It is common to buy a big tub of hummus to enjoy and have some leftovers later. It is also a common mistake to leave hummus on the countertop overnight. You are now wondering: how long can hummus sit out? is your hummus still safe to eat?
When you allow hummus to sit out, it is prone to cross-contamination. Cross-contamination can transfer harmful bacteria from an object or person to your hummus. Toxins, molds, and other dangerous contaminants are common pathogens you can find in your hummus.
Homemade and store-bought commercial hummus have a different lifespan. Let’s dig deeper to learn more about hummus proper storing and food safety tips.
Hummus is a dip or spread made from chickpeas, lemon, tahini (roasted sesame seeds made into a sesame paste), olive oil, and spices. Hummus is famous in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, but it is also widely available in grocery stores in the U.S. You can also easily make homemade hummus.
Chickpeas (garbanzos beans) are the main ingredient of traditional hummus and they are responsible for the prominent flavor of hummus. They are broken down and blended into a soft paste to achieve a creamy and smooth dip.
Hummus is a perfect dip for your hot flatbreads, pitas, pretzels, and raw sliced vegetables. It is also a good spread for your sandwiches. It is a rich source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
You can buy hummus plain or with added flavors (roasted seeds, garlic, white bean, roasted red bell pepper, even chocolate-flavored).
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standard on how long hummus can sit out at room temperature is four hours.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that perishable food items, such as hummus, should not be kept at room temperature longer than two hours or one hour at temperatures over 90 degrees.
Letting it sit longer at room temperature might expose your hummus to various microbes and bacteria that can cause spoilage once open and unrefrigerated,
If you are serving Hummus in a buffet, place your bowl of Hummus on top of a bowl with some ice cubes to keep it cool longer. Doing this can allow your Hummus to sit for four hours.
A tub of hummus sold in grocery stores will always have a “best use by date” printed on the label. The shelf life of hummus depends on temperature, the type of hummus (homemade or commercial), and your storage methods.
The shelf life of hummus also depends on whether it is “opened” or “unopened.” There is a big difference in shelf life between opened and unopened hummus, depending on where and how you store it.
Hummus comes in paste form and contains a considerable amount of liquid. Bacteria breeds better in moist environments.
Hummus is a perishable food item that is prone to spoilage. All food items have a shorter shelf-life when not stored properly. The “best before date” or “expiration date” on the label is the manufacturer’s recommendation for the best quality of the product and not for safety.
If you opened a jar of hummus, store leftovers in the fridge or freezer. Regardless of how long your hummus sits out, be sure to throw away any leftovers left unrefrigerated as soon as possible to avoid foodborne illness.
All food items will have a longer shelf life when kept in the fridge. The same rules apply to storing hummus.
If you opened several jars of hummus and did not consume everything in one sitting, you can keep them in the fridge. They can remain fresh in the refrigerator for between 3 and 5 days.
Unopened tubs of hummus should be stored in the refrigerator for about 4-7 days.
Your hummus will have a longer shelf life when kept in the freezer. Bacteria cannot thrive at low temperatures which leads to reduced bacterial growth.
Your opened jar or tubs of hummus will remain good in the freezer for 2 – 3 months.
You can store unopened tubs of hummus in the freezer for up to 6 months or sometimes even longer.
However, the maximum time hummus should be in the freezer before going bad is eight months.
You need to defrost frozen hummus before serving.
Your hummus may lose some a little zing if it has stayed in the freezer for a long time. Perk it up by adding some ground spices ( cumin, smoked paprika). You can also add some finely minced garlic, diced onions or shallots, or roasted bell pepper.
You should never re-freeze hummus. So, it is best to place it in the freezer in small portions so you only thaw what you need.
You can freeze your hummus for up to 4 – 6 months. However, the less time it stays in the freezer, the better.
Yes. Your Hummus will spoil when not stored properly. Leftover hummus should always be refrigerated using an air-tight container.
If hummus containers have been stored for quite some time in the fridge or freezer, check for some signs of spoilage before consuming them.
You can consider your hummus spoiled if you notice any of these signs:
You should always check your hummus for any sign that it is spoiled before consuming it. Eating spoiled hummus can cause food poisoning.
Store-bought hummus in jars or any shelf-safe packaging and unopened can last in your pantry for several months.
If you bought refrigerated hummus, it would remain safe in your freezer one week after its expiration date as printed on the package.
Jars of Hummus and refrigerator-packaged Hummus kept in the fridge will last for about 3-4 days after opening. They will last approximately 5-7 days after opening when kept in the freezer.
Remember to store your Hummus in an airtight glass container when storing it in the fridge or freezer.
If you bought refrigerated-packaged hummus, it should be refrigerated even if it is unopened. Once the tub is open, store it in the air-tight container in the fridge.
Hummus is a highly perishable food item. If you bought your Hummus in the grocery store’s refrigerated section, you can store unopened hummus in the original container in your fridge for several months.
When serving hummus, it would help if you allowed it to sit out for only 2 hours or 4 hours at room temperature. Always store any leftover hummus in the fridge.