October 1, 2023


Healthy Life

How Lengthy Does Meal Prep Final in The Fridge

8 min read

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 positive it’s nonetheless good.” 😆


Or possibly you’re extra of a “higher protected than sorry” form 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 positive to hit the trash. So while you wish to save money and time with meal prep meals, the considered throwing away spoiled meals could be a main hang-up to getting began.


Meals security is necessary – ain’t no person needs meals poisoning! 


However there is a method to meal prep that provides you the comfort of a fast balanced meal with the boldness that your meals remains to be suitable for eating.


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

How Lengthy Do Meal Preps Final within the Fridge


Based on the USDA, most meals lasts safely within the fridge for about 4 days. Some meals can last more relying on the substances 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. 


You need to really feel pretty assured that your meal prep will last as long as 4 days, however after that meals security might be questionable.


Listed below are a couple of elements that affect how lengthy you’ll be able to safely retailer meals within the fridge:


    • Citric Acid. Sauces that comprise citric acid (suppose oranges, lemons, and limes) last more because the citric acid works as a preservative.
    • Temperature. Examine the thermostat of your fridge – meals lasts longer when saved nearer to 30 levels Fahrenheit as an alternative of 40 levels Fahrenheit.
    • Elements. Some meals appeal to 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 high 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 ensure 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 value of meals. We frequently suggest this as nicely. We normally prepare dinner half every week’s value of meals on Saturday and the opposite half on Wednesday. And that’s a good way to handle your meal prep. 


However when you’re eager to expertise the magic of cooking solely sooner or later every week, preserve studying – we’ve bought an FMC meal prep hack for you! (And no… it doesn’t embrace consuming the thriller meal from the again of the fridge. 😜)

Can You Inform How Lengthy Do Meals Final

With regards to meals security, your first rule of thumb needs to be when doubtful, throw it out. In the event you’re questioning whether or not or not one thing is suitable for eating, 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 preserve you protected. Listed below are a couple of to bear in mind in your meal prep.

How It Smells

Our nostril might be the most effective information for detecting spoiled meals. In case your meals smells dangerous or if it smells “off” it’s most probably rising micro organism that can make you sick. The meals ought to scent the identical as while 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 coloration, although. Meals filled with preservatives maintain their coloration nicely, even after they’ve spoiled. So search for coloration adjustments as a touch for recognizing spoiled meals, however don’t assume a meal is robotically suitable for eating 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 needs 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 growing mould, it’s time to throw it out. Consuming mould may cause allergic reactions and respiratory issues. Even when you spent some huge cash making a meal, if it has developed mould it’s not definitely worth the danger of great sickness to eat it.

A Fast Cheat Sheet for Storing Meal Prep

All the time test for mould or scent, coloration, or texture adjustments that can assist you decide if a meals is suitable for eating. However here’s a fast information on the shelf lifetime of your favourite meal preps that can assist you decide in case your wholesome meal is now not wholesome. 

Inexperienced Salads

Fridge: 3-4 days

Freezer: no

FMC Tip: preserve 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 prepare dinner rice and freeze particular person parts so that you at all times have a fast grain readily 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 so that they flatten out for straightforward 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

In order for you 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 smooth and mushy in storage
  • Salads: lettuce and different salad substances shouldn’t be frozen and usually solely final a couple of days


A few of these substances 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 totally 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 sure that your containers are hermetic
  • For freezer storage, use freezer-safe containers. 
  • Contemplate how your meals can be reheated and whether or not you want a microwave-safe container. 


Suggestions for storage:


  • All the time depart further house within the container when storing liquids – liquids broaden when frozen.
  • Absolutely cool meals earlier than inserting them within the fridge or freezer.
  • Maintain 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 Certain No Meals Go Dangerous?

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


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


Right here’s what that appears like: 


Step 1: Batch prepare dinner a number of meals that freeze nicely 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 prepare 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 bought a full week of meal prep in 1 day of cooking. 


Use the ability of the freezer to increase the lifetime of your meal prep. Check totally different meal prep recipes to see which holds up greatest for freezer storage. A simple method 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 suddenly 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 placement 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 (scent, coloration, texture, and mould) 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 doubtful, throw it out. A mix of fridge and freezer meal prep is the most secure method to prep a complete 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

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