Potato salad is a popular summertime and anytime side dish that’s popular in picnics, gatherings, and everyday meals. But knowing the answer to the question, how long is potato salad good for can be vital to making sure you’re serving food that’s safe.
We’ll answer that question, plus give you guidelines for the best ways to store potato salad.
What is Potato Salad?
Potato salad is a salad dish made with boiled potatoes, some kind of sauce, and other potential ingredients such as boiled eggs, celery, onion, and bacon. It can be served hot or cold and is usually considered a side dish to be served with a main dish.
How to Store Potato Salad
How potato salad is stored determines the length of time it lasts. Proper handling is vital to its longevity and the food safety whether homemade potato salad or store-bought potato salad.
Here are the answers to the question how long is potato salad good for based on its method of storage.
How Long Does Potato Salad Last in the Refrigerator?
Potato salad, whether homemade or store-bought and opened can last in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days if stored properly.
If potato salad is stored at 41F degrees or more for 2+ hours, you’ll want to throw away. It is considered spoiled.
Can You Freeze Potato Salad?
You can freeze potato salad, but we don’t recommend it. For best results, it should be eaten fresh.
When frozen, the texture changes are not as desirable because of the inclusion of mayonnaise as well as the ability of other ingredients like boiled eggs, fresh celery, and boiled potatoes to have compromised quality as a result of being frozen.
How Long is Potato Salad Good For?
The amount of time that potato salad is good for depends on how it’s stored. Here are recommendations according to the USDA.
Room Temperature: up to 2 hours
Refrigerator: up to 3 days
Freezer: up to 2 months
How long is potato salad good for after opening?
After being opened, potato salad is good for up to 3 days if stored in the refrigerator.
How long is potato salad good for after sell by date?
We don’t recommend consuming potato salad after the sell by date, although it might not show key indicators of spoilage until a few days after it expires and its use by date has passed.
How long is potato salad good for out of the fridge?
Potato salad is considered spoiled after it’s been out of the refrigerator for 2 or more hours at a temperature that’s above 40F degrees, or after 1 hour at a temperature that’s above 90F degrees.
How long is potato salad good for after you make it?
Homemade potato salad is usually good for up to 3 days if stored properly in the refrigerator.
Does potato salad need to be refrigerated?
Yes, if potato salad is not eaten immediately, it should be kept in the refrigerator at 40F degrees or less.
How long can potato salad sit out?
Potato salad should not sit out for more than 2 hours at room temperature. Since it traditionally a mayonnaise-based recipe, it is perishable and should be kept in the refrigerator for food safety reasons.
How To Tell If Potato Salad Is Bad?
Traditionally, potato salad is a mayonnaise-based product and will only last a few days in the refrigerator. Following are some key indicators for knowing if your potato salad has gone bad.
Smell. If your potato salad smells off, be sure to throw it away and do not use it.
Mold. When mold of any color begins to form, this indicates that your potato salad has spoiled. It should be thrown away.
Texture change. If the texture or consistency of your potato salad significantly changes, chances are it has spoiled. Do not risk eating it, throw it away instead.
Past best by date. When referring to store-bought potato salad, check the best if used by date. If the potato salad has expired, chances are it’s no good.
However, on some occasions if the potato salad has been handled properly, is still sealed, and is kept in the refrigerator, it can potentially still be good for a few days past its expiration date. But if there is any uncertainty, just throw it away and don’t risk eating it.
Open for 5 or more days. For store bought potato salad, if it’s been open for 5 or more days, then we recommend throwing it away. The same is true for homemade versions. If it was made 5 or more days ago, it shouldn’t be eaten and should be discarded.
Frequently Asked Questions
Following are frequently asked questions that relate to how long is potato salad good for. If you have a question that’s not answered here, please drop it in the comments box below and we’ll be happy to answer it.
Should You Freeze Potato Salad with Mayonnaise?
We don’t recommend freezing potato salad with mayonnaise as potatoes in general, especially with mayonnaise don’t freeze well.
Do Other Potato Salads Freeze Better?
If you need to freeze potato salad, the variety that’s served warm freezes better than the kind that’s served cold because of the ability to reheat it which helps with texture.
Is There a Difference in Freezing Homemade or Store-Bought Potato Salad?
Whether you’re freezing homemade potato salad or store-bought potato salad, you’ll want to store it in an airtight container such as a freezer safe storage container or a zipped freezer bag.
What To Do After Freezing Potato Salad?
After freezing, you’ll need to defrost it before you’re ready to use it. The best way to do this is to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight or for as long as it takes.
What’s In Potato Salad?
The contents varies depending on whether you buy it at the grocery store or if it’s homemade.
It traditionally consists of boiled potatoes that are diced into bite sized pieces, mixed with a mayonnaise-based sauce, and can include raw vegetables such as celery and onion, along with boiled eggs.
What Type of Potato Is Best for Potato Salad?
We recommend using white potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes, or red potatoes for the best results. We suggest avoiding using Russets because of their high starch content.
Can You Freeze Potato Salad With Eggs?
You can but we don’t recommend it. Eggs don’t freeze well and can shorten the shelf life and the quality of the potato salad.
How Far in Advance Can You Make Potato Salad?
Homemade potato salad tends to perish faster than store bought potato salad which can include preservatives and be sealed shut to help maintain its freshness.
When making homemade potato salad that includes mayonnaise, we recommend only making it a day or two in advance and anticipating not storing any as leftovers.
Can I Eat Week Old Potato Salad?
We don’t recommend eating potato salad that is a week old, unless it has been frozen. Mayonnaise based products have a tendency to go bad after a few days and are unsafe to eat.