How long will Potato Salad, Coleslaw, Tuna Salad keep ?

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)

How long do you keep your favorite potatoe salad & coleslaw and Tuna salad ?

I love making these, but with just the 2 of us now, it's hardly worth the effort to make just a couple of servings. It would be nice to make up enough for more than one or two meals, but we just won't eat it again after about two. It's usually about 4 or 5 days before we are ready to have it again. Is that too long ?

What's the longest it can be safely kept in the fridge ?

I don't put eggs in my p-salad..... just Miracle Whip, a little mustard, bell pepper, onion and celery, salt & pepper

In my coleslaw, I put Miracle Whip, sour cream, fresh lime juice, sugar and a little minced onion and maybe carrot, salt & pepper.

Oh yeah, then there's Tuna Salad. Always seem to be throwing it out.
I use Tuna packed in water, with Miracle Whip, onions & celery.

Over the years, I couldn't begin to count the times I've thrown these out after a few days ( 4 to 6) ........ all the while, thinking they looked and smelled perfectly fine, but afraid to use them.

I know the stuff you get in the deli is pre-packaged, and has a long time expiration date. But I wonder if there is something to their packaging or maybe a preservative that makes it keep so long. ? ? Besides, that stuff is hardly edible compared to good ole homemade.

Anyone have a basic rule of thumb ? I always date these particular items, and after the 3rd day I start to get uneasy. Have you ever kept it for a week ?

P.S. I know it would make a difference if you let it sit out for serving (like family style etc.) but I'm just talking about dishing out enough for DH and I....... ( eating on TV trays), .........and right back into fridge. And I never contaminate the batch by tasting and putting the spoon back in while making it.

I hope someone knows. I'm pretty thrifty & frugal, and it just makes me cringe when I think I'm throwing out perfectly good food. But then, I've had food poisoning before too...... that made me do more than cringe ! hehe

With grocery & gas prices sky-high, I sure hate to throw it out if it's still good.
Every little bit counts at our house, especially now.

What do you all think ? What do you do ? Thanks, PeggieK

Missouri City, TX

If the temperature in your frig is at or below 40 degrees, and the dish is tightly covered, I would think 4-5 days would be safe. It all depends on how much decomposition occurs and how many contaminants were introduced during preparation.

If you had a microscope, you could take a look at a sample daily to see what is growing, but you would need to do it from first made to have a base-line.

At the house, such salads rarely last more than 24 hours, even though there are just 2 of us. DW makes small batches, so maybe one meal, and enough for a snack later.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

For us on coleslaw that's an easy one. We make it fresh (as fresh as you can get with grocery produce) and it's not "seasoned" well until it sits a day or two. But then after you've had it a day or two to eat it starts to take on a different flavor as the cabbage ages in the vinegar etc. So after 4 days in the fridge we pitch it. Seem to find commercial made coleslaw has the same timing issue.

Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

3 days is pushing it, at my house.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

for all of the above?

Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)


Clay Center, KS(Zone 5b)

I dump them on the third day, it's just not worth the risk. I'm of the "if in doubt..throw it out" belief. Since there only two of us, I had to throw a few things away then try and remember to cut back the next time I fix food that I don't want to freeze or can't freeze. Nothing is worth the risk of food poisoning.

Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

I don't think potato salad is good after 3 days, yuck...:( I'd have to keep adding Hellmann's to it...LOL

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

Commercial potato salad keeps its flavor quite awhile. All the nice additives? I wouldn't know we buy ours from the deli. Cheaper to buy pre-made and better tasting than recipes I've tried.

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)

I wonder what they add to it to make it keep so long ?

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

I know it, always has this 2 week expiration or so on it. But at least in the one we buy it doesn't have any ingredients you can't pronounce.

On the one from Sam's Club it DOES say preservatives.

Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

Peggie, You probably DON'T want to know, ha ,ha.... Just suffice to say, it is much healthier to make your own. Even in a small quantity. I don't even like store bought potato salad....yuck, yuck, yuck. It doesn't taste real!

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

I love it! :)

It's really best if you can make it with your own homegrown potatoes and other veggies to. I'll have to try that sometime.

Does anyone make their own mayo for it?

Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

I just use red potatoes (peeled), hellmann's mayo, spicy mustard, salt, pepper, paprika, and dill...oh and onions, sometimes green, sometimes sweet. I have people request my potato salad all the time and it is the easiest thing to make. Simple.

:) Kathy

P.S. Sometimes I leave the peels on.

This message was edited Mar 16, 2008 8:54 AM

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)

I love homemade. It's the comfort food that my mom always made when I was growing up. Since I was so spoiled on it, the pre-made deli kind just dosen't hit the spot for me. Although I will eat it in a pinch.

I wonder what the preservative they use in the deli type is ? Anyone know what they use ?

Also, I've never bought the deli tuna salad......... I'm kind of afraid of it.

I got REALLY sick once from the Seafood Sub filling on a Subway Sandwich once. So any kind of fish type salad is off, unless I make it and know exactly what's in it ...and how old it is.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

Not sure what preservative they use....but aren't there a million choices?!

Does store mayo have preservatives also???

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)

Someone once told me that there was enough vinegar in it to preserve it. They even said you could leave it unrefridgerated in the jar after opening and it would be fine. I WOULD NEVER TAKE A CHANCE ON THAT THOUGH. I was always taught that anything with mayo was dangerous if left at room temp.
She told me that it was not the mayo itself that made it go bad at room temp, but the combination of the other ingredients.
I listened and thought about it....... it made sense.... BUT I'M A HARD SELL WHEN IT COMES TO TAKING THAT CHANCE. hehe.
And now, I can't remember if she was talking about real mayo, or the Miracle Whip type. Anyone else heard of this theory ?

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