The versatility and affordability of ground beef make it a good protein to always have on hand for dishes like American Goulash or burger patties.
But, there is one drawback to having ground beef on hand.
It has a short shelf life and won’t last very long, especially when opened.
Uncooked ground beef should only be kept in the fridge for one to two days.
To attempt to increase the shelf life of your ground beef, there are a few extra steps you may take.
First, the shelf life of the ground beef you buy will necessarily depend on the quality of the meat.
Your best option is to buy premium beef for ground beef with the longest shelf life.
Then, check to see if the refrigerator is set to the right temperature.
The USDA recommends keeping refrigerators at 40°F or lower.
The refrigerator’s temperature is crucial for preserving food quality and reducing bacterial growth.
The United States Department of Agriculture states that cooked meats will be kept in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
Ground beef must be frozen if you want it to stay fresh for longer than a few days.
The shelf life of ground beef is 3 to 4 months when maintained in the freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
If you want to prevent freezer burn, wrap ground beef in freezer-safe plastic bags, heavy-duty aluminum foil, or freezer wrap while it is still in its original packaging.
Putting the ground beef in a freezer-safe bag and adding a date label is an option if the packaging has already been opened.
Can You Eat Ground Beef After 5 Days?
Most beef marketed in the United States is ground at 62%.
But because of the way meat is ground, a bigger surface area of the ground beef is exposed to potentially dangerous microorganisms.
It will, therefore, likely spoil more quickly than other beef cuts.
Ground beef can be safely kept in the fridge and should be consumed within two days after purchase.
Eating ground beef after two days in the fridge is risky, but some premium cuts of beef can still be safe to eat after 5 days.
However, always proceed with caution if you think the beef has expired.
Every year, roughly 1 in 6 Americans get food poisoning.
Food poisoning can occur when food is contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or parasites or when it contains toxins such as mercury or pesticides.
Poor cooked or handled beef can contain harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella.
These bacteria can cause severe gastrointestinal illness, including vomiting and diarrhea.
That’s why it’s so important to be careful when handling and cooking beef.
If you’re not sure whether the beef is safe to eat, it’s better to err on the side of caution and throw it away.
Beef should be kept only for up to two days in the fridge.
If you want to keep your beef longer, it’s best to freeze it. Frozen beef can last four months in the freezer.
To store your ground beef safely, adhere to the four recommendations provided by the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture to prevent contracting foodborne illnesses.
- To keep everything clean, wash surfaces and hands thoroughly.
- While preparing and storing, keep raw meat separate from other foods.
- Make sure all food is cooked thoroughly and for the appropriate length of time at the appropriate temperature.
- Food should be quickly and appropriately chilled or frozen once back from the grocery store.
To keep ground beef safe, ensure their freezer and refrigerator are set at the proper temperature.
The refrigerator should be no higher than 40°F (4°C).
How Do You Know When Ground Beef Goes Bad?
Many people’s diets may include ground beef as a staple due to its versatility.
But because it ages more quickly than other kinds of meat, it can spoil the flavor and make people ill.
You can tell whether ground beef is bad by the odor, texture, and color.
Simply smelling the ground beef might indicate whether it has gone rotten.
Normal, secure, fresh ground beef shouldn’t smell bad or overpowering.
A powerful stench may develop due to multiplied bacteria that make the food unsafe to eat.
It’s important to remember that dangerous microorganisms may not always smell bad.
Therefore, even if there isn’t a strong scent, but the beef is displaying other signs that it has gone bad, it is still advisable to discard the meat.
Examining the color of the meat is one easy technique to tell whether ground beef has been ruined or is still safe to eat.
Ground beef that is of good quality and has not been spoiled should be a bright red color.
This results in vivid red color on the meat surface as oxymyoglobin, a type of meat pigment, reacts with oxygen from the air.
Most of the time, oxymyoglobin oozes out of flesh in a red liquid.
The meat’s interior may be greyish brown since it has probably not yet interacted with oxygen, but it is still safe to consume.
However, throw away ground beef if the outside of the flesh is grey or brown.
This discoloration indicates that it has begun to deteriorate.
You can also feel the texture of the meat to determine whether it is rotten.
Safe ground beef should have a relatively firm texture that crumbles when squeezed.
However, a slimy or sticky feel could be a sign of microorganisms that cause deterioration.
This could be caused by bacteria that produce ropy slime.
By releasing volatile chemicals, this bacteria has the potential to make the surface of the flesh slimy.
Most food goods do typically have an expiration date since there are regional regulations governing these dates.
Although many products may have a “best before” label, the FDA prefers to use the term “best if used by” to avoid misunderstandings.
Labels like “best before” only describe how long the food will probably retain its quality and flavor, not its safety.
Discarding products after their “best before” date is not always necessary, provided that the meat is stored carefully and securely.
Ground beef that has been refrigerated is safe to eat for up to two days after this time.
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.