HelloFresh is a meal kit service that sends you all the ingredients you need to make a variety of tasty meals. To what extent do these ingredients keep, though?
What is the average shelf life of a HelloFresh meal? All HelloFresh meals require refrigeration, and their shelf life is determined by the freshness of the ingredients. Seafood, meat, cheese, and vegetables are the four types of ingredients you should separate. Two days is the maximum time allowed for seafood, three to four days for meat, and four to six days for cheese and vegetables.
Get the most out of your HelloFresh deliveries by reading up on the best ways to store them and how long you can expect the ingredients to stay fresh below!
How HelloFresh Works
According to the dietary preferences and restrictions you specify on HelloFresh’s app or website, ingredients are delivered. You can order meals for two people only or up to six meals per week, with the portions adjusted for the size of your family. After you have provided the necessary information, the company assigns you to a meal plan that you are fully in charge of. The flexibility of the service when it comes to deliveries and weekly meal plans, as well as its ability to be customized, make it well-known.
The thing about HelloFresh is that it is targeted at customers who require weekly recipe ideas. This means that the business sends ingredients that must be prepared before the next delivery arrives within a certain amount of time! For instance, if you receive a meal kit on a Monday, you must use all of the ingredients as specified on your plan before the subsequent Monday, when the next delivery is scheduled.
The good news is that you can conveniently stop the deliveries in the app, which will halt your meal plans until you start them again. What happens, though, if you are left with a meal kit and are unable to prepare the meals in accordance with the meal plan?
HelloFresh Meal Kit Basics
HelloFresh offers meal kits in cardboard boxes. The inside of the box is insulated to keep internal temperatures stable and the ingredients safe from the elements. All of the recipe cards and (of course) the ingredients are contained within the box. Each ingredient, whether a single tomato or an avocado, will be packaged appropriately. Here are some of the ingredients that are commonly found in HelloFresh meal kits. To make things easier to understand, we’ll group the ingredients by type.
Beef, chicken, and seafood are included in this category. Every type of meat that HelloFresh sells is packaged separately in a plastic bag that is tightly sealed, and these bags are frequently encased in an insulated ice pack to maintain a consistent temperature for the meat. Depending on the kind of meal plan you have selected, you can purchase one or more types of meat each week.
Vegetables are typically stored in netted bags. To maintain texture and quality, the vegetables are kept above heavy ingredients. While there is no accompanying icepack, the vegetables benefit from the generally stable temperatures inside the insulated box.
Depending on your meal preferences, you can expect almost any type of vegetable in the box. Leafy greens, hard vegetables, fruits, and nuts can all be stored together in a paper bag or separately.
Cheese And Condiments
You can order different cheeses from HelloFresh as well! Every variety of cheese will be packaged separately and portioned for single use. This means that once you have finished cooking your meals, you won’t have any mess or leftovers, so you won’t need to worry about storing the cheese to keep it from spoiling for later use. The same method is used to store condiments, which are typically clubbed and wrapped in paper bags.
How To Store HelloFresh Meal Kits
Now that you know what to expect in a HelloFresh box, it’s time to learn how to store a leftover meal kit! To make this guide easier to follow, we will discuss the storage instructions for each ingredient by category. We’ll also separate the meat into two categories (seafood and general meat) because they have different storage times. First and foremost! If you intend to save the meals for later, you must treat them right away.
We recommend that you open the box as soon as you receive your meal kit and take out all of the ingredients, storing them in the fridge as soon as possible. In general, never leave an ingredient outside of an insulated box for more than 2 hours, especially when it comes to meat. Let’s go over how to safely store HelloFresh products in each category.
It must be seafood first! We strongly advise that you keep any type of seafood in the refrigerator at 40°F if you are unable to prepare the meal kit according to your original plan. Seafood that has been refrigerated can stay fresh for up to 48 hours. Never keep seafood in storage for more than three days, and always check stored meat for spoilage before cooking it.
Want the seafood to last longer? Then, store the packet at 0°F in the back of the freezer and consume the meat within 1-2 weeks. Never put previously refrigerated seafood in the freezer, especially if it has been in the fridge for more than two days.
Generally speaking, meat outperforms seafood! Consume beef and poultry products within 72 hours and keep them in the back of the refrigerator. In ideal circumstances, meat products may last up to 4 days, but we don’t advise going beyond that time frame because the food may become contaminated. Before eating meat that has been stored, always look for signs of spoilage such as excessive slime, a bad odor, or color changes.
Simply place the pack at the back of the freezer at 0°F to store meat. Any type of meat should keep for up to 2-3 months, but for maximum safety and quality, we recommend eating it within 2-3 weeks.
Vegetables should ideally only be kept in the refrigerator because freezing them can change the way they feel. Store the vegetables unwashed to prevent moisture for the best results. Remember that HelloFresh sends premium ingredients, most of which are prewashed!
Simply place the vegetables in the same packaging in the refrigerator’s back shelf at 40°F. The vegetables should stay fresh for up to 5–6 days, but for the best texture and quality, we advise using them within 3–4 days.
Avoid freezing HelloFresh vegetables because some of them may need to be blanched before freezing. Furthermore, freezing the vegetables as is will most likely ruin their texture and flavor. Pro Tip: Plan your meals around the shelf life of the vegetables, as the other ingredients can be stored for longer.
Cheese keeps well in the refrigerator. You will either receive grated cheese from HelloFresh or other cheese products that must always be refrigerated. The cheese should be kept at 40°F in the same packaging. The best results come from consuming cheese products within a week, even though the majority of them contain stabilizers and preservatives.
Some cheeses are better than others when frozen. Hard cheeses and sliced/grated cheeses can be kept in their original packaging at 0 degrees Fahrenheit for two to three months. Camembert, brie, and other common soft cheeses like ricotta and cottage cheese are not recommended for freezing due to the risk of texture and quality loss upon thawing. The best way to preserve soft cheeses is to keep them refrigerated and eat them within a week.
Keep in mind that you can defrost any frozen ingredient by simply moving the package from the freezer to the refrigerator and allowing it to thaw naturally overnight. Don’t bring the frozen ingredients to room temperature. It’s also possible to defrost each ingredient in the microwave separately. Take the food out of its packaging and defrost it on a microwave-safe plate.
Now that you know how long HelloFresh meals last, here are some related questions.
How long do cooked HelloFresh meals last?
HelloFresh prepared meals will adhere to the same storage guidelines as other foods. Cooked food can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two or three days at 40°F. Additionally, cooked HelloFresh meals can be frozen for up to two months at 0°F.
How long can HelloFresh meals last in the box?
The HelloFresh box contains vacuum-sealed packages as well as ice packs. According to the company, the boxes can be left out at room temperature for up to 24 hours after delivery. The ingredients will remain cool even if the ice melts due to the insulated packaging. You should, however, try to order the meal kit at a convenient time. As soon as the ingredients arrive, open and store them.