How long can spaghetti last in the fridge?

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 different ways to spot bad spaghetti and the health implications of eating spoiled spaghetti.

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

How long can spaghetti last in the fridge?

Spaghetti lasts for about 3-5 days when stored properly in the fridge in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thus, the cold temperature of the fridge will decrease the rate of bacterial growth and will subsequently prolong the shelf life of your spaghetti.

The proper way to store your spaghetti in the fridge is to put it in the air-tight container or zip lock bag once you have cooled it thoroughly at room temperature. It is best practice to refrigerate the leftovers of your spaghetti within 2 hours after it is cooked. 

How long can spaghetti last at room temperature?

Cooked spaghetti lasts for about 2 hours when left out of the fridge at room temperature. 

You should discard the spaghetti 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 spaghetti 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 spaghetti that is left out in the open for more than an hour at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can read how to make spaghetti with meat sauce here.

Different ways to spot bad spaghetti

There are a couple of indicators that point out bad spaghetti. You should consider the appearance, texture, and smell of the spaghetti to reach a  final verdict on whether or not they have gone bad.

Appearance

If you notice some discoloration in the cooked spaghetti like the appearance of a whitish or grayish hue, it is the indication that your cooked spaghetti has gone bad.

Moreover, if you sport a mold or any other organic growth on your spaghetti then the best thing to do in this scenario is to discard such spaghetti.

Texture 

If you feel something slimy or gooey while touching the cooked spaghetti then it means that your spaghetti has gone bad and it is better to discard it. 

It is worth mentioning that you should wash your hands thoroughly after touching the bacteria-laden spaghetti or else the bacteria will transfer from your hands to any other thing that comes in contact with your hands.

Smell 

If you smell something sour or ammonia-like while taking a sniff test of your spaghetti then it means that your spaghetti has gone bad.

If microbes somehow found their way to your spaghetti and have spoiled it then the best thing you should do is to discard it.

Health implications of eating 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 poisoning. 

Moreover eating spaghetti infected with B.Cereus can cause severe gastrointestinal issues like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.

So if you have devoured spaghetti that has gone bad, it can result in food poisoning that is characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, weakness, headaches, and dehydration.

A mild food poisoning lasts for about a day or two while a more persistent case of food poisoning can last for about 10 days.

  1. Diarrhea is an indication of the body that a certain obnoxious agent has entered. So consumption of expired or bacteria-laden spaghetti often causes diarrhea.
  1. Food poisoning after consuming bad spaghetti is characterized by abdominal pain. Abdominal pain is also accompanied by vomiting and nausea in most cases.
  1. If you have consumed spaghetti that has bacterial growth on it then you will experience nausea and vomiting which is the natural defense of the body to get rid of the unwanted harmful substance that has entered the body.
  1. Consuming spaghetti that has gone bad will also raise your body temperature and you can experience fever which is the natural defense mechanism of your body and is the indicator that something is off with your body.

So in case you have devoured bad spaghetti and are now suffering from vomiting and diarrhea,  you should try to drink as much water as possible so that while the body is getting rid of the toxins in form of diarrhea and vomiting, the water that you drink will protect your body against dehydration that vomiting can otherwise result in.

Moreover, the symptoms of severe and potentially life-threatening food poisoning involve diarrhea persisting for more than 3 days, fever higher than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit, symptoms of severe dehydration, and bloody urine. In such a case, you should seek medical help immediately.

Conclusion

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 different ways to spot bad spaghetti and the health implications of eating spoiled spaghetti.

Citations

https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/18356#:~:text=To%20maximize%20the%20shelf%20life,5%20days%20in%20the%20refrigerator.
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-long-does-pasta-last-in-the-fridge
https://www.theforkbite.com/how-long-is-cooked-spaghetti-good-in-the-fridge/

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.