How Lengthy Does Meal Prep Final In The Fridge



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 secure than sorry” form of particular person and toss every part after a day or two.

Whichever facet of warning you fall on, if you happen to crack open a container and the meals is slimy, smelly, or moldy, it’s positive 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 essential – ain’t no person desires meals poisoning! 

However there is a strategy 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.


In response to 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 typically final three to 6 months.


Quick reply: it relies upon. 

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

Listed below are a number of components that affect how lengthy you may 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. Examine 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 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 brisker.
  • 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 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 every week’s price of meals on Saturday and the opposite half on Wednesday. And that’s a good way to handle your meal prep. 

However if you happen to’re eager to expertise the magic of cooking solely sooner or later every week, maintain 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. )


Relating to meals security, your first rule of thumb ought to be when unsure, throw it out. For those who’re questioning whether or not or not one thing is suitable for eating, it’s greatest to keep away from the chance of meals poisoning. 

For a extra detailed information on meals spoilage, the FDA provides useful tricks to maintain you secure. Listed below are a number 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 unhealthy or if it smells “off” it’s most probably 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

Colour 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 unhealthy. Not all spoiled meals adjustments shade, although. Meals filled with preservatives maintain their shade properly, even after they’ve spoiled. So search for shade adjustments as a touch for recognizing spoiled meals, however don’t assume a meal is mechanically suitable for eating 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 approach out the door and ought to be tossed. Any main adjustments in texture are an indication that the meals has gone unhealthy.


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


All the time examine for mould or odor, shade, or texture adjustments that will help 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 will help you decide in case your wholesome meal is not wholesome. 

Inexperienced Salads

Fridge: 3-4 days

Freezer: no

FMC Tip: maintain 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 all the time 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 luggage on a sheet pan when freezing so 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’d 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 inclined to get gentle and mushy in storage
  • Salads: lettuce and different salad substances shouldn’t be frozen and usually solely final a number of days

A few of these substances 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 contemporary for longer. 

Ideas for choosing a container:

  • When storing your meals, be certain that your containers are hermetic
  • For freezer storage, use freezer-safe containers. 
  • Take into account how your meals might be reheated and whether or not you want a microwave-safe container. 

Ideas for storage:

  • All the time depart additional area within the container when storing liquids – liquids develop when frozen.
  • Absolutely 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 fully.


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 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 if you happen to batch cook dinner sufficient meals.

Step 2: Cook 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 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 straightforward strategy 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 must eat the double batch abruptly 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 secure storage within the fridge and about 4 months of secure storage within the freezer. Look ahead to adjustments (odor, shade, texture, and mould) to your meal prep meals as an indication that it’s gone unhealthy. For those who’re not sure if meals has spoiled: when unsure, throw it out. A mix of fridge and freezer meal prep is the most secure strategy 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


Hey, I am Kevin

My title is Kevin. My life modified once I realized that wholesome residing is really a lifelong journey, primarily gained by having a well-balanced weight loss program and having fun with ample train.

By experimenting within the kitchen and overtly sharing my meals, I discovered that wholesome consuming is hardly boring and that by making a number of changes, I may design a weight loss program that might assist me obtain my private health targets. Our our bodies are constructed within the kitchen and sculpted within the health club.


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