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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


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CFSAN Bad Bug Book: Salad Dressings and Sauces (Commercial)

Bad Bug Book:
Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms and Natural Toxins Handbook


Salad Dressings and Sauces (Commercial)


Commercial salad dressings and acidified sauces are microbiologically safe. Manufacturers follow strict quality controls and diligently comply with FDA-mandated Good Manufacturing Practices in production of these commercial products. Commercial salad dressing and sauce products are also made with pasteurized eggs that are free of Salmonella and other pathogenic bacteria and further ensure the safety of these products. As such, these commercial products do not have the food safety risks associated with their homemade counterparts, which contain unpasteurized eggs. Homemade versions also may not contain sufficient quantities of food acids like vinegar (acetic acid) or lemon juice (citric acid) to kill harmful microorganisms. As with all foods, the accidental introduction of harmful bacteria from other sources must be avoided, particularly post-manufacture. Consumers should follow sanitary food handling practices in dealing with all foods, including salad dressings and sauces to maintain their safety and follow manufacturer's directions to keep food refrigerated.