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FOOD STORAGE — HOW LONG CAN YOU KEEP...

MEATBALLS, COOKED — HOMEMADE OR TAKE-OUT

RefrigeratorRefrigerator
Blue Arrow Blue Arrow 3-4 days
Freezer Freezer
Blue Arrow Blue Arrow 3-4 months
Tips
  • How long do cooked meatballs last in the fridge? The precise answer to that question depends to a large extent on storage conditions — refrigerate meatballs within two hours of cooking.
  • To maximize the shelf life of cooked meatballs for safety and quality, refrigerate the meatballs in shallow airtight containers or wrap tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
  • Properly stored, cooked meatballs will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
  • To further extend the shelf life of cooked meatballs, freeze them; freeze in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags, or wrap tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or freezer wrap.
  • How long do cooked meatballs last in the freezer? Properly stored, they will maintain best quality for 3 to 4 months, but will remain safe beyond that time.
  • The freezer time shown is for best quality only — cooked meatballs that have been kept constantly frozen at 0° F will keep safe indefinitely.
  • How long do cooked meatballs last after being frozen and thawed? Cooked meatballs that has been thawed in the fridge can be kept for an additional 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator before cooking; meatballs that were thawed in the microwave or in cold water should be eaten immediately.
  • How long do cooked meatballs last at room temperature? Bacteria grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F; cooked meatballs should be discarded if left for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
  • How to tell if cooked meatballs are bad? The best way is to smell and look at the meatballs: signs of bad meatballs are a sour smell and a slimy texture; discard any meatballs with an off smell or appearance, do not taste first.

Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here.

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