In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long can meatloaf stay in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of meatloaf in the fridge. Moreover, we are going to discuss different ways to spot bad meatloaf.
So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.
How long can meatloaf stay in the fridge?
Cooked meatloaf lasts for about 3-4 days when stored properly in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is recommended to store meatloaf in shallow containers so that they can cool evenly and quickly in the refrigerator. Always store the meatloaf on one of the shelves of the refrigerator rather than the door as there are a lot of temperature fluctuations at the door of the fridge.
It is worth mentioning that the figures mentioned above are the estimated shelf life of meatloaf.
What is the optimum temperature to store meatloaf?
You should always store your meatloaf at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore it is always advised to store your meatloaf at a lower temperature to preserve their freshness for a long time.
How long does meatloaf last at room temperature?
The meatloaf lasts for about 2 hours when kept at room temperature.
You should discard the meatloaf that has been left in the 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 meatloaf 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 meatloaf that is left out in the open for more than an hour at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
How long does meatloaf last in the freezer?
Properly stored cooked meatloaf stays good for about 3-4 months in the freezer.
It is recommended to add meatloaf in plastic freezer bags or wrap it in aluminum foil before storing it in the freezer to prevent freezer burns.
Thus, the shelf life of meatloaf increases owing to the cold temperature of the freezer that halts the microbial growth on it.
How to thaw frozen meatloaf?
The recommended way to thaw the frozen precooked meatloaf is to leave it in the refrigerator overnight and let them thaw there. The meatloaf thawed this way can stay in the fridge for additional 3-4 days before reheating.
Conversely, you can thaw the frozen meatloaf in a bowl of cold water but you should reheat and use it immediately after thawing.
Moreover, if you are thawing and reheating the meatloaf in the oven or microwave it is recommended to devour it immediately.
Different ways to spot bad meatloaf
Certain indicators point out bad meatloaf. You can tell whether or not your meatloaf has gone bad by considering its appearance, texture, and smell.
If you can see some off-color or if you can spot molds or dark spots on the surface of the meatloaf then it is the indication that it has gone bad and the best thing to do in this scenario is to discard it.
If you can feel something slimy or gooey while touching the meatloaf then it means that it has gone bad as the fresh meatloaf has a firm texture.
If you can smell something acidic, or some ammonia-like or sulfur-like putrid smell while taking a sniff test of your meatloaf then it means that your meatloaf has gone bad and you should discard it.
Thus you should consider the indicators discussed above to reach a final verdict on whether or not your meatloaf is still suitable to consume.
Tips to properly store meatloaf
- When it comes to refrigeration, you should always store your meatloaf at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
- It is a good practice to store meatloaf on the shelf of the fridge or freezer rather than the door as there is a lot of temperature fluctuation at the door of the fridge or freezer.
- Once you have thawed the frozen meatloaf, you should not refreeze it.
You can read how to make meatloaf here.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long can meatloaf stay in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of meatloaf in the fridge. Moreover, we discussed different ways to spot bad meatloaf.