How Long Can Mashed Potatoes Sit Out?

Mashed potatoes are a staple in many people’s diets, but no one wants to eat cold, lumpy ones.

The best way to avoid this is by knowing how long you can keep your dishes out before they go bad. Knowing the answer to that question will take some basic knowledge about food safety and spoilage.

Keep reading if you want to know how long you can keep your potato dishes out before they become unsafe for consumption!

How long can mashed potatoes sit out at room temperature?

The answer is 2 hours. They can only stay out for two hours if they are 135 degrees Fahrenheit or above.

That’s because this recipe often has dairy products in it, so you don’t want to leave it out for a really long time.

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Why mashed potatoes go bad?

Food experts say that when food sits out for more than 2 hours, it can make you sick. It is a kind of bacteria called Bacillus Cereus and can cause diarrhea and vomiting. Foods like this one are breeding grounds for this microbe.

Also, never mix this dish with meat to avoid them spoiling. Mixing starchy foods with meat is bad because it may make bacteria grow faster because the temperature is in the range of 40-140 degrees F, which is a dangerous environment for bacteria.

When food is warm and moist, it can create one bacteria that can divide every half an hour. If you do the math, in 10 hours this one bacteria will have turned into 10 million new ones.

When these toxic microbes are left out on your dining table or even in your hands for a long time, they may spread to other places near them.

The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service found that Staphylococcus Aureus is a type of bacteria that lives in our nose and throat.

This can cause bad stomach cramps and terrible diarrhea if the food has been contaminated or spoiled. It will start hours to days after swallowing the food.

Why does adding dairy products make mashed potatoes go bad quicker?

Dairy products have a lot of fat and very little water. This is why bacteria can grow in them easily.

That’s why you should always put butter, milk, cheese, etc. in the fridge after opening it so it doesn’t spoil quickly. If you don’t, then there will be bacteria that convert the sugar into glucose and galactose which makes lactic acid.

Milk can turn bad if it has lactic acid in it. Milk will curdle for 24 hours. This is a sign that the milk is bad and must be thrown out.

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacteria that can be found in soft cheese. It can survive in cold temperatures and multiply continuously. This can cause terrible poisoning for elderly people and miscarriages for pregnant women.

So before you heat up your dishes, think twice. Food poisoning is no joke. It could make you very sick and even lead to death. The worst part is that it could happen again.

So don’t reheat yours if they were left out for more than 2 hours!

How to keep your mashed potatoes for long?

When hosting a party, make sure you keep an eye on the mashed potatoes. After 2 hours, put them in the fridge. Put cooked potatoes in a clean container with a lid or inside plastic bags. This will help them last longer and stop bacteria from growing on food that is left out for too long.

They can last up to 3-5 days in the fridge. You can also freeze them for up to 10-12 months.

Frozen ones can stay in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. But, if you cook these potatoes after they have been thawed, they should be eaten right away.

If you have leftovers from cooking them, throw them out. You should heat the potatoes to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill all harmful bacteria and make sure they are heated evenly throughout before eating them.

How to know if mashed potatoes have been spoiled?

If you have leftovers, smell them. If they smell bad or look bad, throw them out right away. Spoiled ones will start to get runny and separate from the solid parts. They will most likely also smell sour with a white liquid on the surface of it.

Don’t eat them when you’re not sure they’re okay to eat. It’s not worth risking getting sick and having food poisoning. Some things that make people sick don’t actually smell bad, so be careful.

FAQ’s

Is it safe to eat mashed potatoes left out overnight?

If you are cooking this recipe, do not leave it out for more than 2 hours. To make sure they don’t go bad, put the cooked potatoes in the refrigerator after 2 hours.

How long does it take for mashed potatoes to go bad?

They should last three to five days in the fridge. To be safe, you should store your leftovers within two hours of cooking. You can also put them in an airtight container with a lid to keep the moisture out.

Can you get food poisoning from mashed potatoes?

You can get food poisoning from mismatched potatoes. It doesn’t happen if you cook them and then refrigerate them.

How long can mashed potatoes sit on the stove?

They can stay on the stove for an hour or two. When you are ready to continue, put the pot back on low heat, and then it will get hot again so that you can mash them.

Do mashed potatoes need refrigeration?

They need to be refrigerated. After you make them, put them in a dish or container and cover them with plastic wrap. Then put them in the refrigerator until you want to eat them.

Is it safe to eat cold mashed potatoes?

It’s not safe to eat cold dishes of this recipe. The bacteria that causes botulism may form in cooked potatoes if they are left out at room temperature too long.

This is made even more likely if the potatoes are wrapped tightly in foil. If you reheat the dish, it does not get the potato hot enough to kill the bacteria, even though it may seem very hot on the outside.

Conclusion

If you are hosting a Thanksgiving dinner or want to bring mashed potatoes for your holiday party, take note- they can sit out at room temperature for about 2 hours.

The good news is that there are plenty of recipes on the internet with tips and tricks to make sure that your dish stays warm long after it has been made.

Mariana Rouco

Mariana Rouco is the editor-in-chief of Elpasony.com. She loves traveling and writing about foods and cooking in general. She has a degree from the New England Culinary Institute and enjoys Mexican, Italian, and Chinese cuisines the most.

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