How Long Does Potato Salad Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 3 – 5 Days

Potato salad, made with a variety of different ingredients and topped with mayonnaise dressing, is a delight for a person to savor its taste. Prepared with boiled potatoes, it is a dish that no one would deny having. It usually accompanies the main course and thus, is popular worldwide as a tasty side dish.

Believed to have originated in Europe, today potato salad is famous all across the globe. The American version of this dish contains ingredients like mayonnaise or sour creams, veggies like celery and onions, and different types of herbs. In the Asian variant of the same dish, the potato salad is given a sweet touch and sometimes even eggs are added to its recipe.

How Long Does Potato Salad Last?

ConditionsDuration
Store-bought potato salad (unopened)5 – 6 days
Store-bought potato salad (opened)3 – 5 days
Homemade potato salad3 – 4 days

When potato salads are bought from a local store or supermarket, they remain good till the date mentioned on the label, and sometimes even 1 – 2 days past such date. However, once it is opened, one needs to consume it as early as possible to prevent it from going bad. A potato salad that has been opened will most probably stay good for about 3 to 5 days, the same as homemade potato salad does when stored in a refrigerator.

Potato salad’s main ingredient is the potato that has a long shelf life. However, potato is not the only ingredient in the salad and contains mayonnaise and eggs which aid in speeding up the spoiling process. One must keep in mind that unlike other varieties of salad like the tuna salad and others, the potato salad does not last for a very long time. At most, when opened it will last for a maximum of 5 days. Even the USDA recommends a period of 3 to 4 days for storing leftover food products.

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Generally, there is not must difference in the shelf life of homemade potato salad and store-bought potato salad. Both stay good for approximately the same time. One can easily determine by looking at their salad whether it is good to consume or not. The longevity of the salad will depend upon how long the salad’s dressings stay together. As long as the dressings stay intact, the salad is alright for consumption.

Why Does A Potato Salad Last This Long?

Potato salads can be easily stored in the fridge by keeping them inside a tightly covered container. For storing potato salad, airtight containers and boxes work the best. Potato salads should not be kept in the freezer for storing purposes as a fridge works just fine. As this salad does not freeze well, its dairy-based dressings might separate and the extreme cold temperature inside the freezer might turn every crispy vegetable in the salad, mushy.

By freezing the potato salad, one will compromise on its taste and texture. One should also take care not to let the salad sit in a warm setting for too long. Keeping the salad in hot temperatures can fasten the spoiling process. Make sure that the potato salad is refrigerated within 2 hours after it is prepared or brought home from the store.

One is advised to discard the potato salad if it had been out of the fridge, at room temperature for more than 2 to 3 hours. Also, if the potato salad was kept at a temperature that was over 90 degrees Fahrenheit i.e 32 degrees Celcius, it is best to avoid consuming it as it might have prematurely spoiled. A change in smell or appearance can indicate that the potato salad has gone rancid and must not be eaten.

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A helpful tip to ensure that the salad does not get spoiled too soon would be by considering making the salad without the dressing and adding it separately before serving. This tip can be helpful if one’s salad dressings tend to separate or break after a day or two while in storage.

Conclusion

Potato salad is a quick and easy recipe to prepare that does not require many ingredients or elaborate preparations. It can be consumed several times a week or even daily as per one’s desire. As per the USDA, the potato salad should be discarded if stored in high temperatures for more than 2 – 3 hours.

However, if potato salad is stored appropriately in conducive temperatures inside a refrigerator, it can easily last for about 3 – 5 days without turning bad. One must remember not to store the potato salad for too long and compromise with one’s health as it is neither too expensive nor difficult to replace if spoiled.

References

  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/23208361
  2. https://www.ceeol.com/search/article-detail?id=745713
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