Every kitchen has a meat thermometer in the drawer, yet for some reason, people are always confused about how long ground beef is good for in the fridge. So let’s find out?
What Is Ground Beef?
Ground beef is made from processing cuts of meat such as chuck, round, and sirloin. The meat is cut into pieces, which are then ground into small chunks before being packaged for sale to consumers. Meat processors use a variety of methods when creating their product lineups, but most companies use high-speed grinders that produce a consistent texture throughout each package. The types of meat used in these machines vary depending on what’s available at the time of production and what type of product the company wants to sell.
Health Benefits Of Ground Beef
Ground beef is a popular ingredient in many American households. It’s cheap and easy to make, plus it can be used in a variety of dishes. But does ground beef have any health benefits?
High in protein. A 3-ounce serving of ground beef provides about 21 grams of protein, which is about half of what you need each day.
Low in fat. Ground beef contains between 10 and 15 percent fat, which makes it a good choice for people who want to cut their overall fat intake.
Iron-rich food. Ground beef is an excellent source of iron, which transports oxygen throughout the body and helps maintain healthy blood cells and muscles.
Zinc-rich food. Zinc plays an important role in many bodily functions, including growth and wound healing. It also helps maintain healthy skin and immune function.
How Long Will It Last?
Ground beef is a staple in many households and restaurants, but it can be difficult to know how long ground beef lasts. To keep your ground beef safe to eat, you’ll need to store it properly and cook it thoroughly.
At Room Temperature
Ground beef is a perishable food, which means that it can spoil quickly if left out at room temperature for too long. If you place the meat in the refrigerator immediately after purchasing it, then it will last for about three days. You should always cook ground beef within two days of purchase or defrosted from frozen before cooking.
In The Fridge
The best way to keep ground beef safe is by storing it in the refrigerator as soon as possible after purchase or defrosting it from frozen. In the refrigerator, ground beef will last for up to one week if unopened and three to five days if opened and wrapped tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Ground beef that has been cooked may be stored safely in the refrigerator for up to three days before cooking again or freezing for later use.
If you cook ground beef and want to use it within two days, then store it in the refrigerator. Ideally, you should store it in the refrigerator within an hour after cooking it. If you want to store leftovers for longer than two days, then you should freeze them. Ground beef leftovers may be stored safely in the freezer for two to three months.
Freezing ground beef is a common way to preserve it for later use. In the freezer, ground beef will last up to three months before beginning to lose quality. However, if you plan to save it for longer than three months, then you should vacuum-seal or package the ground beef with an oxygen absorber to help keep it safe.
7 Visual Signs Of Ground Beef Has Gone Bad
The best way to tell if ground beef is spoiled is by looking for visual signs of spoilage on its surface. Spoilage can take many forms, including:
Ground beef should be a natural red color, like raw steak; if it turns brown or grayish-green, that’s a sign that it’s going bad.
Mold growth on ground beef is also a sign that it’s going bad and should be discarded immediately
3. Sour Odor
This is an indication that bacteria has begun growing on the meat and has begun producing lactic acid which causes this sour odor;
4. Soft Texture
If your ground beef feels soft or squishy when squeezed between your fingers then it is time to throw it out and get a new batch;
5. Chopped Off Flank Pieces
If you find any small chunks of meat in your ground beef then it is time to throw it out and get a new batch;
If you find any lumps or clumps of fat on the side or in the center of your ground beef then it is time to throw it out and get a new batch;
This is an indication that your ground beef may be spoiled if not cooked at temperatures above 160. It also means that you should not cook it if only slightly slimy because it will only get worse once cooked. It is best to dispose of this ground beef completely if it looks at all slimy;
The Lifespan Of Ground Beef In The Fridge. Red Flags To Look For
Ground beef is one of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen. It can be used to make burgers, meatloaf, meatballs, tacos, and more.
The lifespan of ground beef depends on whether it’s fresh or frozen and the temperature at which it’s stored.
1. Fresh Ground Beef
Fresh ground beef will last for three to five days in the refrigerator if stored properly. It can also be frozen for up to three months.
2. Frozen Ground Beef
Frozen ground beef can last up to 12 months in a freezer that is kept at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Check the package for the storage instructions.
3. High-Temperature Storage
Ground beef can be stored at temperatures between 140 degrees Fahrenheit and 165 degrees Fahrenheit for no more than a few hours before it begins to spoil. This can happen when ground beef is accidentally left out of its container or placed in the freezer before it’s completely frozen.
Handy Tips For Storing Ground Beef
Ground beef is a great go-to meal for your family. It’s versatile, easy to cook, and has tons of flavor. But you’ll want to take care when storing ground beef to ensure it stays fresh and delicious in your refrigerator.
Here are some storage tips for ground beef:
1. Keep It Cold
Ground beef should be stored in the refrigerator at temperatures between 32 degrees F and 40 degrees F. The lower end of that range is best because it keeps bacteria from growing as quickly. Ground beef should never be stored on the counter or at room temperature, even if it’s been cooked.
2. Don’t Mix
When storing raw ground beef, keep it away from other food items that could cross-contaminate it with bacteria or germs like raw eggs, poultry, or seafood. For example, don’t store raw ground beef on top of lettuce or tomatoes in your refrigerator or pantry shelves. This will make it easier to remember which foods are safe to eat and which ones aren’t if there were ever a recall on certain products that were stored together.
3. Use Within Two Days
Raw ground beef should be used within two days of purchase or cooking because most bacteria contaminate within that time frame according to the USDA Food Safety & Inspection Service.
4. Buy It Fresh
When purchasing your ground beef, look for fresh cuts with bright red coloration that are free of any discoloration or browning around the edges. Also, check the expiration date on the package to ensure your product has not been sitting on the shelf too long.
5. Store It Properly.
You can store your ground beef in either the refrigerator or freezer if you plan to use it within a few days or weeks respectively. Place it in an airtight container or zip-top bag with as little air as possible inside before sealing tightly shut with a piece of tape across the sealable edge
6. Keep It Clean
Wash hands with soap and warm water before handling raw ground beef. Wash utensils and cutting boards thoroughly after handling meat.
1. Is Ground Beef Bad For You If You Are Pregnant?
As a pregnant woman, you should avoid eating raw meats such as ground beef because they can carry harmful bacteria like listeria Monocytogenes which can cause severe illness during pregnancy including miscarriage, stillbirth, or brain damage to your unborn baby if consumed during pregnancy.
2. When Can I Use Ground Beef After The Expiration Date?
Ground beef is one of those foods that has a short shelf life and needs to be used within a week or so after purchase. However, there are several ways you can still use meat after its expiration date has passed.
3. How Do You Know When Ground Beef Is Done Cooking?
Cooking ground beef properly is important because undercooked ground beef can cause serious food poisoning if not handled properly after cooking it thoroughly. This means cooking your burgers all the way through until no pink remains.
4. When Is The Right Time To Eat Ground Beef
Ground beef is a staple in many diets, but it can be hard to know when the right time to eat ground beef is. It’s good to know that you can enjoy this popular protein source at any time of day!
5. When Is Ground Beef Considered Spoiled?
Ground beef must be cooked before it can cause food poisoning. However, if you freeze it after cooking and leave it in your freezer for longer than two weeks, then your frozen ground beef may become unsafe to eat.
As with many food items, the answer to “How long is ground beef good in the fridge?” will vary based on the way it is stored. Refrigerating your ground beef is an excellent way to preserve its flavor and quality for as long as possible.