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How Long Can Thawed Beef Stay In The Fridge

How Long Can Thawed Beef Stay In The Fridge

How Long Can Thawed Beef Stay In The Fridge?

Thawed beef can stay in the fridge for only three to five days, after which it would start to go bad. Although, thawing in the fridge is considered safe for poultry and beef but only in the case where you consume them or cook them or freeze them again within three to five days.

A package of ground meat can be kept in the refrigerator up to two days after you buy it, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines. Ground beef that has been frozen in a cooler may safely remain refrigerated for another one to two days before cooking, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If it is not sealed or if its package is ripped, the beef is best kept 3 to 5 days after being defrosted in the refrigerator. Raw meat that has been defrosted in the fridge may remain good for 1-2 days before cooking.

TypesShelf Life
Beef3-5 days
Raw Meat1-2 days
Cooked Meat3-4 days
Shelf Life of different types of meat

When it comes to the cooked meat, it can remain good for about 3-4 days after being thawed in the refrigerator. Once you thaw the meat, it will keep for several hours to days in the refrigerator, depending on the size and type of the meat. Frozen meat, depending on its size, takes at least one or two days to fully thaw in the fridge.

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You can thaw frozen meat in a cold water bath, but you must prepare it right after thawing. The reason for cooking meat immediately after it has been thawed in the bowl of cold water or the microwave is because when you heat meat using those methods, the surface temperature of the meat gets hotter than 40 degrees F. before the core temperature can reach 40 degrees F. and it can fully thaw, and this is when the bacteria can begin to rapidly grow on the surface. If you are using a microwave to thaw a food such as meat, the USDA says that you should cook it immediately once thawed. You should use it first if you are using the ground meat right afterward, because the microwave can begin cooking the outside when it is thawed.

Find out how long different meat store

After it has thawed in your microwave, you should immediately cook your meat to avoid any parts of it getting too hot and starting to cook, according to the U.S. Department of Agricultures Food Safety and Inspection Service. Microwave and cold-water thawing requires immediate cooking, while refrigerated thawing ranges in days, depending on the type of meat, according to USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. There are three ways to safely thaw meat, and the time it takes to cook meat depends on the method it is thawed.

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How long do beef need to be cooked after defrosting?According to the U.S. Department of Agricultures Food Safety and Inspection Service, minced beef, poultry, and shellfish need to be cooked within one or two days after being thawed in a refrigerator, unless specified. Pieces of red meat, like beef steaks, lamb ribs, and pork ribs or roasts, need to be cooked within three to five days after being thawed, in order to ensure that they will provide the best flavor and texture. Ground beef can safely last in the fridge for 1 to 2 days, with leftovers being consumed within 4 days. Because you are defrosting the ground beef in the fridge, you can safely re-freeze it during this same time, according to USDA. For example, if you wish to thaw frozen ground beef, you will have to allow it to sit overnight in the fridge.

Ultimately, however, regardless of the kind of meat or poultry you decide to freeze, as long as it is been defrosted in the fridge, it is safe to refreeze without cooking. Meat that has thawed in the fridge can be refrozen without cooking, though you might lose a little bit of its quality. While this can be a common practice, thawing meat at room temperature may cause bacteria to grow.

Once the frozen food is thawed, those germs may be activated once more, so you need to handle your defrosted foods the same way as you would any perishable. To reiterate, because freezing food to 0degF or lower keeps it safe almost indefinitely, you should defrost and eat any frozen meat or poultry at any time (if properly stored).

Take the remaining frozen meats and place them directly in your freezer, where they can stay frozen for over a year. By doing this, you can thaw only the amount of meat that you need, and the rest of your meat can stay untouched in your freezer. If meat is going to be used within a short time, then it needs to be either refrigerated or frozen in the original container.

Refrigerating raw meat for one to two days and freezing for up to four months are also acceptable preservation methods. While prolonged storage in the freezer will impact the quality of any food, it is also worth noting that raw meats and poultry retain quality for much longer than cooked meats and poultry. Processed pork–such as bacon and sausages (whether pork, chicken, or turkey), hot dogs, and lunch meat–tastes best after being frozen for one to two months, whereas raw burgers, ground beef, and braised meats may keep three to four months. Meat, pork, fish, and chicken leftovers (including chili and stew) can safely last up to three to four days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Items like ground meat, braised meat, poultry, and seafood can be safely stored up to 2 days after being defrosted in the fridge. It is safe to thaw defrosted meats in the fridge again, provided they are re-frozen within the safe thawing timeframes noted above. Do not refreeze uncooked ground meat that has been defrosted in cold water or the microwave oven, unless you have cooked it beforehand.

After it has been thawed, it loses water (unless the meat is vacuum sealed), which may affect the quality when refreezed. You will want to ensure the package is tightly sealed; otherwise, you may want to place the frozen meat into a sealed plastic bag and thaw it in cold water. According to the following graph from, steaks that have been kept in the refrigerator for 3 days prior to freezing are best 1-2 days after being defrosted.

If you ask the USDA (and you should; they know their stuff), raw steak is best kept for between 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator, regardless of how it is wrapped. According to, cooking or freezing uncooked poultry, fish, ground meat, and various types of meats is recommended within two days after purchase, while beef, veal, lamb, and pork are recommended for three to five days.

Why is it bad to refreeze ground beef?

Ground beef that has been frozen and securely thawed (in the refrigerator) may be refrozen. While doing this more than once would result in freezer damage and a loss of flavor and texture when the meat is cooked, we do not advise doing it.

How long can thawed ground beef stay in fridge?

The process of thawing occurs when a frozen object warms up and turns into a soft substance. Foods that are thawing in the refrigerator are edible throughout this time. After the meat has completely defrosted, it is advisable to utilize it within 5 days to avoid compromising the meat’s quality.

Can I put defrosted meat back in the fridge?

According to the USDA, once thawed meat can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days before being cooked. However, it’s perfectly fine to store your defrosted meat back in the refrigerator if you’re no longer in the mood to cook it. Then, when you’re ready to prepare it, you can re-defrost it.

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