For many the Coronavirus outbreak is causing scaremongering among us all, but if you do have to self-isolate - how much food you need to prepare for two-week self-isolation?

Instead of stockpiling crazy amount of pasta and tins, one suggestion is to spend the day meal prepping your favourite foods.

To help plan meals as well as possible, we’ve put together a meal prep guide.

Here's how long food prep should be stored the fridge:

  • Salads: Five days
  • Eggs (Cooked): Seven days
  • Pasta: Five days
  • Rice: Six days
  • Cooked veg: Seven days
  • Smoothies: One day
  • Overnight oats: Three days
  • Quinoa: Seven days
  • Couscous: Three days
  • Lentils: Seven days
  • Veg soup: Four days
  • Bacon: Seven days
  • Pork sausage: Two days
  • Beef burgers: Two days
  • Minced beef: Two days
  • Steak: Four days
  • Chicken: Two days
  • Turkey: Two days
  • Poultry sausage: Four days
  • Fish (e.g. Prawns): Four days

Here's how long food prep should be stored the freezer:

  • Eggs (Egg whites and yorls should be seperated before freezing. Always avoid freezing cooked eggs): 12 months
  • Soups/sauces: Three months
  • Pasta: Three months
  • Rice: Three months
  • Vegetables: 10 months
  • Nuts/seeds: 12 months
  • Lentils: Three months
  • Pork: Two months
  • Poultry: Four months
  • Beef: Six months
  • Lamb: Six months
  • Fish: Six months
  • Meat stocks: Four months
  • Casseroles: Three months

The advice, issued by kitchen firm Magnet, isn’t an exact science, and most foods are still edible (if no longer full of flavour) for a day or two after their shelf life expires, but has been issued as a guide for knowing how long foods last in the refrigerator before you eat or freeze them.

Things to know:

  • Be aware that some foods you buy ‘fresh’ could have already been frozen during the shipping process. Refreezing these can cause them to go rancid during the thawing process, so always check the label
  • On the topic of freezing, only freeze food once. Refreezing and thawing your food a second time can cause harmful bacteria to grow
  • Plan, plan, plan! Combining ingredients affects shelf life. As a marker, always go off the ingredient with the shortest individual shelf life
  • If you’re a fan of fruit smoothies and overnight oats, it’s best to eat them within 24 hours. Fruit oxidises and your healthy snack can quickly turn into a fizzy mess.
  • When defrosting meat, do so slowly, preferably by placing in the fridge over a few hours to avoid any sudden build-ups of bacteria.
  • While cooked eggs last up to seven days once refrigerated, they shouldn’t be frozen. The exception is raw egg yolks and egg whites, so long as they’re separated.

Practicing proper food hygiene also ensures your food is safe, lasts longer and you prevent foodborne illnesses.

As a rough guide, preparing meals up to four days in advance is perfect, as most ingredients can last this long once prepared.

Good quality containers will ensure that food keeps its freshness for longer.