I don’t know about you, but I love the convenience of meal delivery services. No more worrying about menu planning and grocery shopping. The meals just show up fresh at my doorstep. It’s amazing!
But of course, with the convenience comes some work on my end. Those fresh meals won’t stay fresh forever. I need to properly store them in my refrigerator to extend their shelf life.
This got me wondering – exactly how long do Factor meals last in the fridge anyway? Knowing the fridge life of these perishable pre-made meals is key to food safety and reducing waste.
So I did some digging into refrigerator temps, food spoilage, and Factor meal prep to find out. Keep reading to learn how long Factor meals really last refrigerated, how to spot spoiled meals, and my top food storage tips.
An Introduction to Factor Meals
For those not familiar, Factor meals are a popular pre-made meal delivery service. They offer a wide variety of chef-designed meals tailored to your specific dietary needs and preferences.
Whether you eat keto, paleo, vegetarian, or just want balanced meals, Factor has options for you. They make it easy to eat healthy without all the grocery shopping and cooking.
Here’s what makes Factor different:
- Fresh, not frozen meals – Meals are delivered chilled, not frozen. This allows for fresher tasting meals.
- Ready to heat & eat – Just pop your Factor meal in the microwave and you’ve got an easy weeknight dinner on the table fast.
- Diet customization available – Build your menu based on your chosen diet like keto, paleo, vegetarian and more. Or keep it flexible.
- Delivered to your doorstep – Factor ships the pre-made meals packed with ice packs to keep everything chilled.
But with freshness comes the need for proper refrigeration. Frozen meals have a much longer shelf life. Factor meals are perishable and have a more limited fridge life.
Why Refrigeration is Critical for Factor Meals
Refrigerating Factor meals is absolutely essential for food safety and preserving quality.
- Keeps meals at safe temperatures below 40°F where bacteria cannot multiply quickly.
- Slows down spoilage allowing meals to last longer.
- Maintains texture, flavor, and nutritional value of fresh foods.
- Prevents foodborne illnesses that can occur from eating spoiled, bacteria-laden foods.
Proper refrigeration inhibits bacterial growth and keeps Factor meals fresher longer after delivery.
But just how long can you keep Factor meals refrigerated before they go bad?
Shelf Life of Refrigerated Factor Meals
To determine the fridge life of Factor meals, we need to look at a few key factors:
Factor meals feature perishable foods like:
- Raw meats and seafood
- Eggs and dairy products
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Cooked grains and starches
These fresh ingredients are more prone to spoiling compared to shelf-stable canned or dried goods. And raw proteins especially need proper chilling to prevent bacteria.
Unopened Factor meals come packaged in:
- Insulated shipping boxes filled with ice packs that keep meals chilled.
- Individual BPA-free plastic containers.
Once opened, transfer leftovers to airtight glass or plastic containers. Limit air exposure.
Keep your fridge between 34°-40°F. Colder is even better. Use a thermometer and adjust as needed.
Monitor the temp of your refrigerator and keep Factor meals on higher shelves. The bottom shelves tend to be warmer promoting faster spoilage.
Check package labels for expiration or “use by” dates. Do not eat meals past the marked date as they are unsafe.
So what’s the final verdict?
Unopened Factor meals stay fresh in the fridge for 5-7 days from delivery.
Once opened, eat Factor meals within 3-4 days.
Proper refrigeration at temps below 40°F gives you a 5-7 day window to safely enjoy Factor’s pre-made meals.
How To Tell If Refrigerated Factor Meals Are Spoiled
Nobody wants to bite into a spoiled, bacteria-laden meal. So it’s crucial to know how to spot signs of spoiled Factor meals before eating them.
Watch for these common indicators:
- Change in color – Unnatural or odd colors like gray, green, or black.
- Change in texture – Slime, mushiness, or new grittiness.
- Strange odors – Rancid, sour, or rotten smell.
- Mold – White, green, or black fuzzy spots.
- Expired date – Do not eat past use by/expiration date on package.
- Upset stomach – Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea may indicate food poisoning.
Trust your senses. If something seems off with the look, feel, or smell – it’s better to be safe than sorry. When in doubt, throw it out.
Storing Factor Meals for Maximum Fridge Life
Want your Factor meals to stay fresh as long as possible? Follow these pro fridge storage tips:
- Leave unopened meals sealed in original Factor packaging up to 5-7 days.
- When reheating individual portions, transfer leftovers to sealed glass or plastic containers to limit air exposure.
- Store opened Factor meals towards the top of the refrigerator where temps are colder.
- Label containers with date opened and use within 3-4 days.
- Freeze extras you won’t eat in time. Thaw in fridge overnight before reheating.
- Clean your fridge regularly and wipe up spills immediately to inhibit bacteria growth.
Proper storage Is key to enjoying safe Factor meals before they spoil. Follow the above guidelines for 5-7 days of freshness.
The Bottom Line on Factor Meal Fridge Life
As a busy person, I love the convenience of having Factor’s pre-made meals delivered straight to my door. They take the work out of meal prep.
But I can’t just leave these fresh meals sitting out at room temperature. Refrigerating Factor meals properly is critical for food safety and maximizing how long they last.
The shelf life of refrigerated Factor meals is about 5-7 days if unopened, and 3-4 days once opened.
Keep your fridge below 40°F. Monitor temps and signs of spoilage. Use air-tight storage containers. Label leftovers.
Following the storage guidelines in this article will ensure you safely enjoy the fresh taste and convenience of Factor meals before they go bad. The fridge life might be limited, but proper chilling gives you almost a week of meal enjoyment.
Now go grab a Factor meal from the fridge and dinner is served! Just be sure to finish or freeze any leftovers within 3-4 days.
Hi, I’m Ben Holland. I love cooking, traveling, and spending time with my family! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes, travel tips, and stories about my adventures with my wife and kids.