How long does potato salad last in the fridge? (5 Tips)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “How long does potato salad last in the fridge?” We will study all the factors that cause a potato salad to spoil. We will also look at ways to store potato salad correctly and make it last longer.

How long does potato salad last in the fridge?

According to the USDA, potatoes will become unsafe if kept at a temperature greater than 41 Fahrenheit for over 2 hours. Potato salad can be refrigerated for 3-4 days. 

Potato salad owes its popularity as a filling and an easily preparable meal. Food going to waste will not be a concern if you plan and store your food the right way.

The quantity of Potato salad can often be deceptive because it may look small but is a filling meal. Starchy potatoes and greasy mayonnaise; can fill you up quicker than you expect.

You can stretch the shelf-life of potato salad to 5 days if you play your cards right.

Let us look at some ways to make sure that your potato salad lasts for as long as it can:

  • Refrigerate the potato salad within 2 hours of preparing it.
  • Choose your ingredients wisely.
  • Before you refrigerate, make sure it comes down to room temperature.
  • Always keep your potato salad covered in an airtight container.
  • Use a plastic film to wrap the salad in, then put it into an airtight container before you store it.

When you cover the salad, you prevent ambient microorganisms and oxygen from your food. If you leave your food uncovered, you are inviting bacteria to spoil your food.

When you cover your food, you prevent the flavor and smell of other foods from defiling it.

According to USDA, the temperature of 40 F to 140 F is labeled as The Danger Zone. This range of temperature encourages bacterial growth.  Spoilage is usually a quality issue in its initial stage and does not cause illness. However, gradually the food becomes a complete hazard.

What makes your potato salad spoil?

The star ingredient of potato salad is the potato, which has a long shelf-life.  Potato salad has plenty of mayonnaise, and eggs which spoil within a few days. 

Eggs carry salmonella bacteria that is a highly prevalent cause of food poisoning. Salmonella is potentially present in eggs which, gradually multiply and causes the egg to spoil.

Eggs are the quickest ingredient to spoil in a potato salad. Your food lasts only as long as the ingredient, which spoils first. In a potato salad, it is the egg.

Mayonnaise has preservatives that prevent it from spoiling even when put together as a food ingredient. 

Homemade mayonnaise can spoil in a couple of days. The constituents of mayonnaise; eggs and, oil are highly perishable. Oil tends to go rancid as a result of the oxidation reaction.

However, if you used store-bought mayonnaise, you do not have to worry.

If you have vegetables or herbs added, such as onions or celery, they also tend to wilt after a while.

Even though they may not spoil as soon, but they lose their freshness.

Other FAQs about Salad which you may be interested in.

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Can you freeze your potato salad?

You can not freeze your potato salad if you have mayonnaise added to it. Mayonnaise is sensitive to temperature change because it is an emulsion. An emulsion is a blend of liquids that will not mix unless agitation or an emulsifier is used.

When you freeze, the temperature shock will bring the oil and eggs apart and disintegrate your salad.

 Even though your salad will still be safe for consumption but this will deteriorate its quality.

In case you did not add mayonnaise to your salad, you can freeze your potato salad without compromising the quality.

How to tell if your potato salad is no longer edible?

Foods change their color, texture, and odor as they spoil.

In the instance of your potato salad, you can rely on a change in smell to tell you that it is time to throw it away.

An off-odor will develop if your salad spoils. It will become rancid or tangy. A change in appearance is often a good indicator of food spoilage.

The appearance of mold or a dull, unpalatable look is often an indicator that it is time to throw away your food.

It is best to discard any food that undergoes unexpected changes even if the shelf-life is yet to come. Premature spoilage of food is often a result of poor handling and storage.

Do not consume your salad if you suspect that it has spoiled. Eating spoiled food can make a person sick with diarrhea or a severe form of food poisoning.

In this brief guide, we answered the question, “How long does potato salad last in the fridge?” We studied all the factors that cause a potato salad to spoil. We also looked at ways to store potato salad correctly and make it last longer.