I'd rather never eat mayonnaise. When I was young one of my teachers warned the class about picnics, mayonnaise, and food poisoning. My OCD was a special force in my life by then. After that comment I did avoid it completely, and even tried not to think about it. If mayonnaise ended up on my plate, the meal was over, sometimes before the first bite.
I've been able to extinguish a lot of my obsessions through intensive cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) / exposure and response prevention (ERP) and the use of medication. Many previously "charged" foods no longer give me pause. However, some linger. Mayo is one of them. I doubt it will ever be a neutral food for me. I do eat it, but I don't like to, and it is always an effort.
While on this trip to visit my family we stopped to pick up groceries. Cole slaw and potato salad were on the list. Somehow, one bag did not make it from the car into the house. It had to be that one! The cole slaw and potato salad stayed in the hot car for 2 hours before their discovery. As part of my recovery, I try not to throw out food because of a "bad feeling". The containers were sweating condensation, but still felt cool to the touch. I dutifully put them in the refrigerator and went about my business. The next day, my mom put some on her plate, only to find the first forkful disgusting. It had gone bad.
Wow! I got so close to food poisoning. I actually put bad food into the fridge. And yet, even without my vigilance, no one got sick. I do consider it a "near miss" because sometimes bad mayo cannot be detected. I know there is an OCD victory here because none of this made me anxious. However, I am also aware that now I am not going to eat cole slaw or potato salad for a while. So it is a step back. In the grand scheme of life, it isn't such a big deal. But I do need to be careful not to let this grow. My avoidance sometimes spreads out like an expanding stain leaving me less to eat that feels safe.
I think the best way to deal with this is to limit my avoidance to just mayo salads in stores and restaurants. I will also remember that this is my OCD and there is nothing actually wrong with these salads. People are eating them everyday with no ill effects. When I am ready I may expose myself and try it again. But for now, I am just going to accept that this is where I am today.