If you’ve wondered whether guacamole goes bad, you’ve likely ate yours quite quickly. Guacamole can go bad very quickly unless the proper precautions are taken. Let’s take a closer look at how long this tasty food lasts and how to extend its lifespan.
Image used under Creative Commons from You As A Machine
Why Guacamole Goes bad so Quickly
Guacamole is made from perishable foods like avocados, tomatoes, hot peppers and onions. Once cut and exposed to the air, these ingredients go bad quite quickly, especially the avocado meat. Aside from being left out too long, guacamole can go bad due to the natural bacteria that is on all foods. Once you make guacamole, it is imperative that you refrigerate it. The bacteria on the guacamole will grow extremely fast if it is left out at room temperature. When the bacteria grows excessively, it can cause a breakout of food borne illness like Salmonella, E. coli and Norovirus. Each has the potential to cause nasty health complications. So pop your guacamole into the fridge right away unless you plan to eat it minutes after you make it. Also, if you plan on eating only a portion of the guacamole, scoop it out into a bowl and place the remainder into an airtight container and place it in the fridge.
Guacamole Storage Tips
In terms of guacamole storage, the ideal refrigeration temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder. If you can’t find a place with this temperature to store your guacamole, be it a refrigerator, freezer or other space, it could go bad within merely two hours. Refrigeration is critical to inhibiting the growth of mold. If you live in an especially warm climate without air conditioning or bring your guacamole outside for a social event, it will last an even shorter period of time. When exposed to temperatures of 90 degrees Fahrenheit, guacamole typically only lasts one hour. If you can’t find a cool enough place to store your guacamole and it sits out too long, trash it. Don’t risk your health just to eat the guacamole that you spent your time, money and effort to make.
Don’t let Your Guacamole sit in the Refrigerator for too Long
Guacamole can be stored in the fridge for three to four days before it turns brown, loses its taste and generates an excessive amount of bacteria. The cold temperature of the fridge won’t completely stop the growth of bacteria but it will significantly slow it. After four days in the fridge, there will be enough bacteria on the guacamole to make it unsafe to eat. Also, if you are considering freezing your guacamole, it is merely a short term solution. Guacamole does not freeze well, so don’t expect it to last an extended period of time in your freezer.
How to Prevent Guacamole From Browning and Going bad
If you have to leave your guacamole out, away from the fridge, it will likely turn brown unless you cover it. Browning even occurs when guacamole is left in the fridge for an extended period of time or in a container that is not airtight. While browning looks gross, it is not as harmful as most expect. The browning only impacts the very top layer of the guacamole. So discard the brown section with a spoon before you serve it. Always use an airtight container and apply clear plastic wrap before placing the lid on top and putting it in the fridge.
You can also add some lemon juice to your guacamole to help preserve its lifespan and prevent browning. Go ahead and mix the lemon juice in while you are making the guacamole instead of waiting until it is time to put the leftovers in the fridge. If you’d prefer to avoid eating guacamole with extra lemon juice, put some water on it instead. Water is the ideal barrier against oxygen. Guacamole is quite dense so don’t worry about water making it too thin and soupy. Just pour a bit of water on the top of the guacamole and place it in the fridge. When you take it out, tip the container so that the remaining water on the top pours out. Then give your guacamole a good stir and enjoy!