Meatloaf has always been a favorite at family gatherings. But how long does meatloaf last in the fridge? Is it safe to eat after two days, or should you throw it out immediately?
If you are wondering how long meatloaf lasts in the fridge, it typically lasts for at least 3 to 4 days.
It is essential to store food properly because bacteria can multiply rapidly in warm temperatures. If you do not refrigerate it within two hours, whether cooked or uncooked meatloaf, it can become unsafe to consume.
In this article, we will talk about how long does meatloaf last in the fridge and how to keep it safe to consume.
How Long Does Meatloaf Last in the Fridge
As mentioned above, oven-baked meatloaf can only last up to 3 to 4 days in the fridge because it is a perishable food. This means that if you have leftover meatloaf from your next party, you need to make sure that you put it back into the refrigerator as soon as possible to extend its shelf life. Otherwise, it could start to spoil within 2 hours.
The truth is, meatloaf is a versatile type of dish that can be made into many different flavors. Meatloaf is one of those foods that almost everyone loves.
How to Properly Store Meatloaf in the Fridge
Meatloaf is a humble dish, which is everyone’s favorite for family dinners. It is easy to make, and it keeps well in the fridge. Unfortunately, it is also very perishable or has a shorter shelf life if not kept sealed. If you do not store it properly, it will go bad quickly. Luckily, there are several steps that you can follow to store meatloaf in the fridge properly. Here’s how you should do it:
1. Put the cooked meatloaf into a resealable container or a sealed plastic wrap. Ideally, it would help to wrap the meatloaf in heavy-duty aluminum foil before putting it into the container. This helps to preserve the level of moisture inside the loaf.
2. Place the container in the refrigerator. You should place the container at the bottom of the fridge. This allows the cold air to circulate around the loaf and keep it cool.
3. Pre-cut the meatloaf into single serve sizes so that each piece is wrapped individually. That way you only need to take out the stored meatloaf that you need.
What are the Signs of Bad Meatloaf
If you have ever made meatloaf, then you know how delicious it is. However, if you don’t take care of it, it can spoil in just a few days. Some signs indicate that your meatloaf is about to turn bad. If you see any of these signs, then it might be time to throw away your meatloaf.
1. Your meatloaf smells bad. When you are making meatloaf, you want to use fresh ingredients. But, if you have been storing your meatloaf in the freezer for too long, its contents may smell stale or rancid meat.
2. Your meatloaf does not have a firm texture. A good meatloaf should be fairly firm. If it is starting to leak it may be a sign the meatloaf is off.
3. Your meatloaf does not taste as good as it did when you first had it.
How Long Does Meatloaf Last in Room Temperature
Cooked meatloaf is usually served at room temperature, which is only good for 2 hours. So, what happens if you forget to refrigerate it? Will it last longer than usual? Well, yes and no. In general, cooked meatloaf lasts much longer in the refrigerator than it does on the countertop. The reason for this is that the room temperature is prone to bacterial growth that can cause the risk of food poisoning.
Moreover, if you leave meatloaf on the countertop for too long, it can lose moisture. This makes it harder for the loaf to hold together. Also, if you leave meatloaves on the countertop for longer than two hours, they could begin to develop bacteria.
How Long Does Meatloaf Last in the Freezer
Frozen meatloaf can last up to six months in the freezer. So, how long does frozen meatloaf stay good? It depends on the quality of the meatloaf itself.
The preparation procedures for freezing the meatloaf also influence how long it can last.
Also, if you prepare your meatloaf before freezing it, then it will last longer. This is because the cooking process helps to break down the proteins in the cooked meatloaf. As a result, the protein molecules become smaller, which allows them to fit better into the ice crystals.
Plus, if you store your frozen meatloaf in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bags, it will keep longer without freezer burn.
What to Do with Leftover Meatloaf
If you are still hungry after eating all of your slices of meatloaf, then there are plenty of ways to enjoy cooked leftover meatloaf. You can slice it up and serve it as a sandwich or wrap it in aluminum foil and follow the reheating method in the oven. Or, you can just eat it cold!
You can also chop it up and add it to a salad. Just remember to take out the juicy meatloaf from the fridge about 30 minutes before you plan to eat it.
How Long Can Cooked Meatloaf Sit Out?
Cooked meatloaf can last anywhere from 1 hour to 2 hours. However, most experts recommend that you consume the meatloaf within 2 hours of serving it.
How to Freeze Already Cooked Meatloaf?
To freeze cooked meatloaf, simply place it in a large resealable plastic bag or a heavy-duty freezer bag. Then, seal the bag and put it in the freezer. Once the meatloaf is frozen solid, transfer it to an airtight container and label it.
Can You Eat Cooked Meat After 5 Days?
No, it will not be safe to do so it is time to throw it away according to the food safety standards.