my daughter prepares meals for her small catering business. After she prepares them and stores them in plastic containers she stores them in our fridge which is taking up too mush space. They foods are cooked and vary from pasta to vegetables to seafood and other meats. Sometimes she does not deliver these prepared meals until the 2nd or 3rd days how soon must she deliver them to her clients before they spoil.

  • 3
    Why would anyone want to eat 2-3 day old anything from a caterer? Is this a standard practice that I'm not aware of?
    – Catija
    May 25, 2015 at 17:56
  • It seems your real problem is the space this food takes up in your fridge. That's not something we can help you with.
    – Ross Ridge
    May 25, 2015 at 18:17
  • It's very likely a violation of food safety rules for her to store them in your refrigerator anyway. Commercial food preparation and storage is normally required (IME) to be completely separate from a household kitchen, even if the person using both is the same.
    – Ecnerwal
    May 26, 2015 at 0:08
  • This might not be a duplicate: sure, the OP is asking how long it's safe as if that's the whole question, but this is in a catering context not a home cooking context, and as other comments and the answer show, that changes the question.
    – Cascabel
    May 26, 2015 at 5:05

1 Answer 1


In catering, you do not use your home fridge because your family opens and closes it so many times that the temperature drops and the food in it that is cooked does not stay at a steady temperature.

For example, you said she may prepare seafood. That is a Big NO NO. The seafood should be prepared and served within hours.

Think about it like this:

  • You prepare it.
  • You store it 2-3 days.
  • You deliver it or it gets picked up.
  • Then does it get put in the fridge again or put out?
  • Then, either way, it is served.

How many times is it in the fridge, opened with the air from the family, transported getting back to a lower temp, put back into storage or set out?

Sounds like someone might get sick to me.

When I did catering, our clients expected fresh food, not leftovers. Some caterers freeze some of their products but anyone I have talked to does not store things unless it is being marinated, pickled, a desert made a day in advance, or sauces frozen and reheated.

Another thought, if you go to a restaurant, are you willing to pay money for food sitting in the fridge for 2 or 3 days? My family and friends would not.

Regardless, getting sick is the biggest problem you have. Do you have a license from the Health Department to do this? There are cleanliness issues here also.

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