but it also has a great deal more fat and most people eat much less per serving.

Hummus has a respectable amount of protein and a great way to add a variety of plant-based nutrition to a meal, rather than focusing on one single source to meet your protein needs. 

Is hummus vegan?

Yes, traditional hummus is vegan. The primary ingredients are all plant-based, including chickpeas, tahini, garlic, and olive oil. 

Shopping in most grocery stores, however, you’ll quickly notice that hummus has become much more than a traditional dip or spread.

You can find hummus in multiple flavors, including dessert hummus. The vast majority are all going to be vegan, simply with added ingredients like caramelized onions, olive tapenade, or roasted red peppers.

As popularity increases, you may find a recipe that includes an added ingredient that isn’t vegan friendly.

For example, some of the sweet hummus recipes may include milk ingredients or honey, so if you’re very exclusive with your diet, check the ingredients list.

Does hummus have dairy?

Dairy is not an ingredient in traditional hummus, no. However, there may be some commercial products that strive to differentiate themselves from the classic flavors, so if you’re sensitive to dairy or have an aversion to it for any reason, always read the labels.

If you’re making your own hummus at home, there’s no need or reason to include dairy. When or if it is used in hummus, it’s likely in powder form for added creaminess without increasing the liquid content in the product.

If you want that creaminess, using a coconut milk powder in your homemade hummus would be more efficient than true diary, though it will add subtle flavor as well.

Is hummus keto?

No, hummus is not generally considered useful in a keto diet. Chickpeas and other legumes are high in carbohydrates and low in fats, which is the opposite of ideal to a keto practitioner. If you’re practicing a hybrid style of keto or otherwise include cheat days, it can be a very healthy, though low-fat snack. 

In a 1 cup serving size of the average commercially produced hummus, you’ll find:

  • 408 calories
  • 34 carbs, 15 of which are from fiber, so only 20 net carbs
  • 19.5 grams of protein
  • 23.5 grams of fat

Is hummus low FODMAP?

If you’re following a strict low-FODMAP diet and hummus is a big part of your life, it’s best to make your own and be conscious of your serving sizes.

Chickpeas can be high-FODMAP foods, but if you choose canned chickpeas that are rinsed very well, you can remove the majority of galactans that make it hard to digest. With commercially produced hummus, you have no control over how the chickpeas are prepared. 

Even if you make your own hummus, if you’re following a low FODMAP diet, restrict your serving size to about ¼ cup.

Up Next: Can You Microwave Hummus?

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