Hummus is a popular Middle Eastern dip made from chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. It has become increasingly popular in the Western world due to its delicious taste and health benefits. However, questions have been raised about whether it needs refrigeration or not.
In this post, we will explore if hummus needs refrigeration, how long you can leave it unrefrigerated, and other essential tips on storing hummus to ensure it stays safe to eat.
Does Hummus Need Refrigeration?
The short answer is yes. Hummus should be stored in the refrigerator once opened as soon as possible. Leaving hummus out at room temperature for too long can cause bacteria growth which could lead to food poisoning.
However, unopened hummus can be stored at room temperature until the expiration date on the package but should still be kept away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Once opened though, it’s best to store your hummus in an air-tight container or resealable bag that minimizes exposure to oxygen.
How Long Can You Leave Hummus Unrefrigerated?
It’s recommended that you don’t leave homemade or store-bought hummus (after they are opened) out for more than two hours at room temperature before placing them back into a fridge below 4°C (40°F). This is because when exposed to temperatures above 4°C (40°F), bacteria may begin growing rapidly causing illnesses such as salmonella or E.coli infections.
If you’re planning on taking your homemade hummus with you outside of the home where there won’t be access to a fridge like picnics etc., make sure your carrier insulates properly against heat changes so that bacteria are not given an opportunity to grow quickly enough within those first couple hours after being taken out of cold storage.
Is Humus Bad If Not Refrigerated?
If your hummus has stayed for a long time without refrigeration, it may possibly have gone bad. Eating hummus that has been left unrefrigerated for too long can lead to food poisoning. As mentioned earlier, when exposed to temperatures above 4°C (40°F), bacteria may begin growing rapidly causing illnesses such as salmonella or E.coli infections.
Symptoms of food poisoning from hummus include vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps which can last up to a week in severe cases. To avoid getting sick from eating contaminated hummus make sure you always refrigerate it after opening it and don’t leave it out at room temperature for more than two hours before returning back to the fridge.
Can Humus Be Left Out Overnight Unopened?
Yes. Unopened store-bought hummus can be left out overnight without any adverse effects since they are usually packaged with preservatives that prevent bacterial growth until the expiration date. However, homemade hummus should never be kept outside the refrigerator overnight due to its high moisture content which makes it an ideal breeding ground for bacteria if left unrefrigerated for extended periods of time.
It’s important to note that even though store-bought hummus is safe initially, leaving them open on countertops overnight could cause changes in texture and flavor due to oxidation especially once opened past its best-by dates.
Should You Refrigerate Homemade Hummus?
It’s absolutely necessary to refrigerate homemade hummus. Homemade hummuses contain no preservatives so they must be stored in a refrigerator below 4°C (40°F) as soon as possible after making them or buying ingredients used in preparing them including chickpeas etc. This will help minimize bacterial growth during storage – keeping your family safe from illness caused by consuming spoiled foods like hummuses.
However, homemade hummuses do not have the same shelf life as store-bought ones because there were no added artificial additives/preservatives hence homemade varieties tend to spoil quicker; hence prolonged exposure outside cold storage is discouraged compared with their commercial counterparts.
How Do You Keep Homemade Hummus Fresh?
The best way to keep homemade hummus fresh is to store it in an airtight container or resealable bag that minimizes exposure to oxygen and refrigerate it as soon as possible after making them. This will help prevent bacteria growth which could lead to food poisoning.
It’s also important to check the expiration date on your ingredients before using them when preparing your hummus, especially chickpeas which are commonly used in its preparation.
Another tip is keeping away from any heat source or direct sunlight; this helps maintain the freshness of flavors over longer periods compared with those exposed to too much light/heat.
Make sure you always use clean utensils when serving or scooping out portions for consumption – this further reduces the chances of contamination by harmful bacteria like salmonella or E.coli, etc.
Furthermore, if you’re making a large batch of hummus, consider dividing it into smaller portions before refrigeration. This will allow you to take out only what you need at a time and reduce the frequency of opening the container or bag.
Another helpful tip is to avoid adding water when blending your hummus as this can increase its moisture content and shorten its shelf life. Instead, use lemon juice or olive oil to adjust the consistency and flavor.
Lastly, always trust your senses when it comes to determining whether your homemade hummus has gone bad. If it smells off or has an unusual texture or color, discard it immediately.
In conclusion, while hummus may seem like a simple dip that doesn’t require much attention in terms of storage, it’s important to remember that bacteria growth can occur quickly if left unrefrigerated for too long. To keep yourself and your loved ones safe from food poisoning caused by consuming contaminated hummus, always store opened containers properly within 2 hours after being opened.