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 at the back of the fridge for who is aware of how lengthy and mentioned to your self, “I’m certain it’s nonetheless good.” 

Or possibly you’re extra of a “higher secure than sorry” form of individual and toss every part after a day or two.

Whichever facet of warning you fall on, in case you crack open a container and the meals is slimy, smelly, or moldy, it’s certain to hit the trash. So while you need 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 solution to meal prep that provides you the comfort of a fast balanced meal with the boldness that your meals remains to be fit for human consumption.

Beneath 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.


Brief 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 will be questionable.

Listed below are a number 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. 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 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 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 let you know to make a meal plan for 2 separate cooking days to cowl 7 days price of meals. We regularly suggest this as effectively. We normally prepare 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 in case you’re desirous to expertise the magic of cooking solely at some point every week, preserve studying – we’ve received an FMC meal prep hack for you! (And no… it doesn’t embrace consuming the thriller meal from the again of the fridge. )


With regards to meals security, your first rule of thumb needs to be when doubtful, throw it out. For those who’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 preserve you secure. Listed below are a number of to bear in mind to 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 most certainly rising micro organism that may make you sick. The meals ought to odor the identical as while you first cooked it. 

How It Seems to be

Coloration modifications 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 modifications colour, although. Meals filled with preservatives maintain their colour effectively, even after they’ve spoiled. So search for colour modifications 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 colour.

How It Feels

If it smells regular and appears good however feels slimy, it’s nonetheless on its approach out the door and needs to be tossed. Any main modifications 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 in case 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.


All the time test for mould or odor, colour, or texture modifications that can assist 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 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 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 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 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. 

Ideas for choosing a container:

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

Ideas for storage:

  • All the time go away further house within the container when storing liquids – liquids broaden when frozen.
  • Totally cool meals earlier than inserting them within the fridge or freezer.
  • Hold 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 may get you 7 kinds of meals with at some point 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 prepare 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 in case you batch prepare 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 received 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 totally different meal prep recipes to see which holds up greatest for freezer storage. A simple solution 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 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 modifications (odor, colour, texture, and mould) to your meal prep meals as an indication that it’s gone dangerous. For those who’re not sure if meals has spoiled: when doubtful, throw it out. A mix of fridge and freezer meal prep is the most secure solution 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 . 


Hey, I am Kevin

My identify is Kevin. My life modified once I realized that wholesome dwelling is really a lifelong journey, primarily received by having a well-balanced food regimen 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 food regimen that would assist me obtain my private health targets. Our our bodies are constructed within the kitchen and sculpted within the fitness center.

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