Can you get sick from eating expired ranch dressing?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you get sick from eating expired ranch dressing?”, how long does ranch dressing last, how to store ranch dressing, how to tell if the ranch dressing is spoiled, how to make ranch dressing, and how long do different types of salad dressings last.

Can you get sick from eating expired ranch dressing?

Yes, you can get sick from eating expired ranch dressing. But this is only true when the expired ranch dressing is spoiled. Ranch dressing does not usually come with an expiry date but rather a use-by, best-by, or use-by date; which are the indicators of quality, not safety.

The perishable dairy ingredients in the ranch dressing such as sour cream, cheese, and buttermilk. Expired ranch dressing may be spoiled and contaminated with pathogenic bacteria that cause food poisoning upon ingestion.

Common symptoms of food poisoning include stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Wait up for the symptoms to disappear within 3 days. If the symptoms persist or get progressively worse with time, seek medical help. 

To get rid of the infection within 3 days, make sure you eat well, sleep well, and keep yourself hydrated. Contact your doctor in case of severe dehydration due to excessive diarrhea. 

How long does ranch dressing last?

If properly stored in the fridge, ranch dressing lasts about 6-9 months. If you want your ranch dressing to last up to 9 months, make sure the fridge is maintained at a steady temperature. After 6-9 months, ranch dressing may not be unsafe but may not quite hit the spot.

How to store ranch dressing?

Ranch dressing should always be stored in the fridge. Keep it near the back of the fridge where it is the coldest. Minimizing the temperature fluctuations help extend the shelf-life of any food product and ranch dressing is no exception. 

The seal of the container in which the ranch dressing is stored must be sound. You mustn’t use dirty spoons to scoop out the sauce from the container. Similarly, you should never put food directly into the dressing. 

This is a direct way of introducing contaminants into the dressing. Last but not the least, wipe around the rim of the bottle in which the ranch dressing is stored. The dried-out dressing around the rim falls into the bottle bit by bit, triggering quick spoilage.

How to tell if the ranch dressing has gone bad?

Mold: The growth of mold on the surface of ranch dressing does not go unnoticed. It appears in the form of discolored spots or patches. Moldy ranch dressing is unsafe for consumption and should be discarded right away. 

Off-smell: A telltale sign of spoilage of the ranch dressing is the development of off-odor. If the ranch dressing gives off a weird or sour smell, throw it away. 

Off-taste: Taste-check a bit of ranch dressing to give the final verdict. Don’t worry it won’t hurt you. If the taste of the ranch dressing is not up to the mark, get rid of it. 

How to make the best ranch dressing at home?

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ to ½ cup buttermilk, depending on your desired consistency
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro or dill, or a combination of the two
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions 

  1. Mix sour cream, ¼ cup buttermilk, mayonnaise, fresh herbs, garlic, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and some salt and pepper as per taste. Make sure everything is homogenous.
  1. Adjust the taste and consistency of the ranch dressing as per your liking by adding more buttermilk, lemon, or pepper.
  1. Use right away or transfer to an air-tight container. Make sure to keep the container tightly sealed in between uses. Discard after 5-7 days of refrigeration. 

What is the shelf-life of different types of salad dressings?

The following table shows the estimated shelf-life of different types of salad dressing. Note that the mentioned time frames are for best quality only.

Unopened/Opened 
Past Printed Date 
Ranch dressing 1-2 months 
Blue Cheese dressing 1-2 months 
Caesar dressing 1-2 months 
Thousand island dressing 1-2 months 
Italian dressing 3-4 months 
Balsamic Vinaigrette 3-4 months 

Conclusion 

In this article, we answered the question “Can you get sick from eating expired ranch dressing?”, how long does ranch dressing last, how to store ranch dressing, how to tell if the ranch dressing is spoiled, how to make ranch dressing, and how long do different types of salad dressings last.

References 

https://stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/18843#:~:text=Ranch%20salad%20dressing%20that%20has,about%206%20to%209%20months

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