Turkey is a meat that comes from the turkey itself. Like any other food, turkey is no stranger when it comes to food storage.
If stored properly and at the right temperature, turkey can last up to 6 days in the fridge. However, the USDA recommends consuming cooked turkey within 3-4 days under 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less.
Read to know more on how to store turkey.
How Long Does Uncooked Turkey Last In The Fridge?
A whole, uncooked turkey can last in the fridge for up to four days. If you’re planning on cooking the turkey within that time frame, it’s best to keep it in the coldest part of your fridge. If you won’t be cooking the turkey within four days, you can freeze it.
It is usually agreed that you should not leave the meat of an uncooked turkey in your refrigerator for more than 1-2 days. Cooked turkey and other cooked meats should not be kept in the refrigerator for more than 3 to 4 days unless they are otherwise preserved or vacuum sealed.
Cooked ground turkey can stay refrigerated for up to 1 to 2 days and will still be fine to eat. A thawed turkey can stay stored in the fridge (at or below 40 degrees F) for up to 4 days before cooking. If you are planning on cooking the turkey on the day that it is thawed, it may need to be stored in the fridge for 1-2 days. Once you have thawed the turkey, the turkey can be stored for four more days before it needs to be cooked.
How to Thaw Frozen Turkey?
The best way to thaw your frozen turkey is in the fridge, but you can also thaw it in cold water. In the fridge, it takes longer than it would if you were to thaw your turkey in the microwave or use cold water. If you thaw the turkey using cold water, you should not keep it in the refrigerator at all; it should be cooked right away.
|Cooked Turkey||3-4 days|
|Cooked Ground Turkey||1-2 days|
If your turkey has been in the refrigerator longer than two days, you might decide that it is safer not to eat it. You should never leave a turkey that has been thawed in the refrigerator longer than two days, or it could begin to develop harmful bacteria. Do not worry about starting too soon; fully thawed turkey can be stored safely in the fridge for an additional one to two days after being completely thawed. A turkey may thaw safely in the fridge, and you may indeed safely re-freeze it if your plans change during these two days.
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Always re-wrap your turkey before returning it to the refrigerator, and do not leave it outside of the refrigerator too long in between uses. When ready to defrost, store the frozen turkey in its plastic wrap, and put it on a rack-like tray or in the oven, so that any juices will not get all over the refrigerator. You can cook your frozen ground turkey by letting it sit overnight in the refrigerator and using it the following day.
If you cooked your ground turkey and wish to keep it cooked, it will keep for 3 or 4 days if properly stored in a fridge. If you have just bought some turkey from the store, and it seems like its flavor/texture is okay, you may wonder just how long it will keep good in the refrigerator. The amazing truth is ground turkey is still safe to eat for up to 1 year in the freezer, but it does lose flavor and freshness over time.
If you keep your ground turkey covered and cooked correctly, it is still okay, but only for 1 or 2 days, depending on the shelf life listed on your label. If your turkey has an expired shelf life date on the package, it is still safe to eat for 1-2 days as long as it is stored correctly in a cooler. The turkey should remain in the fridge through that date, provided that the packaging is not opened and that your fridge temperature is set to less than 40 degrees.
The raw turkey meat will keep fresh for up to 2 days when stored in the refrigerator, and one year, when stored in the freezer, (4 months when ground). Cooked turkeys can be stored safely in the freezer up to six months, though some will have passed their best by just two. Cooked turkey can be stored in covered containers, plastic bags, or aluminum foil for up to 4 days in the fridge, or up to 3 months in the freezer.
If you are storing cooked turkey (as opposed to raw), according to The Globe and Mail, it should keep well for two or three months in the freezer. As is usually the case, the fresh ground turkey should last for 2-4 days, while cooked ground turkey stored in the refrigerator will last 3-5 days, once you understand how to properly store it. According to The Kitchn, all raw, ground meats (including turkey) should be cooked within two days, aiming for the most freshness. Fully cooked, smoked, and roasted turkeys should thaw in the fridge, not on the counter.
Once cooked, you should keep turkey leftovers in the fridge for up to a couple of hours, then chill. Yes, you can freeze a cooked turkey – but you will want to thaw it and use it within a couple of months, not years. In a freezer, it takes about 24 hours for each 4 to 5 pounds of whole turkey that are frozen to fully defrost.
Everyone will make their own judgments about what is safe to eat or not, but the standard for a turkey kept in the fridge is up to two days after the meat has completely defrosted, and if you keep it longer than that, you are risking bacteria consumption. In an abundance of caution, turkey that has been allowed to thaw does not last long before it starts acquiring harmful bacteria, which can cause food poisoning. If you are concerned about this, throwing it away is probably best.
If you are not expecting to make jerky from thawed turkey in this timeframe, then you should put your turkey into the freezer. While it may seem counterproductive to purchase a fresh turkey only to put it into the freezer, you may not have any other option unless you plan on cooking it immediately. We would suggest cooking it soon after bringing it home, ideally within one day.
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A quick online search shows most sources advocate keeping a fresh turkey breast in the fridge no longer than 1 to 2 days before cooking or freezing. That means that if you are looking to use a fresh turkey for next Thanksgiving, you would have to make arrangements to get your birds by Tuesday at the latest. Cooked turkey, chicken, and duck (in case you are making a turducken) last for three or four days in the fridge, according to Foodsafety.gov, a popular resource for information on food safety from numerous public health agencies and organizations.
Can I keep an uncooked turkey in the fridge for a week?
Preserve the turkey in its original packaging. Put it on a tray so that any juices that may spill may be caught. A thawed turkey can be stored in the fridge for one to two days. A turkey that has been thoroughly defrosted in the fridge can be frozen again if required.
Is turkey still good after 5 days in the fridge?
The majority of food authorities advise that you consume any leftover turkey within four days of refrigeration. At least on well-preserved goods, dangerous bacteria often wait longer to start developing. After four days, the meat can start to develop mold and other growths that could make you sick.
How long does store-bought turkey last?
Keep turkey meat in the refrigerator in airtight containers or securely wrapped in plastic wrap or aluminum foil after opening to extend shelf life as much as possible. A turkey meat package that has been opened can be kept in the fridge for 5 to 7 days if it is properly preserved.
- USDA recommends consuming cooked turkey within 3-4 days under 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less.
- A whole, uncooked turkey can last in the fridge for up to four days.
- Always re-wrap your turkey before returning it to the refrigerator.
- Turkey that has been allowed to thaw does not last long, it starts acquiring harmful bacteria, which can cause food poisoning.
- A thawed turkey can be stored in the fridge for one to two days.
- Consume any leftover turkey within four days of refrigeration.
- A turkey meat package can be preserved within 5 to 7 days.