On our Hope Foods blog, we are dedicated to answering our customers’ questions… and as long as we are answering common questions about our dip, we thought we’d cover another subject we often receive inquiries about: does hummus have to be refrigerated, and how long does hummus last in the fridge? These questions are good to have a working knowledge of, in order to ensure that you get the most out of every container you buy!
Does Hummus Need to Be Refrigerated?
Humus is a perishable food item, which means it is prone to spoil more quickly if not kept refrigerated at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Most freshly prepared vegetable-based spreads fall under this category; this is why they are kept in the refrigerated section of your supermarket. And although you can find salad dressings and pasta sauces, for example, that only require that you “refrigerate after opening,” this garbanzo-bean dip requires constant refrigeration both before and after opening in order to maintain proper freshness.
How Long Does Hummus Last in the Fridge?
So how long does hummus last in the fridge? Different brands have different shelf lives, so it’s best to check your container’s expiration date… but a good baseline is that for any reputable brand, you should be able to refrigerate hummus safely for up to two months if you don’t break the seal on your container. Although to be honest, who could keep hummus in the fridge for that long without cracking it open? We definitely couldn’t!
So perhaps you have a party and leave your hummus unrefrigerated for a couple hours, then put it back in the fridge. Or, you keep your hummus refrigerated almost completely and only pull it out for a couple quick noshes. How long can you expect it to last? As a general rule, it will last about a week in your fridge once you open it. So although you can keep hummus refrigerated for a couple months unopened, you only have seven days from opening to finish it off. (Or you can easily freeze your humus for up to 4 months if you want to store it for longer periods!)
Obviously it’s common practice to pull a container out of the fridge and set it out while you’re eating, or while the party’s going strong. But if you don’t plan to eat the whole container and want it to keep for as long as possible, there are a couple things you can do to maximize its freshness:
Don’t dip directly in the container. For longest life, spoon some dip onto your plate or bowl and put the container back in the fridge. This prevents accelerated spoilage from foreign bacteria or other foodstuffs, and also allows your unused portion to be put right back in the fridge, maintaining its optimal temperature.
If you keep the whole container of hummus unrefrigerated for over a half hour, such as on a table or platter at a party, consider setting it in a bowl of crushed ice – this will help maintain its temperature, and it will keep the flavor cool and refreshing!
Short Answer to “Do You Have to Refrigerate Hummus?”
So how long hummus can go unopened and refrigerated? Two months unopened, 7 days once opened. This time can vary if you leave hummus unrefrigerated for long periods, especially after opening, so it’s best to keep it as cold as possible and try to prevent cross-contamination. By following these simple guidelines you can maintain your dip to the maximum extent of its shelf life, and keep eating healthy without having to spring for another tub!