How long can coleslaw last in the fridge?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long can coleslaw last in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of coleslaw. Moreover, we are going to discuss different ways to spot bad coleslaw and tips to properly store coleslaw.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How long can coleslaw last in the fridge?

Homemade coleslaw lasts for about 3-5 days in the fridge if it is properly stored at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag. 

On the other hand, when it comes to store-bought unopened coleslaw, you should consider the “best by” date written on it. While once opened, it lasts for about 2-3 days when stored in the fridge at or below 40 dodgers Fahrenheit in an air-tight container.

Thus, owing to the cold temperature of the fridge, the rate at which bacteria can grow on your coleslaw decreases considerably, thereby the coleslaw stored in the fridge lasts for a couple of days.

It is worth mentioning that the figures mentioned above are the estimated shelf life of the coleslaw.

How long can coleslaw last at room temperature?

Coleslaw lasts for about 2 hours when left out at room temperature. 

You should discard the coleslaw that has been left in open for more than 2 hours as bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore there are greater chances of the coleslaw being already contaminated with bacteria when left out for more than 2 hours.

Moreover, if the temperature of the surroundings is about 90 degrees Fahrenheit, then the process of spoilage takes place at a faster pace and it is recommended to discard coleslaw that is left out in the open for more than an hour at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can you freeze coleslaw?

No doubt you can freeze coleslaw but it is worth mentioning that you will notice that the texture of the coleslaw has changed once it gets thawed. Moreover, the consistency of the mayonnaise will also change (mayonnaise will curdle, especially the homemade mayonnaise) if you have already added it to your coleslaw.

Therefore it is recommended that if you have the idea to store your coleslaw in the freezer, then it is better to store it without adding mayonnaise to it and add mayonnaise once you are ready to eat it after thawing.

You should not add mayonnaise to your coleslaw if you are planning to freeze it. Moreover, we recommend you to even add oil and vinegar dressing after thawing the frozen coleslaw but it is worth mentioning that if we talk about only the flavor profile then even after thawing the flavor of coleslaw having oil and vinegar on it won’t change.

Moreover, the white cabbage that is an integral part of coleslaw can lose its crunch, once the frozen coleslaw gets thawed.

So all in all, the conclusion that we reach is, you can freeze coleslaw as long as 

  1. It does not have mayonnaise or any other dressing added to it
  1. You are okay even if the white cabbage in your coleslaw loses some of its crunchiness.

Tips to properly store coleslaw

  1. The best way to store coleslaw is to store it in an air-tight bag or container in the fridge within 2 hours of it being prepared.
  1. Always opt for shallow air-tight containers for storing coleslaw.
  1. Always be sure to refrigerate coleslaw at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. When it comes to green vegetables or lettuce, it is better to store them in a bowl and cover them with a damp cloth or paper towel. Afterward, seal it with the help of plastic wrap or cling film.
  1. It is recommended to mix the mayonnaise in the coleslaw when you are ready to serve it. If you want to store the coleslaw then you should store coleslaw and vinaigrette separately.
  1. It is better to store coleslaw on one of the shelves of the refrigerator rather than the door as there is a lot of temperature fluctuation at the door of the fridge.
  1. You should not store the coleslaw having vegetables with high water content or coleslaw in it in the freezer because after thawing the texture of these vegetables will change and they will become mushy, soggy, and watery once they get thawed.

Ways to spot bad coleslaw

There are a couple of indicators that point out bad coleslaw. You can tell if your coleslaw has gone bad by considering its appearance, texture, and smell.

You can read how to make coleslaw dressing here.

Ways to spot bad coleslaw

There are a couple of indicators that point out a bad coleslaw. You can tell if your coleslaw has gone bad by considering its appearance, texture, and smell.

Appearance

If you spot a mold on your coleslaw then it is an indication of bad coleslaw and the best thing you can do is to discard it. Moreover, the discoloration of the cabbage is an indication that your coleslaw is past its prime age.

Texture 

If you notice that the cabbage in your coleslaw has softened or has a slimy texture, then it is the indication that your coleslaw has gone bad. 

Smell

If you notice some off-smell (rotten or sour smell) or something that does not quite smell like the fresh coleslaw then it means that your coleslaw has gone bad and you should discard it.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long can coleslaw last in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of coleslaw. Moreover, we discussed different ways to spot bad coleslaw and tips to properly store coleslaw.

Citations

https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/16948#:~:text=To%20maximize%20the%20shelf%20life,5%20days%20in%20the%20refrigerator.
https://eatdelights.com/coleslaw-expire/
https://www.doesitgobad.com/does-coleslaw-go-bad/

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.