Do Mayo Packets Need to be Refrigerated? [Camping Food Storage]

Storing food on a camping trip is actually very challenging. Because there are likely to be no modern appliances like refrigerator.

So, you might be asking, do mayo packets need to be refrigerated?

Mayo packets don’t require refrigeration. However, they can still go bad. Therefore, the packets need to be stored properly and kept away from direct sunlight. It’s best that you keep them in air-tight boxes for the best storage.

Oh wait, we still have a lot more tricks and tips to share with you. So let’s not wait around and get started together.

Do Mayo Packets Go Bad?


One of the most important and exciting parts of every camping trips is the snacks. Who wouldn’t like a cheese ham burger with a some fresh mayo spread, right?

However, does cheese last without refrigeration? Or is there a possibility of ending up with a bad mayo packet?

Well, an opened mayo packet will not go bad if left out in the open for 24 hours. If it’s a store-bought mayo packet and hasn’t been refrigerated, it’ll be fine.

So, don’t worry, it probably has preservatives that would keep it from going bad. They usually have high shelf lives. 

How Long will Mayo Packets Last?

An unopened package of mayo will keep for around 3 to 4 months after the expiration date if stored properly. But this also depends upon how you store the mayo packets and if the packets are undamaged.

Also, there are some other external factors that play role in this case. And having some knowledge about them will help you to preserve your mayo appropriately. So let’s just explore them in the next section.

Factors Impacting Mayo Packets Shelf Life

Multiple factors play a role that impact the shelf life of mayo packets. We’ll be covering how these factors impact mayo packets and their shelf life. 


The temperature at which food is stored has a huge impact on how long it lasts. According to USDA studies, a temperature increase of 10.8 degrees Celsius reduces the shelf life of stored food by half. For food storage, a temperature range of 104 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit is optimum.

The shelf life of mayo packets is also impacted by both temperature and if the packets have been opened.

  • In the pantry, unopened: 3 – 4 months
  • After opening, keep refrigerated: 2 months
  • Refrigerated and unopened: 1 year


Using containers with air-tight seals leads to a better shelf-life of products. Here are some examples of airtight containers:

These containers, when used with oxygen absorber packets, help preserve quality and taste. If you’re looking to invest in a new set of food storage buckets we recommend you take a look at the Komax Biokips Extra Large Food Storage Container.


Light also has an effect on the shelf life of stored goods. It is preferable to store items in dark regions in order to keep them for a long time. That’s because light can degrade the food values. 

The ultraviolet and visible light sections of the spectrum have an important influence on overall food quality. Vitamin A, B2 (riboflavin), B6, B12, and folic acid are among the vitamins recognized to be particularly susceptible to UV light destruction. The damaging interaction between vitamins is also accelerated by light.

Do Mayo Packet Nutrition Levels Drop if Left Unrefrigerated?

Once opened, mayonnaise will last two months in the refrigerator. If you leave mayo packets out for too long, then the nutrition will drop.

Most commercial mayo is shelf-stable before opening. The perishable nature of mayo is mostly why you should throw out the mayo. Especially if the mayo has been left unrefrigerated overnight.

Nutrition Table

The nutrition table has been drawn which shows the nutrition values per serving of Mayo or per 1 gm.

AmountPercent Daily Values
Total Fat 22.3g30%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Total Carb. 0g0%
Dietary Fiber 0g0%
Cholesterol 10.1mg3%
Sodium 182.3mg12%

These values are mostly similar throughout mayo despite whichever company sells them.

How to Know if Mayo Packets have Expired?

Mayo packets could last up to a year in the refrigerator if unopened. If the mayo packets are unopened then you don’t need to worry about their shelf life. But if you have opened up the packet then it’s better to eat it quickly.

Shelf life of condiment packets have some telltale signs. If you’re worried that the mayo packets have gone bad then you’ll need to check a few things.

For example, smelling and checking the mayo visually can be a good litmus test. If the mayo develops a bad odor or flavor then it should be discarded.  

Can You Extend the Shelf Life of Mayo Packets?


Well, yes! You can actually extend the shelf life of your mayo. There are some easy tricks that you can apply. Therefore, you will be able to take these mayo packets on your camping trip without any tension.

So, let’s about these tricks, shall we?

Adding Whey Protein

The shelf life of mayo packets can be extended by storing them in the refrigerator. Adding whey protein (yellowish liquid on top of yogurt) to homemade mayo can extend the freshness. Hence, it won’t get spoiled so easily.

Smell Proof Packaging

Then packaging the mayo with smell proof bag and keeping it properly should increase shelf life. If the mayo is properly stored, then an unopened package of mayonnaise will stay at the best quality.

Using Squeeze Bottle

Oh, you can actually carry the mayonnaise in a squeeze bottle. I’ve done that already! Grabbed a bottlify squeeze bottle, opened all the mayo packets I need, poured them in the bottle. Just make sure you don’t touch the bottle lid with anything like your fingers or other food. Otherwise, there’s a chance of contaminating the bottle with germs.

Vacuum Sealing the Bag

Did you get a lot of mayo packets during your latest food delivery? Are you thinking about keeping the mayo instead of throwing it out? So, can mayo quality and taste be kept intact by refrigeration?

Refrigeration preserves the quality and flavor of mayonnaise. If you keep store-bought mayonnaise out of the refrigerator, the flavor will degrade. If you leave it in the hot sun, it will turn brown.

Temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit alter the taste of mayonnaise. This can cause it to turn brown once opened whereas cold temperatures have the opposite effect.

However, we saw the estimated expiration date of vacuum sealed food which is dehydrated. So, can you also vacuum seal your already opened and used mayo packets?

Yes, this can be a possible solution for keeping the mayo safe from moisture. So, set your mayo packets in a vacuum sealer bag and seal it with a vacuum sealer.

Looking for vacuum sealer? Ah don’t worry, we’ve got your back here with some good-quality recommendations. Take a look and see which one you’d like to get.

However, even with the vacuum sealed bags it’s wise to finish the opened mayo packets as soon as possible.

At Home

The majority of processed condiments have a long shelf life. This means they can sit on shelves for extended periods of time without spoiling. If the condiments contain eggs or milk, they must be kept refrigerated.

Mayonnaise is made up primarily of eggs, oil, and water. Eggs are usually a sign that anything is perishable and needs to be kept refrigerated. This is not the case with store-bought mayonnaise.

In the Wild

Mayo packets tend to have a shelf life of up to a year. If you are going camping or backpacking and thinking about taking mayo, don’t worry. You can ensure the quality by keeping it away from direct sunlight. 

In this case you can get a small portable cooler. Because you are likely to open your mayo packets for snacks and might need to store some.

So, here are some of the best recommendations from us-

Keeping Condiments from Food Takeaway


Takeaway condiments can be stored for a period of time. Once you’ve opened the condiment package, use it up or throw it away. We realize how tempting it is to preserve the condiment packets from a takeout meal. Condiment packets such as ketchup and mustard, on the other hand, do not need to be refrigerated.

Before you start collecting condiment packets, consider how long they will last in your fridge. Because condiments lose their flavor as they approach their expiration dates.


Have you read through the article regarding mayo packets and their refrigeration? If you’re still confused about some issues we’ve answered some of the queries we’ve faced.

Why are mayonnaise packets not refrigerated?

In contrast to homemade mayonnaise, commercially made mayonnaise doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Food scientists believe that mayo’s acidic nature hinders the growth of germs.

How long can mayo sit unrefrigerated?

Mayo can be kept at room temperature for up to 8 hours, according to the USDA. Any unsealed mayonnaise jar that has been exposed to temperatures below 50°F for more than 8 hours should be thrown. As a result, if you leave mayonnaise out on the counter overnight, it should be discarded.

Does mayo spoil if not refrigerated?

Mayo should be thrown away because it is perishable. Especially if it’s been kept outside overnight without being refrigerated. It could be fine—until you get food sickness, that is. Perishable objects should be discarded in general, according to the FDA. This includes mayonnaise that has been left out for two hours or more at room temperature.

Bottom Line

We hope our article answers your question, “Do mayo packets need to be Refrigerated?” 

We tried including all that we know regarding mayo packets and refrigeration.  Still have any questions? If you still have some questions for us concerning mayo packets. Let us know in the comments.