How Long Can Mashed Potatoes Sit Out (And How to Store)

Mashed potatoes are a delicious side dish and a must-try item at an occasional gathering. But with many other dishes, whether they can sit out for hours without getting spoiled is a very common concern.

Well, when you store mashed potatoes correctly they can last in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for 2-4 months. But it is tough to quote an exact time for how long can mashed potatoes sit out.

Mashed potatoes are a delicious

However, it depends fully on the additional ingredients which are of course dairy products, and the temperature of the room. Basically, the safe RT for any food item based on dairy products is below 42°F. So, if the average room temperature is below 45°F, you can keep your mashed potatoes good for a couple of hours or more than that.

Actually, everything revolves around bacterial assaults on dairy products. In the next section of this blog, we’ll talk about it in more detail. Let’s get started!

How Long Can Mashed Potatoes Sit Out 

Many food products, including frozen, dried, ready-to-eat, and less processed versions, are made from potatoes. Mashed potato is one of those products. 

Mainly, potatoes in mashed potatoes are not the first ingredient to get attacked by microorganisms, but the dairy items that you added to your mashed potatoes are the cause for worry here.

Milk, cream, and butter all are highly fatty dairy products that attract bacteria easily. The temperature below 45 °F helps to limit the growth of the bacteria. But, keeping pace with the increasing temperature, the bacteria grows from high to high. So, if we margin a ratio, it stands somehow like this: between 40-45°F, mashed potatoes can sit out for two hours, and at 45-55°F, it will decrease to 50 minutes to an hour.

What Makes Mashed Potatoes Spoiled

The microbe Bacillus cereus is a kind of bacterium that has no taste, smell, or color. Mash potatoes and other starchy foods are ideal habitats for this particular sort of bacterium.

Additionally, at temperatures between 45 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, germs are most likely to grow on starchy foods. These temperatures draw harmful germs, which may swiftly grow without your knowledge. There may be excessive diarrhea and vomiting as a result.

That’s why the Food Safety Council warns against storing cooked food at room temperature for more than two hours.

How to Store Mashed Potatoes

Mash potato storage is not difficult, but it can be challenging. Just stick to these easy strategies. 

Three different forms of storage suggestions are provided here. One is chilled, one is at room temperature, and the final one is frozen.

For Hours: Your mashed potatoes will stay fresh at room temperature for 45 to 110 minutes. Simply keep it dry and sealed in a container, or wrap it in plastic and place it in a spotless bowl and expose it to light.

For Days: Once more, you must keep it in the refrigerator if you plan to preserve it for a few hours, a day, or two. The process is identical to the last one. Just make sure the dish or container is sufficiently dry.

For Months: Finally, place your mashed potatoes in an airtight freezer-safe container and fully freeze them if you wish to store them for several months.

How long Mashed Potatoes Do last in Fridge and Freezer

When properly refrigerated, mashed potatoes may be kept in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. 

Before putting them in the refrigerator, ensure sure they have cooled to at least 140°F. In order to stop germs from other pollutants from getting inside, it is also crucial that they are in a sealed container or wrapped with plastic wrap.

The freezer is another option if you’ve cooked mashed potatoes ahead of time or has leftovers that you want to keep for more than a few days. Mashed potatoes should remain fresh in the freezer for 2-4 months if they are properly preserved. To avoid them from spoiling, you should put them in an airtight, freezer-safe container.

Signs of Bad Mashed Potatoes 

Signs of Bad Mashed Potatoes

There are a few signs when mashed potatoes have gone bad:

  • Mash potatoes that have been spoiled may begin to smell foul. If this occurs, they ought to be thrown away.
  • Take note of the distinct liquid in the bowl or container.
  • The liquid and the substance in mashed potatoes start to separate as they age. The liquid will appear practically transparent at first, but it will eventually turn milky. The texture and color of the potatoes may also alter.
  • See if you can spot any mold growth.
  • If you notice any moldy spots or patches, it is the most obvious evidence that the mashed potatoes are faulty.
  • The taste changes and become sour
  • If there are no other indications and you decide to taste them then take a little pinch. however, discard them if they taste sour. But we do not recommend tasting spoiled food at all.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Reheating Mashed Potatoes Okay?

Before eating, you can reheat mashed potatoes. But make sure it is good. Because reheating can not kill the microbes from bad mashed potatoes but it may make it more harmful to your health.

How Long Do Mashed Potatoes Last?

When properly refrigerated, mashed potatoes may be kept in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. However, we advise against consuming any starchy meal that has been kept in the fridge for more than 3 days.

Can I Refrigerate Hot Mashed Potatoes?

You can, but you shouldn’t. The food should be brought to room temperature before being stored in the refrigerator. Otherwise, you run the risk of ruining the authentic flavor of your mashed potatoes.


This blog began by asking how long can mashed potatoes sit out and ends with a very clear idea about it, isn’t it?

I hope you found your answer and that the tips related to your question will be helpful to you in the future. Happy Cooking!

Mike Monteleone

My name is Mike Monteleone. I am the author of Since I was very young I have been passionate about cooking and everything that surrounds the art of preparing food. Cooking is much more than a set of techniques. Cooking is a means of expression and it is an art. Whether you are a three-star Michelin chef or an amateur cook, cooking is a universal language that allows you to share and explore.

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