How Lengthy Does Meal Prep Final In The Fridge


We’ve all had ready meals to vanish into the again of the fridge for much too lengthy. 

Have you ever ever opened a meal prep container that’s been hanging out behind the fridge for who is aware of how lengthy and mentioned to your self, “I’m certain it’s nonetheless good.” 

Or perhaps you’re extra of a “higher protected than sorry” type of individual and toss all the things after a day or two.

Whichever facet of warning you fall on, when you crack open a container and the meals is slimy, pungent, or moldy, it’s certain to hit the trash. So once you wish to save money and time with meal prep meals, the considered throwing away spoiled meals generally is a main hang-up to getting began.

Meals security is vital – ain’t no one desires meals poisoning! 

However there is a approach to meal prep that provides you the comfort of a fast balanced meal with the arrogance that your meals continues to be fit for human consumption.

Under you’ll discover a information for making meal prep that lasts per week or extra.


Based on the USDA, most meals lasts safely within the fridge for about 4 days. Some meals can last more relying on the components and storage container. Meals saved within the freezer typically final three to 6 months.


Quick reply: it relies upon. 

It’s best to really feel pretty assured that your meal prep will last as long as 4 days, however after that meals security will be questionable.

Listed here are a number of elements that impression how lengthy you possibly can safely retailer meals within the fridge:

  • Citric Acid. Sauces that include citric acid (suppose oranges, lemons, and limes) last more because the citric acid works as a preservative.
  • Temperature. Verify the thermostat of your fridge – meals lasts longer when saved nearer to 30 levels Fahrenheit as an alternative of 40 levels Fahrenheit.
  • Substances. Some meals entice micro organism sooner than others (rice and quinoa final a few day longer than cooked pasta dishes), so utilizing meals with an extended shelf life might help your meal prep last more all through the week.
  • Storage container. A top quality, hermetic container protects your meals and helps it last more and style more energizing.
  • Fridge capability. Filling your fridge to the max will increase its general temperature, so keep away from overstuffing your fridge to verify the meals stays cool sufficient to keep away from spoilage.

Most individuals will inform you to make a meal plan for 2 separate cooking days to cowl 7 days price of meals. We frequently suggest this as effectively. We often cook dinner half per week’s price of meals on Saturday and the opposite half on Wednesday. And that’s an effective way to handle your meal prep. 

However when you’re desirous to expertise the magic of cooking solely sooner or later per week, hold studying – we’ve obtained an FMC meal prep hack for you! (And no… it doesn’t embody consuming the thriller meal from the again of the fridge. )


Relating to meals security, your first rule of thumb ought to be when doubtful, throw it out. In case you’re questioning whether or not or not one thing is fit for human consumption, it’s greatest to keep away from the chance of meals poisoning. 

For a extra detailed information on meals spoilage, the FDA presents useful tricks to hold you protected. Listed here are a number of to remember in your meal prep.

How It Smells

Our nostril will be one of the best information for detecting spoiled meals. In case your meals smells dangerous or if it smells “off” it’s almost certainly rising micro organism that can make you sick. The meals ought to odor the identical as once you first cooked it. 

How It Appears to be like

Coloration adjustments are an indication that your meals could also be spoiling. Produce (suppose lettuce and avocados) turns into brown and meat will get patches of grey as they go dangerous. Not all spoiled meals adjustments shade, although. Meals stuffed with preservatives maintain their shade effectively, even after they’ve spoiled. So search for shade adjustments as a touch for recognizing spoiled meals, however don’t assume a meal is robotically fit for human consumption simply because it’s held its shade.

How It Feels

If it smells regular and appears good however feels slimy, it’s nonetheless on its manner out the door and ought to be tossed. Any main adjustments in texture are an indication that the meals has gone dangerous.


This one is the simplest to identify. In case your meal is growing mildew, it’s time to throw it out. Consuming mildew may cause allergic reactions and respiratory issues. Even when you spent some huge cash making a meal, if it has developed mildew it’s not well worth the danger of great sickness to eat it.


All the time examine for mildew or odor, shade, or texture adjustments that will help you decide if a meals is fit for human consumption. However here’s a fast information on the shelf lifetime of your favourite meal preps that will help you decide in case your wholesome meal is not wholesome. 

Inexperienced Salads

Fridge: 3-4 days

Freezer: no

FMC Tip: hold salad dressing separate till able to eat

In a single day Oats

Fridge: 4-5 days

Freezer: 3-4 months

FMC Tip: add chia seeds and dried fruit earlier than storage however add nuts, seeds, contemporary fruit, granola, and coconut flakes simply earlier than consuming

Rice and Grain Bowls

Fridge: 3-4 days

Freezer: 4-5 months

FMC Tip: batch cook dinner rice and freeze particular person parts so that you at all times have a fast grain available

Sheet Pan Meals

Fridge: 3-4 days

Freezer: no

FMC Tip: when attainable, reheat meals utilizing the oven or air fryer to get a crispier texture

Pasta Dishes

Fridge: 3-4 days

Freezer: 4-5 months

FMC Tip: barely undercook your pasta earlier than freezing to keep away from mushy pasta

Soup, Chili, and Stews

Fridge: 4-5 days

Freezer: 5-6 months

FMC Tip: lay freezer baggage on a sheet pan when freezing in order that they flatten out for simple stacking

Baked Items

Fridge: 7 days

Freezer: 5-6 months

FMC Tip: wrap every merchandise individually in plastic wrap after which retailer in a freezer bag

Meals to Keep away from for Meal Prep

If you need longer-lasting meal prep concepts, keep away from these meals and also you’ll get an extended shelf life out of your meals. 

  • Lotions: bitter cream, mayonnaise, yogurt, creamy soups, and creamy sauces 
  • Crunchy or Fried: meals with a crunchy texture are inclined to get gentle and mushy in storage
  • Salads: lettuce and different salad components shouldn’t be frozen and sometimes solely final a number of days

A few of these components can result in sooner spoilage and a few simply don’t style nearly as good after hanging out within the fridge or freezer. Whereas these meals could make nice short-term meal prep, select completely different meals for the meal plan you eat on the finish of every week.

Use the Proper Storage Container

Not all storage containers are created equally. A high-quality container will assist your meals keep contemporary for longer. 

Suggestions for choosing a container:

  • When storing your meals, ensure that your containers are hermetic
  • For freezer storage, use freezer-safe containers. 
  • Contemplate how your meals shall be reheated and whether or not you want a microwave-safe container. 

Suggestions for storage:

  • All the time go away additional area within the container when storing liquids – liquids broaden when frozen.
  • Totally cool meals earlier than inserting them within the fridge or freezer.
  • Preserve the freezer door closed for a number of hours to make sure the brand new meals freezes utterly.


Are you prepared for an FMC hack that can get you 7 varieties of meals with sooner or later of cooking?

We use a mixture of fridge and freezer meals to assist our meal prep final.

Right here’s what that appears like: 

Step 1: Batch cook dinner a number of meals that freeze effectively and pop particular person parts into the freezer for long-term storage. You solely want to finish this step as soon as a month when you batch cook dinner sufficient meals.

Step 2: Prepare dinner your meal prep for the primary 4 days of your week and retailer it within the fridge. 

Step 3: On the fourth day of the week, transfer your freezer meals for days 5-7 to the fridge to allow them to thaw. 

BAM! You’ve obtained a full week of meal prep in 1 day of cooking. 

Use the facility of the freezer to increase the lifetime of your meal prep. Take a look at completely different meal prep recipes to see which holds up greatest for freezer storage. A simple approach to inventory your freezer over time is to double a recipe and use half of it contemporary and retailer half within the freezer for later use. This helps add selection to your menu because you don’t have to eat the double batch abruptly and may pull out a mixture of meals out of your freezer later.


How far forward are you able to retailer your meals? It relies upon. The kind of meals and site of storage impression how lengthy meals will final. Make a meal plan of about 4 days of protected storage within the fridge and about 4 months of protected storage within the freezer. Look ahead to adjustments (odor, shade, texture, and mildew) to your meal prep meals as an indication that it’s gone dangerous. In case you’re uncertain if meals has spoiled: when doubtful, throw it out. A mix of fridge and freezer meal prep is the most secure approach to prep a whole week of cooking meals at one time.

For meal prep concepts to get you began, take a look at our meal prep recipes right here. 


Hey, I am Kevin

My identify is Kevin. My life modified once I realized that wholesome dwelling is a lifelong journey, primarily received by having a well-balanced food regimen and sustaining an lively life-style.

By experimenting within the kitchen and sharing my meals on Tumblr, I realized wholesome consuming just isn’t boring! And by making a number of changes, I might design a food regimen that might assist me obtain my private health targets whereas satisfying my want for BANGIN meals! 😅. Our our bodies are constructed within the kitchen and sculpted within the health club. #DemocratizeWellness