How Long Will a Subway Sandwich Last in the Fridge?

In this brief article, we will discuss how long a subway sandwich will last in the fridge, and also give you complete guidelines on how to store different sandwiches properly and for how long.

How Long Will a Subway Sandwich Last in the Fridge?

Generally, you shouldn’t keep a subway sandwich in the fridge for more than two days. But obviously, if the sandwich does not smell or look right, you should discard it regardless of how many days it’s been safely stored. The US Department of Agriculture recommends the storage of meat leftovers for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator or up to 2 months in the freezer, including luncheons (1).

However, how long you can store a subway sandwich depends mainly on its type (and storage conditions).

For example, a sandwich containing sausage or deli meat should be okay in the fridge for about three days. But one with vegetables and sauces should preferably be consumed as soon as possible. Fast food items contain additives to enhance flavor, color, texture and shelf-life and may halt longer. On the other hand, handling can lead to microbiological contamination. (2).

How Long Should You Keep a Subway Sandwich?

A subway sandwich containing meat that’s been opened and not refrigerated should not be kept for more than two days. The same goes for tuna sandwiches. Fast food is not free from contaminants, and microorganisms were found for items containing chicken and egg (Salmonella) and salad (Aspergillus) (3). 

How long does a subway sandwich last at room temperature?

Many sandwiches can be left at room temperature for at least two hours before refrigeration, or one hour if temperatures exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and consumed safely. The US Department of Agriculture recommends to keep every food out of danger, where microorganisms can multiply rapidly and they can release dangerous toxins. To keep food out of the Danger Zone, keep cold food cold, at or below 40 °F (4.4 °C) , and hot food hot, at or above 140 °F (60 °C).

However, if the sandwiches contain ingredients that are sensitive to heat changes (protein) or are watery and soggy (vegetables and sauces), the sandwich should be discarded if not stored properly. 

Why Are Sandwiches ‘High Risk’?

Most customers probably don’t know this, but sandwiches are regarded as ‘high risk’ food items.

This is because they are often made using raw and/or fresh ingredients, and their preparation commonly involves manually handling almost everything that goes into the sandwich.

Without proper handling and storage of sandwiches, dangerous microorganisms start growing and multiplying within them, leading to food poisoning. If not controlled in time, food poisoning can also be fatal. Despite the higher sodium and additives in fast food in order to extend shelf life, inappropriate cooking and handling leads to microbial spoilage. Studies have found prevalence of bacteria in fast food, which include Campylobacter spp., Staphylococcus spp., Escherichia coli, Salmonella sppYersinia Spp. and Listeria on meat, sea foods, vegetable ingredients, beef burger sandwiches, and commercial mayonnaise (3).

How Long can a Subway Sandwich with Mayo Last in the Fridge?

The longevity of a mayo sandwich depends mainly on the other ingredients in the sandwich, and how it is stored. 

If it’s well-wrapped and placed in an airtight container in the fridge, it will probably last for a day or two. 

How Long can a Subway Sandwich with Tuna Last in the Fridge?

A well-wrapped tuna sandwich stored in an airtight container in the fridge should be eaten within two days.

However, mixed tuna not on the bread can easily last for at least four days.

 

Can You Freeze a Subway Sandwich?

You can also freeze a subway sandwich to extend its life for over two to three days.

Simply place the sandwich in an airtight plastic bag or container, label them, and freeze; they will last for as long as one to three months and retain their flavor and texture.

How Should You Store Sandwiches to Keep Fresh?

As highlighted in previous sections, the best way to store sandwiches is to:

  • keep them refrigerated
  • wrap them tightly in two layers of plastic wrap, cling film, or aluminum foil, or place them inside a sealed plastic bag or airtight container
  • completely coat the bread with a single layer of margarine or butter before adding the filling to prevent the bread from turning soggy (better tip for freezing)

Can You Reheat a Subway Sandwich?

Yes, you can, and the best way is to use an oven. 

Use a low temperature and place the sandwich onto a sheet pan to give it a level surface in the oven. Check after about 10 minutes if the sandwich is warm enough. If not, give it some more time. 

 

How to Tell if Your Stored Subway Sandwich Has Gone Bad?

According to the US Department of Agriculture, signs of food spoilage may include an appearance different from the food in its fresh form, such as a change in color, a change in texture, an unpleasant odor, or an undesirable taste. Despite being stored properly, a subway sandwich might go bad even in the fridge, if:

  • it looks soggy and wrinkled or has some white or green spots on it (indicative of mold),
  • it smells off, emitting an unpleasant or pungent odor
  • the deli meat looks watery or slimy
  • the sauces/mayo and the vegetables have changed color  

Conclusion

In this brief article, we answered the question of how long will a subway sandwich last in the fridge. Different sandwiches have different storage times and conditions depending on their ingredients, so make sure to follow the instructions.  

If you have any more questions or comments please let us know.

References

  1. United States Department of Agriculture. Food Keeper data.
  2. K Garber, Andrea, and Robert H Lustig. Is fast food addictive?. Curr drug abuse rev, 2011, 4, 146-162.
  3. Easa, Saadia M. Hassanein. The microbial quality of fast food and traditional fast food. Nat. Sci, 2010, 8.
  4. Leftovers and Food Safety. United States Department of Agriculture.