I have been making bean salad for a long time. Recently I mixed together the vinegar, oil, sugar and black pepper for the dressing, and put it in a pint sized canning jar with 2-pc lid and refrigerated it, intending on making in the next day or so, but it never happened.

I still have this nice dressing in the refrigerator, and am wondering about food safety - all the ingredients are fine for long periods unrefrigerated, so there should not be a food safety issue, right? I'm also wondering about staleness. I don't want to use it to make bean salad, and have a less-than-wonderful salad. I hate to throw out perfectly good food. Can anyone help me?

  • Just checking... those are all of the ingredients? No Garlic or anything else?
    – Catija
    Feb 10, 2016 at 18:04

1 Answer 1


It's fine. Vinaigrettes last pretty much indefinitely in the fridge.

If the oil was exposed to too much light or air it might have become a little rancid. Smelling and tasting it before using it on the salad is a good idea. I wouldn't expect anything like that after just a couple months.

Catija alluded to garlic above. Garlic in oil is dangerous because it has an elevated risk of developing botulism- however in a separated vinaigrette all the particulate matter is submerged in the vinegar portion. More than acidic enough to prevent any botulism.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Cascabel
    Feb 12, 2016 at 3:58

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