How Long Is Potato Salad Food For?

There is an open potato salad container in your refrigerator and you want to know how many days it can stay there. How long does potato salad last?

Or maybe you’re making potato salad at home and wondering if you can double or even triple the recipe. But you’re not quite sure how long potato salad is good for, and you certainly don’t want it to spoil.

Either way, it sounds like you want to learn a thing or two about potato salad storage periods and practices. If that’s the case, keep reading.

How long does potato salad last?

Store-bought potato salad lasts to date on the label, maybe a day or two later. Once you open the container, the salad will keep for 3-4 days, just like homemade potato salad.

Like tuna salad, potato salad doesn’t last as long. The 3-4 days come from the USDA recommendation on leftover storage. I usually let it sit for one more day, extending the storage period from 4 to 5 days.

Is there a difference in storage time between homemade and store-bought potato salad?

It depends. Store-bought salads generally retain their texture for quite a long time. Homemade ones aren’t always that great in that regard. If your dressing starts to separate after a day or two, that’s how long your salad will maintain quality.

Many sites talk about the differences between using homemade or commercial products. mayonnaise, or between mayonnaise-based and oil-based dressings, but in most cases, it’s not that important. As long as the dressing retains the texture and holds everything together, it doesn’t matter what it’s made from.

How long can potato salad rest?

If you’ve left the potato salad for more than 2 hours at room temperature, or an hour if it’s above 90 ° F (or 32 ° C), you should discard it. That’s the official recommendation, at least.

Common sense is what you need the most here.

If you’ve brought that salad to a picnic on a hot summer day, you probably better throw out the leftovers. Unless you kept it in a cooler, of course.

But if you forgot to put the salad in the fridge and it sat on the counter for about 3 hours, chances are it’s fine. Of course, if you decide to ditch that salad, that’s fine too.

How to store potato salad

Store potato salad in the refrigerator, tightly covered. An airtight container works best, but if you don’t have one that’s big enough, wrapping a large container in plastic wrap does the job.

In addition to that, always remember to use clean spoons when preparing the salad. Double dipping is never a good idea, especially if you want the salad to last longer than a day or two.

By following these practices, you keep bacteria away, keep moisture out (no one likes a dry salad), and keep your salad safe from odors in the refrigerator.

Are there other options that allow you to store the potato salad longer? Let’s talk about it.

Can you freeze potato salad?

Potato salad doesn’t freeze well. If there is mayonnaise or the dressing is based on a dairy product like sour cream, it will separate. And any crunchy vegetables will turn mushy.

Simply put, the texture will suffer and the taste of a thawed frozen potato salad will be a far cry from what you are used to. The same is true for egg salad.

You can freeze potato salad, but you won’t enjoy eating it after thawing it, to say the least. Unless there is no other option, do not freeze this salad.

How do you know if potato salad is bad?

Throw out the potato salad if:

  • It’s been a few days past your date or it’s been open for more than five days: If you don’t even remember when you opened the container or whipped the salad, get rid of it.
  • Smells bad: Give your salad a good smell before you eat it. If the smell is sour or bad in some other way, it’s time to let it go.
  • There is mold in the container.
  • The texture has changed: If the salad starts to separate or looks slimy, you have a choice to make. If it still sounds good to you, feel free to finish it today. But if you don’t see anything appetizing, it’s best to throw it out.

As usual, prevention is better than cure. That means if you’re not sure if the salad is safe to eat, just assume it’s not and throw it out.

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