How long can spaghetti last in the fridge? (+3 storage tips)

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How long can spaghetti last in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of spaghetti. Moreover, we are going to discuss how to properly store spaghetti, and how to tell if spaghetti has gone bad. 

How long can spaghetti last in the fridge?

Spaghetti can last for about 3–4 days when properly stored in the fridge in an airtight container or plastic zipper bag at or below 40 °F (4 °C) (1,2).

Refrigerating is an effective method to extend the shelf life of your spaghetti due to the cold temperature’s impact on bacterial growth. The lower temperatures within the fridge slow down the metabolic activities of bacteria, reducing their ability to reproduce and causing food spoilage at a lower rate (1).

What is the shelf life of spaghetti?

When properly stored in the fridge, spaghetti can last for about 3–4 days (1,2).

Spaghetti lasts for about 2 hours when left out of the fridge at room temperature, after this, there is a risk of bacteria growth and food spoilage. That’s why you should discard it to avoid any contamination (1).

When it comes to frozen spaghetti, its shelf life can be extended for at least 3 months if stored properly under constant freezing temperature (3).

What affects the shelf life of spaghetti?

The shelf life of spaghetti can be affected by several factors, such as ingredients, moisture, storage conditions, and hygiene practices (4,5,6,7).

  • Ingredients: Different ingredients have distinct physicochemical characteristics, such as pH level and water activity, and will spoil at different times.

  • Exposure to moisture: Whether during cooking or storage can lead to microbial growth, accelerating spoilage.

  • Exposure to oxygen: Oxygen can contribute to the deterioration of spaghetti quality, causing it to become rancidity or stale over time.

  • Storage conditions: High temperature and humidity can promote the growth of microorganisms and enzymatic reactions, leading to texture changes and off-flavors.

  • Hygiene practice: When preparing, serving, and storing spaghetti, avoid contact with unclean surfaces, utensils, or hands. This way you can prevent microbial contamination. 

How to properly store spaghetti?

Spaghetti, like other perishable foods, should be stored in the fridge at below 40 °F (4 °C). Put your spaghetti in an airtight container and place it in the coldest part of the fridge (1,2).  

Freezing spaghetti is another option to store and increase its shelf life. Wait for the food to cool down to room temperature, place portions in an airtight freezer-safe container, remove as much air as you can, and label and place in the freezer at -18 °C (3). 

Keep in mind that freezing, especially for a long period, can cause changes and texture and taste upon thawing (3).

Remember, you should discard and not store or consume spaghetti 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 °F and 140 °F (8).

How to tell if spaghetti has gone bad?

You can tell if spaghetti has gone bad using your senses and conducting some observations (9,10).


Visually inspect the spaghetti for any signs of discoloration, or mold growth. If it appears whitish or grayish hue, it is an indication that spaghetti has gone rotten.


If your spaghetti has gone bad, it can become mushy, clumpy, or overly soft. This alteration is often due to the breakdown of starches and proteins in the spaghetti caused by bacterial or enzymatic reactions.


Spoiled spaghetti can develop a musty, off-putting odor. It typically occurs, due to the growth of bacteria or molds on the cooked spaghetti, which can produce foul-smelling compounds. 


If you detect any sour, unusual or unpleasant odor when inspecting spaghetti, it’s a clear sign that the spaghetti is no longer safe to consume and should be discarded.

What happens if you eat spoiled spaghetti?

If your spoiled spaghetti had some meat or dairy product in it, then it can have bacteria like Salmonella, Listeria, and Campylobacter that can cause severe health issues including food illness (11,12). 

Foodborne illness is characterized by (11):

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal cramps,
  • fever

Moreover, eating spaghetti infected with Bacillus cereus can cause severe gastrointestinal issues like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps (13,14).


In this brief guide, we answered the question “How long can spaghetti last in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of spaghetti. Moreover, we discussed how to properly store spaghetti, and how to tell if spaghetti has gone bad.


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 USDA. Leftovers and food safety. 2020.


USDA. Freezing and Food Safety. 2013



Qiu Y, Zhou Y, Chang Y, et al. The Effects of Ventilation, Humidity, and Temperature on Bacterial Growth and Bacterial Genera Distribution. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022;19(22).


Coorey, Ranil, et al. The impact of cooling rate on the safety of food products as affected by food containers. Compr. Rev. Food Sci. 2018, 17, 827-840.


Erkmen O, Bozoglu TF. Principles of Food Spoilage. 2016


Bintsis T. Foodborne pathogens. AIMS Microbiol. 2017;3(3):529-563.


Gharib AA, et al. Bacillus cereus: Pathogenicity, Viability and Adaptation. Adv in Animal and Veterinary Sciences, 2020, 8.