Meatball is one of the most versatile foods in the world. You can serve them as an appetizer, a side dish, or even as a main course. If you have some meatballs, you may wonder how long they can sit out before going bad.
How Long Can Meatballs Sit Out?
Meatballs, whether it’s cooked or raw can sit out for 2 hours. After it’s been more than 2 hours, it will be unsafe to eat since bacteria will likely have contaminated the meatballs. When storing them at room temperature, be sure to keep them wrapped in a plastic wrap or in a container.
Why Do Meatballs Go Bad So Quickly?
Meatballs have a tendency to get dry and tough if they’re left out at room temperature for too long. This means that if you make a huge batch of meatballs, you’ll need to cook them and eat them right away or store them in the fridge.
The reason for this is that as meat sits out at room temperature, bacteria grow on its surface. These bacteria cause spoilage by producing enzymes that break down proteins and fats in the meat. This process results in tough, chewy meatballs that don’t taste as good as they did when they were first cooked.
How Can You Tell If Meatballs Are Spoiled?
Meatballs are very easy to spoil because of their moist texture. They should be cooked within one day of being made and used within three days of preparing them if refrigerated properly. To tell if meatballs are spoiled, follow these steps:
Smell the Meatballs – If you smell any foul odors coming from the meatballs, then they are most likely spoiled. Spoiled meatballs will also have an unpleasant odor that cannot be masked by spices or sauces.
Look at Them – The color of fresh meatballs is usually light pink in color with no mold present on the surface of the meatball itself. Spoiled meatballs will have a dark brownish-gray coloration with white spots on their surface due to mold growth.
Taste Them – The best way to find out whether your meatballs have gone bad is to taste them, but only if it has been cooked! If they taste rancid or sour then they should not be eaten at all as this means they have spoiled.
Storing Meatballs At Room Temperature
If you need to store meatballs at room temperature, you’ll need to be careful as it is a meat product. Whether the meatballs are cooked or uncooked, they should always be stored in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.
Keeping them wrapped will prevent flies and other insects from landing on the meatballs. Flies are known to carry parasites and if it lands on your meatballs, they could be passed onto you.
Is It Safe To Eat Meatballs That Was Left Out Overnight?
It’s not safe to eat meatballs that have been left out overnight whether it’s cooked or uncooked.
The reason for this is that meat contains protein, which is a nutrient that microorganisms love to feed on. Just like you need nutrients for your body to grow and work properly, so do bacteria. When you leave meatballs out overnight, the bacteria will have a feast and start multiplying. This can lead to food poisoning if you eat meatballs.
How Long Do Meatballs Last In The Fridge?
Both cooked or uncooked meatballs will last about 2-3 days in the fridge before they start losing their moisture or become rancid (if they contain any dairy products).
You should always keep them stored in an airtight container or covered tightly with foil or plastic wrap while they’re refrigerated so that they don’t absorb other odors from your fridge.
Can You Eat Cold Meatballs?
You can eat the meatballs when they are cold. When taking them out of the fridge, you can eat the meatballs without having to warm them.
However, it’s important they haven’t sat out of the fridge for longer than 2 hours.
As you can see, uncooked and cooked meatballs will last for only 2 hours at room temperature. Keeping them sitting out any longer is unsafe for them to eat since the meatballs will be contaminated with harmful bacteria.
Kate has been in the food business for over 20 years. Worked as a cook at several buffets which include Old Country Buffet, Five Star Buffet, and Ichiban Buffet. Now, I’m mostly at home cooking for my family, caring for chickens and ducks, and tending the garden.