Food preservation

Does Hummus Go Bad? – How to know when it has gone bad.

As an ardent cook with attention to detail when it comes to preparing a savory spread, I always put hummus at the top of my list.

Apart from consisting of a variety of minerals and vitamins eating hummus gives you an out of the world experience.

However, as much as I love preparing these mouth-watering veggies dip, the question always lingers: does hummus go bad and how do I know when it has gone bad.

Knowing the nitty-gritty regarding your favorite spread will go a long way in helping you plan.


So imagine writing about hummus while spreading it on your pita bread. The feeling compares to something that clears your soul from every wondering loop.

Unfortunately, like all spreads and dips, hummus also goes bad. Typically, commercially produced and an unopened pack of hummus will stay fresh in the refrigerator for around 10 days.

On the other hand, homemade hummus when refrigerated can stay fresh for up to 5 days. Adding a lot of garlic, tahini, and lemon juice can help basic hummus remain fresh for 10 days as these ingredients act as natural preservatives.

Let’s dig a little into the origin of this delectable spread. Hummus initially originated from the Middle East.

The best thing about the dip is that you can use locally available ingredients such as garlic, lemon, olive oil, tahini or sesame seeds, and chickpeas.

Afterward, blend all the ingredients in a food processor, and voila! You can savor in the taste.

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What’s hummus expected shelf life

There are several facets to this question because several factors influence hummus expiration. The microbial growth depends on the time you leave it unrefrigerated.

The lifespan of homemade hummus varies from the one purchased in stores. Besides, store-obtained brands may display a wide divergence regarding expiration dates for hummus.

Moreover, there’s a massive variance between frozen and refrigerated hummus.

Is freezing hummus advisable?

 Surprisingly, hummus freezes remarkably well, giving you the chance to go extra when it’s on sale the next time.

A container of hummus that’s stored adequately in the freezer can last for six months without any change to the texture or taste.


Process for freezing hummus

Keep handy

  • Olive oil
  • An airtight container that’s freezer safe
  • Scoop
  • Hummus
  1. Scoop the hummus that requires storage and put it in a food storage container.
  2. Use a freezer-friendly airtight container. Fill in with some hummus, however, leave some space since hummus expands when frozen. In case you have more than enough hummus, consider using different containers to keep the lid intact. Avoid using a Ziploc bag as it could be crushed.
  3. Add some considerable amount of olive oil on the hummus so that it doesn’t lose its moisture when frozen. If hummus dries out in the freezer, it loses its smoothness and consistency making it freezer burned.
  4. Seal the container to prevent air from getting in.
  5. On the container, put a date, and label. Using a permanent marker to mark the hummus container will help you keep track of storage time until its safe for consumption. If it’s a container you plan on using after using the hummus, use scotch tape.
  6. Ensure to consume the hummus within six months, as it may become bland, forcing you to throw it away.

How to consume stored Hummus

  1. When you want to use hummus, transfer it to the fridge at least two days in advance.
  2. Allow the hummus to thaw. The olive oil will separate from the spread; use a clean spoon to recombine the mixture.
  3. To make it t better, you can add in some garlic and chopped onions. White or black pepper also improves the taste of bland hummus.
  4. You can also heat the hummus in a microwave for two minutes in case you like it warm.

To incorporate some protein in your meals, you may freeze small chunks of hummus on an ice cube plate. Once frozen, put the cubes into packable containers and leave them out when preparing food.

By the time a meal’s ready, the portions would have thawed and acted as an ideal dip or salad topper.

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When to know hummus has gone bad


Carrying out food safety practices and proper hygiene will stop foodborne diseases. Although not always reliable, the nose plays the role of a medium that will help tell if hummus is spoilt.

The first distinct sign that shows the rotting of hummus will always involve the growth of molds on the surface.

When hummus stays past the expiration date, it starts hardening and then darkens. Similarly, a fermented scent indicates the hummus is rotten and needs discarding as it could cause food poisoning.

Fresh hummus doesn’t possess any aroma unless you add in cilantro or garlic, while rotten hummus has a noticeable sour taste. Besides, when it goes bad, hummus losses its oils, and it begins breaking, making it unhealthy.

For how long will hummus maintain its freshness?


Understanding the varieties found in the market helps a lot to understand the longevity of hummus freshness better.

A commercially bought refrigerated hummus has a use-by date. It can last some days but put in mind that once opened; it can remain fresh for up to seven days.

On the other hand, a purchased unrefrigerated hummus has a best by date included. Such a product lasts for a long time.

This particular hummus can go for an extra month but once opened, ensure to finish consuming within four to seven days. This especially applies to hummus that doesn’t have preservatives.


The table below further summarizes the hummus expiration date.

When openedWhen refrigeratedWhen frozen
 After the date of expiryAfter the date of expiry
For how long will homemade hummus remain fresh?4 days0
For how long will packaged hummus remain fresh?5 days0
When sealedWhen refrigeratedWhen frozen
Shelf life for homemade hummus4 days7 months
Shelf life for packaged hummus8 days7 months

Because it doesn’t have any preservatives, you should consume homemade hummus within four days.

If not stored correctly, naturally, food gets spoilt after a short time. However, keep in mind like all other natural foods, there’s best by the date that’s different from expiration date or use by date.

A date on any purchased brand bits of advice focuses on the manufacturer’s proposal for quality, and not safety.

How to extend hummus shelf life with proper storage


Ensure to keep hummus in an airtight container in your refrigerator below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. To maintain a consistent temperature, keep the container with hummus away from the door.

Additionally, the sealed container helps hummus not to accumulate the smell of other food stored in the refrigerator. It will also maintain its initial moisture.

Use a clean spoon always when scooping hummus to avoid contamination. Instead of dipping food into the hummus container directly, put a dollop on a plate or serving dish.

After opening hummus, its shelf life starts reducing; hence it’s safe to cover the surface using plastic wrap. Also, press the hummus down to stop it from mixing with oxygen. Seal the container then put it in the fridge. This method will give you an additional two days.


Thawing frozen hummus

  1. Transfer the hummus from the freezer to fridge
  2. Allow it to sit put between 24 and 48 hours
  3. After thawing, in case it feels grainy, put in a blender, add at least two tablespoons of water, and then blend on high speed for a smooth texture.

 Can you consume hummus once it goes bad?

As tasty as it tastes, once hummus is spoilt, it’s safe to throw it out. This Mediterranean treat can cause food poisoning when eaten past the stated shelf life.

Since it’s exposed to microbes and bacteria that may cause stomach upsets.

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