How Long To Keep Ground Beef In The Fridge
Ground beef can last in the fridge for up to two days. However, if you plan on eating it after that, it is important to cook it within that time frame. Cooking ground beef that has been in the fridge for more than two days is not recommended.
According to The Food Network, raw ground meat needs to sit in a refrigerator for one to two days, after which it needs to be frozen or cooked. Cooked ground beef will keep 3-4 days in the refrigerator, while you can keep ground beef in the freezer up to 4 months. If you promptly cool the ground beef after cooking (within two hours, an hour if it is over 90degF), you can refrigerate it safely for around three to four days. Cooked ground beef is best kept in the refrigerator for three to four days, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), because although refrigeration keeps germs from growing rapidly, refrigeration does not completely keep them out.
Like any leftovers, cooked meat lasts three to four days in the refrigerator, according to the USDA. If you have leftovers that include cooked meats or poultry, they will keep well in the fridge for 3 to four days, while they will last 2 to 6 months in the freezer. Meat, pork, fish, and chicken leftovers (including chili and stew) can safely last for up to three or four days in an airtight container in the fridge. For example, raw steaks can be stored up to five days in the fridge, and up to 12 months in the freezer.
You can safely store big cuts of meat in the refrigerator for 3-5 days once you have got it home, before cooking it or freezing it. Larger cuts–like roasts, steaks, and cuts–can last slightly longer, but you will want to use within five days. Whole cuts of meat — cuts, roasts — will last for an additional 3-5 days in the fridge before being cooked. Most non-cooked meat, regardless of cut, can remain refrigerated for three to five days without spoiling.
Beef will stay fresh and safe for up to 2 days past the date of use on the package, provided that meat has been kept refrigerated all along. If meat goes directly from freezer to fridge, it does not go into dangerous temperature zones, so it is not at risk for spoilage. As long as ground meat is not opened and has been kept refrigerated at all times, you can use it safely one to two days after you buy it. Raw ground beef will retain its best quality for about 3 to 4 months in the freezer when stored correctly, though it will stay safe longer.
If you are planning on keeping your ground beef longer than up to two weeks, you may want to cover the original packaging from your store with foil or a freezer-safe bag to prevent air from getting inside. If you do not have freezer bags, freezing beef in the original package is fine too, just be sure to double-wrap the package with aluminum foil to keep it from burning in the freezer.
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The reason for taking the beef out of its original beef packing and laying flat before freezing is easy. There is an argument that saying you are making mince thinner and increasing the surface area you are increasing your risk of freezer burn, but as long as you are properly protecting your mince, it should be no problem. I would NOT recommend using plastic containers for your ground beef freezer storage, as the additional space would fill up with air which could rapidly cause freezer burn on your meat. You can either keep your ground beef in it is original package in the fridge, or wrap the meat in plastic wrap before placing in a sealed container.
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If you want the frozen ground beef to thaw faster, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you can use your microwaves defrost setting or put the meat into a sealed plastic bag and immerse in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes. If you need the beef fast, you can thaw it either in your microwave or in a running stream of cold water. If you need the frozen beef to be thawed more quickly, then you can place it into a zip-lock plastic bag and immerse it in cold water for one to three hours, or until it is thawed.
The USDA says as long as you defrost meat in a cooler, and you do not leave it there longer than two days, it is safe to re-freeze. Raw meat that is frozen and has been allowed to thaw in a freezer can be refrozen for one to two days after being removed from the freezer, as long as you are not planning on cooking it immediately.
Cooked meat needs to be refrozen three to four days, provided that it is never left outside of the refrigerator longer than two hours, according to USDA. Ground meat, poultry, and fish should be used within one or two days, and beef, pork, lamb, and veal should be consumed within three to five days. For raw ground meat, such as pork, beef, hamburger, lamb, veal, venison, or raw poultry, such as chicken, ground turkey, and so forth, cook or freeze the raw ground meat within one to two days.
Raw poultry, such as chicken, turkey, game chicken, duck, etc., may be stored safely in the fridge for 1-2 days. According to U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines, raw chicken can be stored in the fridge only for approximately 1-2 days.
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As explained by the USDA, bacteria proliferate quickly in the danger zone — temperatures from 40-140 degrees Fahrenheit, which is why it is essential that you use your ground meat ASAP to keep dangerous bacteria, such as e.coli, from growing. Ground beef that is not cooked, that is contaminated with the meats raw juices, or left out at room temperature for hours may encourage the bacteria to grow. Long-term storage of beef may lead it to become spoiled, smell bad, and be sticky to the touch. First, the quality of ground beef that you purchase will inevitably impact its storage life (or how long food can be stored before the quality worsens).
How can you tell if ground beef is bad?
Grab hold of the ground meat. It’s not typical if it’s greasy. If the ground beef is discolored or has an unpleasant odor, sniff it and look at it to determine whether it is ruined. Always keep in mind, If there is any uncertainty, toss it.
Is ground beef good 4 days after the sell-by date?
According to the way it has been handled, you may often utilize ground beef 1 to 3 days after the sell-by date. You should attempt to utilize the meat as quickly as you can since quality starts to deteriorate on the sell-by date. Foods with mold, an unpleasant smell, or a slippery appearance are symptoms of deterioration and should not be used.