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

Or perhaps you’re extra of a “higher protected than sorry” sort 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, pungent, or moldy, it’s certain 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 vital – ain’t no person needs meals poisoning! 

However there is a option to meal prep that offers you the comfort of a fast balanced meal with the boldness 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.


In keeping 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 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 could be questionable.

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

  • Citric Acid. Sauces that include citric acid (assume 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 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 brisker.
  • 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 value of meals. We frequently advocate this as effectively. We often cook dinner half per 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 if you happen to’re eager to expertise the magic of cooking solely in the future per week, hold studying – we’ve received an FMC meal prep hack for you! (And no… it doesn’t embody consuming the thriller meal from the again of the fridge. )


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

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

How It Smells

Our nostril could be one of the best information for detecting spoiled meals. In case your meals smells dangerous or if it smells “off” it’s most probably rising micro organism that may make you sick. The meals ought to scent the identical as while you first cooked it. 

How It Seems

Shade modifications 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 modifications shade, although. Meals stuffed with preservatives maintain their shade effectively, even after they’ve spoiled. So search for shade modifications as a touch for recognizing spoiled meals, however don’t assume a meal is routinely 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 method out the door and ought to be tossed. Any main modifications in texture are an indication that the meals has gone dangerous.


This one is the simplest 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 if you happen to 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 scent, shade, or texture modifications 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 all the time 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 luggage 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

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 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 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. 

Ideas for choosing a container:

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

Ideas for storage:

  • All the time depart further house 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 may get you 7 forms 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 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 if you happen to 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 received 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 finest for freezer storage. A simple option 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 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 modifications (scent, shade, texture, and mould) to your meal prep meals as an indication that it’s gone dangerous. In case 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 option to prep a whole 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 identify is Kevin. My life modified after I realized that wholesome residing 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 discovered wholesome consuming is just not boring! And by making a couple 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