How long does macaroni last in the fridge?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long does macaroni last in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of macaroni in different conditions. Moreover, we are going to discuss whether or not you should refrigerate reheated macaroni and the tips to properly store macaroni.

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

How long does macaroni last in the fridge?

The cooked macaroni lasts for about 3-5 days in the fridge if stored properly at or below 40°F in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag.

Moreover, the mac and cheese also last for about 3-5 days in the fridge if stored properly at or below 40°F in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag.

You can read how to make delicious macaroni and cheese here.

What is the optimum temperature to store the cooked macaroni in the fridge?

You should always store your macaroni at 40°F or below. Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40°F and 140°F, therefore it is always advised to store macaroni at a lower temperature to preserve its freshness and quality for a long time.

How long does cooked macaroni last at room temperature?

Macaroni lasts for about 2 hours when left at room temperature. The bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between 40°F and 140°F so if macaroni is kept out for more than 2 hours, there is a great chance that bacteria and other microbes will find their way to it and will spoil it. 

How long does cooked mac and cheese last in the freezer?

The mac and cheese last for about 1-2 months in the freezer if stored properly in an air-tight container, plastic freezer bag, or heavy-duty freezer container. 

Thus storing the macaroni properly in the freezer will increase its shelf life considerably owing to the cool temperature of the freezer that halts the bacterial growth on the macaroni.

How long does cooked macaroni last after being frozen and thawed?

Frozen cooked macaroni that is thawed in the refrigerator can stay there for 3-4 days before reheating but the macaroni that is thawed in the microwave or a bowl of water should be reheated and consumed immediately. 

Can I refrigerate the reheated macaroni?

So once you have reheated the macaroni, you should never refrigerate it. As when you reheat the cooked macaroni, its temperature rises more than 40°F and we know that bacteria grows at a faster rate between 40°F and 140°F. So the bacteria will find their way to your macaroni and you should never refrigerate the reheated macaroni.

How to tell if the macaroni has gone bad?

You can tell if your macaroni has gone bad by considering its appearance, texture, and smell.

  1. If you see some mold, on the macaroni then it is an indication of spoiled macaroni. 
  2. If you notice that the macaroni has a slimy or gooey texture, then it is the indication that your macaroni has gone bad. 
  3. If you notice some off-smell (rotten or putrid smell) or something that does not quite smell like macaroni then it means that your macaroni has gone bad and you should discard it.

What will happen if you consume spoiled macaroni?

Consuming spoiled macaroni can put you at the risk of many food-borne illnesses especially food poisoning which is characterized by vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramps.

How to store cooked macaroni properly?

  1. The cooked macaroni should be stored in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag in the refrigerator. 
  2. You should never store the hot macaroni directly in the air-tight container in the bag, or the moisture built-up inside the container due to steam emitted from hot macaroni will provide a suitable environment for bacteria and microbes to grow in it. Therefore it is advised to thoroughly cool the macaroni before storing it in an air-tight container. 
  3. You should always store the cooked macaroni at or below 40°F in the refrigerator.
  4. It is recommended to store your macaroni container on one of the shelves of the fridge rather than the door, as there is a lot of temperature fluctuation at the door of the fridge.
  5. Never leave your cooked macaroni on the kitchen counter for more than 2 hours or else the bacteria and other microbes will contaminate it.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long does macaroni last in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of macaroni in different conditions. Moreover, we discussed whether or not you should refrigerate reheated macaroni and the tips to properly store macaroni.

Citations

https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/17611

https://www.doesitgobad.com/does-mac-and-cheese-go-bad/

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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.

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