How Lengthy Does Meal Prep Final in The Fridge

How Lengthy Does Meal Prep Final

We’ve all had ready meals to vanish into the again of the fridge for a lot 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 stated to your self, “I’m certain it’s nonetheless good.” 😆


Or possibly you’re extra of a “higher protected than sorry” form of particular person and toss all the pieces after a day or two.


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


Meals security is essential – ain’t no person desires meals poisoning! 


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


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

How Lengthy Do Meal Preps Final within the Fridge


In accordance with the USDA, most meals lasts safely within the fridge for about 4 days. Some meals can last more relying on the elements and storage container. Meals saved within the freezer usually final three to 6 months.


Meal Prep: Is It Secure to Meal Prep For 5 Days?


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 couple of elements that affect how lengthy you possibly can safely retailer meals within the fridge:


    • Citric Acid. Sauces that comprise citric acid (assume oranges, lemons, and limes) last more for the reason that citric acid works as a preservative.
    • Temperature. Verify the thermostat of your fridge – meals lasts longer when saved nearer to 30 levels Fahrenheit as a substitute of 40 levels Fahrenheit.
    • Components. Some meals entice micro organism sooner than others (rice and quinoa final a couple of day longer than cooked pasta dishes), so utilizing meals with an extended shelf life may also 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 brisker.
  • Fridge capability. Filling your fridge to the max will increase its total temperature, so keep away from overstuffing your fridge to ensure the meals stays cool sufficient to keep away from spoilage.


Most individuals will let you know to make a meal plan for 2 separate cooking days to cowl 7 days price of meals. We frequently advocate this as properly. We normally 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 should you’re desirous to expertise the magic of cooking solely in the future 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. 😜)

Can You Inform How Lengthy Do Meals Final

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


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

How It Smells

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

How It Seems

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

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 best to identify. In case your meal is creating mildew, it’s time to throw it out. Consuming mildew may cause allergic reactions and respiratory issues. Even should you spent some huge cash making a meal, if it has developed mildew it’s not definitely worth the danger of significant sickness to eat it.

A Fast Cheat Sheet for Storing Meal Prep

At all times verify for mildew or odor, coloration, 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, recent 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 doable, 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 would like 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 likely to get delicate and mushy in storage
  • Salads: lettuce and different salad elements shouldn’t be frozen and sometimes solely final a couple of days


A few of these elements can result in sooner spoilage and a few simply don’t style pretty much 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 recent for longer. 


Suggestions for choosing a container:


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


Suggestions for storage:


  • At all times go away additional house within the container when storing liquids – liquids develop when frozen.
  • Absolutely cool meals earlier than putting 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.

How A lot to Meal Prep for a Week and Be Positive No Meals Go Dangerous?

Are you prepared for an FMC hack that can get you 7 sorts of meals with in the future 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 properly and pop particular person parts into the freezer for long-term storage. You solely want to finish this step as soon as a month should 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. Check completely different meal prep recipes to see which holds up greatest for freezer storage. A straightforward approach to inventory your freezer over time is to double a recipe and use half of it recent and retailer half within the freezer for later use. This helps add selection to your menu because you don’t must eat the double batch all of sudden and might 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 affect 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, coloration, texture, and mildew) to your meal prep meals as an indication that it’s gone dangerous. In the event you’re not sure if meals has spoiled: when unsure, throw it out. A mixture of fridge and freezer meal prep is the most secure approach to prep a complete week of cooking meals at one time.


For meal prep concepts to get you began, try our meal prep recipes right here