Can Beef Broth Go Bad?
Beef broth can definitely go bad, just like any other meat item. It gives off signs that signal that the broth has spoiled. These signs include an off smell, taste, or weird changes in the way it looks. Furthermore, if mold grows on it then that also means that the broth has gone bad.
Cans of beef stock may be safe for eating over long periods, but they lose quality flavor as they age. Properly stored, a non-opened can of beef broth generally stays in good quality for around 3 to 5 years, though will usually still remain safe to use beyond this. Beef broth certainly goes bad, but an unopened can still should be fine to eat 1-2 years past the best-by date.
By the way, if you’re interested in How To Preserve Carrots, check out my article on that.
Generally, it is rare that an unopened beef stock turns bad, provided there is no damage on the can, and it is stored properly. Once the unopened can is opened, you should keep beef broth in a refrigerator or freezer to maximize the shelf life of that broth. If you plan on skimming off any fat, you are encouraged to store the broth in the refrigerator until the fat has hardened at the top. If you are using just one-half of a can of broth, you should transfer leftovers to a sealed container and keep them refrigerated.
|Can beef stock||3-5 years|
|Unopened can of beef broth||1-2 years|
|In refrigerator||4-5 days|
Since the canned broth that is unopened will last the longest, and freezing does not make any sense, we are going to focus on keeping the leftovers from the broth. Unopened canned broth will last for approximately 1 to 2 years, or longer, when stored in a cool, dry, and dark pantry corner, away from direct sunlight and heat. Chicken stock kept unopened in a pantry or freezer can be consumed for up to one week after expiration.
You may be sick after eating expired chicken broth if it was stored incorrectly, or it was kept unopened, whether it was kept in a refrigerator or at room temperature. Chicken broth is a staple for many recipes, but if it is gone bad, it could ruin your whole meal, and it could get you sick. If the chicken broth smells bad, or has an acidic taste, it is not any good, and you are going to want to throw it in the trash because it is bad.
To learn about How To Preserve Cucumber, check out my article where I cover everything you need to know.
If your stock has spoiled, you will notice unpleasantly altered odors, textures, looks, and tastes. If you notice the broth has signs of mold or any other type of spoiledness, do not take any chances with eating it, because that is just going to harm your health. If you further notice bugs, mold, or anything else unwelcome about the broth, or its packaging, then it is time to toss it out.
Since homemade beef broth does not have preservatives, but does have more nutrients, you cannot expect it to remain as fresh as commercial beef broth. Store-bought does not mean store-bought beef broth will still be as good as it is right now three years from now, but it is more than likely absolutely safe for consumption. Similar to opened beef broth, home-made stock has a shorter shelf-life, staying good for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator, and longer if frozen. If you only want to keep beef broth for a couple of hours, the stored stock can be stored in the kitchen cupboard, cold, dry, and not refrigerated.
Store-bought cans of broth may remain good well past their expiration dates, provided that they are stored correctly and that their packaging is not damaged. Thanks to the additives that make it preserve, a non-opened can of store-bought beef stock may keep for 3-5 years in your freezer cupboard, provided it is stored correctly. Chicken broth packaged in an aseptic container can last for a year beyond its printed use-by date, assuming that it is not opened and is stored correctly in your pantry. Beef broth made commercially can last quite awhile, and may still remain edible past the best-by date.
Because beef broth typically contains certain preservatives, and since canned goods typically have longer shelf lives, commercially purchased beef broth may be kept for years past its best-by date. Carton-style cartons of vegetable broth may retain their quality about 3 months after their best-by date if not opened. Store-bought vegetable broth has shelf lives ranging from one to two years, easily lasting for a couple months past its printed date.
If you freeze broth, it lasts an unlimited amount of time, though you will want to use it in about 4-6 months, while it is still of great quality. If you freeze the broth in a freezer-safe plastic bag, you might want to allow it to thaw overnight in a fridge. If you only want to have small amounts of broth at a time, freezing it in small, sealed containers or in ice cube trays is a great option.
If you are unsure whether leftover stock is still okay, put the liquid into a bowl before you pour it into the pot. If you are confident the bones and meats in the broth are not expired, take a taste of the broth.
The major difference between the two is that broth is made from clean animal bones (chicken, beef, fish, or veal are most common), while stock uses bones that still have some meat on them, or just meat. Stock is usually made by roasting a few beef bones (about one pounds worth) and cooking in a slow cooker or stock pot. Grass-fed beef bone for marrow is more expensive than a generic beef soup bone, but any bone works for bone broth.
If the beef stock is not stored correctly, or is not heated sufficiently prior to use, it can contain bacteria contamination that can make you sick. Since beef broth is made with beef, which is a very perishable food product, it can contain either e.coli or salmonella present in beef broth, which could result in food poisoning, characterized by stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. The foul or rancid smell of broth after some days of storage is usually a strong indication that the broth is no longer suitable for consumption. You can trust that assessment if you have noticed nothing out of the ordinary in beef stock bought from a store container, or noticed the broth being unappetizing.
How can you tell if the beef broth is bad?
Look for small changes in color or scent to determine whether something is rotten. Throw away the broth if it begins to smell sour or if the flavor has changed. The same applies if you spot any mold or flecks of greenish color in the liquid.
Can you use beef broth after 14 days?
A store-bought can of beef broth is safe to eat for up to 3 years if it is unopened and undamaged. The beef broth should be stored in the refrigerator after opening and consumed within five days. Even while leftover beef broth can be frozen for up to three months, it can be consumed indefinitely.
Can old broth make you sick?
Never consume poor chicken broth or foods prepared with it. The dish can be ruined by bad chicken broth, which can also give you nausea or stomach problems. Examine the indicators of spoiled chicken broth. Chicken broth can be refrigerated for 3-4 days and frozen for 2-3 months.