Hollandaise sauce is a rich, creamy, somewhat tangy sauce, made from egg yolks, lemon, butter, and vinegar.
Hollandaise sauce contains bioactive ingredients, specifically eggs, yolks, and butter.
Hollandaise sauce stored carelessly presents diners with the possibility of at least an upset stomach and possibly illnesses as serious as salmonella poisoning at worst.
How to store hollandaise sauce?
Once made, or if store-bought, once opened, use the hollandaise sauce straightaway. Where this is not possible, store the sauce temporarily in a fridge, providing it is no longer than a couple of hours. When storing hollandaise sauce for longer, first put it into a sealed container, such as a heatproof bowl, sealed airtight with plastic wrapping. Even when sealed like this (airtight refrigerated container), do not keep hollandaise for longer than 48 hours.
Detailed instructions for storing homemade hollandaise sauce
- Put the sauce in an oven-proof bowl. Place the sauce in the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.
- Place the container on an oven plate, but don’t put it directly on a stove, or the sauce could overcook or separate. The plastic wrap should be arranged so that it isn’t in contact with hot surfaces. Place it on the plate that is heated for at least 1 hour before serving.
- Transfer the remaining sauce into a glass or plastic bowl. Close the lid securely and then place the bowl in the refrigerator. Keep the sauce chilled for a minimum of two days.
- Transfer the sauce into an unprotected bowl to heat. It can be microwaved at 20 percent energy for about 15 seconds and then stirred. Keep heating the sauce at 15 second intervals, stirring in between each interval, until the sauce has warmed to a simmer.
- As mentioned elsewhere in this article, if not serving it immediately, store hollandaise sauce in a fridge as soon as it has cooled down after preparation.
Eggs yolks, salmonella, and the problem of storing hollandaise sauce
Salmonella refers to a particular kind of bacteria that is a frequent food poisoning hazard in the United States.
Most people who contract salmonella suffer from fever, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, vomiting for 12 to 72 hours after the infection.
The illness persists 4 to 7 days normally, and the majority fully recover on their own. In some cases, suffering from diarrhea may become so severe that hospital admission is required.
Eggs and food safety
To protect yourself from illness caused by bacteria: store eggs in a refrigerator and cook eggs until the yolks are firm, and cook food items containing eggs with care.
Eggs treated to kill salmonella by in-shell pasteurization, for instance, are not required to be accompanied by safety instructions for handling.
However, labeling usually announces that they’ve been treated.
Dos and Don’ts of egg safety
- Don’t buy eggs unless they are in a fridge or fridge unit.
- Take the carton out and ensure your eggs are in good condition and the shells aren’t broken.
- Keep eggs in the original cartons and use the eggs within 3 weeks to ensure the highest quality.
- Refrigerate leftover egg dishes cooked in the oven and serve within 3-4 days. If you are refrigerating a lot of leftover hot eggs and dividing them into multiple small containers to allow them to get cool fast.
- Use eggs that have been cooked hard (in their shells or peeling) within one week after cooking.
Cooking eggs correctly
- Cook eggs until the yolk, as well as the white, are set. The scrambled eggs shouldn’t be runny.
- For recipes that require eggs that are not cooked or are undercooked when serving the food–for example, Caesar salad dressing or homemade ice cream–make use of pasteurized eggs or eggs that have been treated by some other acceptable method.
Butter is not a major problem of storing hollandaise sauce
Bacteria require water to develop. Butter is mainly made of fat (at least 80%) and water.
The water content is relatively high; however, due to churning, small water molecules get separated from each other and are surrounded by fat that is virtually inaccessible to bacteria.
Furthermore, bacteria are even more unlikely to develop in salted butter due to the presence of salt.
In the words of the USDA, butter is safe at room temperature. However, if left out for a few days at room temperature, butter may become rancid and taste appalling.
The USDA doesn’t recommend keeping butter out for more than one or two days. Butter can be stored more safely in a French butter keeper or an ordinary butter dish.
Detecting when hollandaise sauce has gone bad
Check the consistency of the sauce. It will appear ‘grainy’ or contain lumps if it has gone off.
Also, when it has gone off, the sauce will appear darker than fresh hollandaise due to the activity of bacteria.
Lastly, the sauce will smell ‘funny,’ but not ‘funny’ in a good way.
Some people say that hollandaise will taste odd too when it is off, but I don’t think it’s particularly clever to put potentially infected food into your mouth!
What happens if you eat badly stored hollandaise sauce?
Foodborne bacteria that are harmful to your health will typically result in sickness within 1 to 3 days after eating the affected food.
However, illness can be experienced from 20 minutes to 6 weeks later. While most people recover from an infection caused by tainted food in a short time, others may develop severe, chronic, or even life-threatening issues.
Foodborne illnesses can be misinterpreted as other diseases that share similar symptoms. The signs of foodborne illness could include:
- Vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea
- Flu-like symptoms, like headaches, bodily pain, and fever
Dealing with a case of food poisoning
Most people will be fine if poisoned by bad hollandaise. However, an unlucky few face potentially life-threatening illness.
Therefore, if you believe that someone is ill due to bad hollandaise sauce (or indeed, any food, do not hesitate to immediately contact your healthcare provider.
When able, contact the FDA by:
- Use the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting here:
By phone: 1-800-FDA-1088
- Getting in touch with your area’s Consumer Complaint Coordinator
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Store Hollandaise Sauce
How long does hollandaise sauce last?
Fresh Hollandaise sauce doesn’t typically last quite a long time, ranging from two to seven days on average if stored in the refrigerator. Unopened store-bought Hollandaise sauce, however, can last for a long time when sealed and stored somewhere cool for up to a month after it has been opened.
Is it okay to freeze hollandaise sauce?
As long as it is done correctly, it is perfectly okay to freeze the sauce. When frozen, hollandaise sauce will last for up to one month. (If, when thawed, the ingredients separate, don’t worry; just whip egg yolk back into the sauce, and it will beautifully emulsify again.
Afterword: How to Store Hollandaise Sauce?
This article showed you how egg yolk in hollandaise sauce is potentially dangerous if the sauce is not promptly consumed or stored safely.
The article explained that you must always buy, prepare, and store eggs properly.
Finally, the article showed you how to correctly refrigerate and store hollandaise sauce.