how long is ground beef good for cooked

USDA recommends using cooked beef within 3 to 4 days, kept refrigerated (40°F or less). Refrigeration slows but does not stop bacterial growth. USDA recommends using cooked leftovers within 3 to 4 days.

Questions about “ground meat” or “hamburger” have always been in the top five food topics of calls to the The U.S. Department of Agricultures (USDA) Meat and Poultry Hotline. Here are the most frequently asked questions and information about why ground beef requires careful handling.

How to Store Cooked Beef

Cooked beef should be stored in the refrigerator. It will cool more quickly if big pieces are cut into smaller ones, or if it is spread out on a baking sheet.

Once its no longer hot, wrap the meat tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it. Its best to refrigerate the meat as quickly as possible, and definitely within two hours of cooking. If meat is left at a temperature of 40 degrees F or warmer for longer than two hours, harmful bacteria can multiply quickly.

Once refrigerated, cooked beef should be eaten within three to four days, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Cooked beef can be stored in the freezer for a longer window of time. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, making sure there is as little air as possible in contact with the meat. Its a good idea to place the wrapped meat in a zip-top freezer bag to further protect against freezer burn, and be sure to label the contents and the date.

According to the USDA, cooked beef will keep in the freezer for two to three months; after that it may still be safe to eat but the texture and flavor may begin to deteriorate.

Call Our Hotline For help with meat, poultry, and egg products, call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline:

Questions about “ground meat” or “hamburger” have always been in the top five food topics of calls to the The U.S. Department of Agricultures (USDA) Meat and Poultry Hotline. Here are the most frequently asked questions and information about why ground beef requires careful handling.

What’s the best way to handle raw ground beef when shopping?

At the store, choose a package that feels cold and is not torn. If possible, place the package in a plastic bag so leaking juices wont drip on other foods. Make ground beef one of the last items to go into your shopping cart. Separate raw meat from ready-cooked items in your cart. Have the clerk place the raw ground beef in a separate bag.

Plan to drive directly home from the grocery store. You may want to bring a cooler with ice for perishables.

USDA recommends using cooked beef within 3 to 4 days, kept refrigerated (40°F or less). Refrigeration slows but does not stop bacterial growth. USDA recommends using cooked leftovers within 3 to 4 days.

FAQ

Is cooked ground beef good after 5 days?

It’s generally recommended to consume cooked ground beef within 3 to 4 days if it has been refrigerated. After 7 days, there is an increased risk of bacterial growth and potential foodborne illness. It’s best to err on the side of caution and discard the ground beef to avoid any potential health issues.

Is ground beef good after 7 days in the fridge?

Raw ground beef will only last in the fridge for one or two days before it goes bad. Cooked ground beef, as with any leftover cooked ground meat, lasts for three to four days in the fridge.

Can I eat 4 day old ground beef?

Like most foods found on the perimeter of the supermarket, ground beef is super perishable. It can go rancid quickly, so you don’t want to wait too long to cook or freeze it. You really only have about two days to use ground beef before it starts to spoil, according to the USDA.

How long is cooked taco meat good for?

Say you’ve cooked up a pound of ground beef for taco night, how long will that last you in the fridge? Like all leftovers, cooked meats will last in the refrigerator for three to four days, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

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