how long can you store ground beef in the fridge

A package of ground beef can stay in the fridge for up to two days from the date of purchase, as recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. By day two, it’s best to either cook the ground beef or freeze it. Freezing ground beef is a great long-term solution, as it can last in the freezer for months.

Planning a barbecue involves a lot of preparation. Make sure your grilling skills match your ingredients — like fresh ground beef. Unsure how to store your beef to ensure freshness? We’ve got you covered.

How to Store Beef Patties

Proper storing of your beef patties is crucial to preserving freshness and minimizing bacteria. Use or freeze the meat within two days of purchasing. If refrigerating for quick use, keep your beef in its original packaging, because it’s designed to maximize the shelf life of the meat. If freezing, be sure to remove the beef from the store packaging and wrap it in Glad® Press’n Seal® to keep air out and freshness in. This step is important for preserving your beef patties.

Two examples of bacteria that may affect ground beef are spoilage bacteria and pathogenic bacteria. Spoilage bacteria are not generally harmful, but will cause food to lose quality. This may cause unpleasant odors or taste. Pathogenic bacteria are more dangerous. They may contaminate food and cause a foodborne illness, which can result in food poisoning.

People should ensure that their refrigerator and freezer are the correct temperature to keep their food safe. The refrigerator should be at or below 40°F (4°C) and the freezer at or below 0°F (-17°C).

People can also check the texture to see if meat is bad. Ground beef that is fine to consume should have a relatively firm consistency that breaks apart when a person squeezes it.

It is safe to store ground beef in the refrigerator for 1–2 days, and eat leftovers within 4 days. A person can store ground beef in the freezer for up to 4 months.

This is due to oxygen from the air reacting with meat pigments called oxymyoglobin to form a bright red color on the surface of the meat. Oxymyoglobin is typically the red liquid that leaks out of meat that many people may mistake for blood.

Fridge and Freezer Tips

The refrigerator and freezer are definitely your friends when storing the ground beef you purchase. When you’re preparing to use your ground beef after freezing, make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator to keep it cold. Raw meat can be stored in the refrigerator for one to two days and kept frozen up to four months.

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For safe meat preparation, reference the USDA website.

A package of ground beef can stay in the fridge for up to two days from the date of purchase, as recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. By day two, it’s best to either cook the ground beef or freeze it. Freezing ground beef is a great long-term solution, as it can last in the freezer for months.

FAQ

Can I eat ground beef after 5 days in fridge?

It is safe to store ground beef in the refrigerator for 1–2 days, and eat leftovers within 4 days. A person can store ground beef in the freezer for up to 4 months. When cooking ground beef, the minimum internal temperature as measured with a food thermometer is 160°F (71°C).

How long can you leave raw ground beef in the fridge?

The refrigerator and freezer are definitely your friends when storing the ground beef you purchase. When you’re preparing to use your ground beef after freezing, make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator to keep it cold. Raw meat can be stored in the refrigerator for one to two days and kept frozen up to four months.

How do you know when ground beef has gone bad?

Touch the ground beef. If it’s slimy, that’s not normal. Smell and visually examine at your ground beef, and if it’s brown or an off odor, those could be signs that your ground beef is spoiled. Always remember — when in doubt, throw it out!

How long can ground beef stay in the fridge past date?

A sell-by date tells the retailer how long a product can be displayed for sale. Ground beef can be refrigerated and safely eaten up to 2 days past this date. Meanwhile, the expiration date — also labeled as “best before” — tells you when the product will likely start going bad.

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