How To Tell If Hummus Is Bad

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Hummus is so delicious that you might end up eating half a container of it in one sitting. A few days later, you reach for it again, only to discover that something is off. How could this happen? How do you know if hummus is bad?

The top 3 ways you can tell your hummus has gone bad is when it starts to smell different, tastes sour, or looks like it is growing mold, indicating that your hummus is no longer safe for consumption!

Hummus can be a bit tricky to tell when it has gone off, but in this guide, I’ll explain further about the signs of spoilage to look out for.

Signs Of Bad Hummus

The Date Has Past

Typically hummus is not sold with an expiration date but a “sell by” date, which is the date the store needs to sell it by. However, you can find some brands that do put an expiration date on their containers.

If you are making your own, check the expiration dates of all of your ingredients before using them, and don’t use ingredients that are at or beyond their prime.

If your hummus is past its prime, the best you can do is toss it out.

The Color Changed

Depending on the ingredients used, hummus should be a light brown color. If it is significantly darker or lighter than this, it may be an indication that the hummus has gone bad.

When hummus becomes dry, it will often change to a darker color, so it’s not always an indication that it has spoiled but should be used up quickly.

It Smells Sour

Fresh hummus should have a mildly nutty smell or fragrant smell of any herbs that may have been added.

Rancid tahini and garlic have a very distinctive and unpleasant smell.

If it smells sour or unpleasant, it has gone bad, and you should throw away the entire container.

It Tastes Sour

I’m not a fan of taste testing for spoilage because it could make you sick. But if you happened to taste it and it tastes sour, not like any lemon that maybe have been added, it should be discarded.

A bad sour taste often indicates bacterial overgrowth and could lead to food poisoning.

There Is Mold

Mold can sometimes grow on food, even on hummus while refrigerated. If you see any mold on hummus, discard it immediately, as mold can cause serious health problems if ingested.

I often get asked if you can scoop the top or just the moldy parts and consume the rest. The answer is no. Any sign of mold means it’s already too late to save it, and the whole container must be chucked!

The Texture Changed

Fresh hummus should have a smooth, creamy texture. It has probably gone bad if it is lumpy, grainy, or watery after sitting.

If you see liquid pooling in your hummus, it could just be excess oil surfacing. This is often the case with homemade hummus that hasn’t emulsified well.

The separation of oil doesn’t necessarily mean it has gone bad but can be an indication that it is no longer as fresh. If you’re not sure, it’s best to toss it.

Bad Hummus FAQs

What Happens If You Eat Bad Hummus?

Eating spoiled hummus has the potential to make you sick, with the growth of bacteria and mold throughout. Symptoms can be as mild as an upset stomach to life-threatening. If you suffer food poisoning from hummus, you need to contact a medical professional immediately.

Can You Eat Hummus After The Expiration Date?

If your hummus has an expiration date, it’s best to adhere to it. If it has a sell-by date or use-by date instead, you may get away with consuming it after that date with caution.

Can Unopened Hummus Go Bad?

Yes, unopened hummus can go bad if it is past the date on the package. Despite being packaged, bacteria and molds can still grow inside at a slower rate than opened. Don’t take the risk and discard it.

Written By Justin Micheal

Justin is not just the creator but also an author and editor for KitchenSanity. He does the majority of the cooking at home with his wife. His friends and family look forward to eating his delicious creations, which often leads to many questions about how they can replicate his meals at home. In his writing, he shares his passion and knowledge as a home chef from his kitchen to yours.