Can you eat steak 2 days after the use-by date?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you eat steak 2 days after the use-by date” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can eat a steak that is past the use-by date. 

Can you eat steak 2 days after the use-by date?

Before deciding whether or not you can eat a steak that is past its use-by date, you first have to know what is a use-by date.

So the use-by date refers to the date that is marked on the packaging of the perishable food commodities and it refers to the time by which you should consume that food. 

According to USDA, you should consume your steak before the use-by date but whether or not you are going to eat a properly stored steak (stored at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit the whole time) that is 2 days past the use-by date mainly depends upon your decision (you should do a sensory evaluation of steak).  

No doubt that the steak that is 2 days past the use-by date would be a bit hard or chewy and won’t taste as fresh but it is still safe to use as long as your sensory evaluation says so.

Moreover, when it comes to the use-by date then you can use the steak that is past this date provided that it was already stored properly in the freezer (before the use-by date).

Certain indicators point out bad steak, therefore you should consider the color, texture, and smell of your steak to reach a final verdict whether it is still suitable to consume or if it has gone bad.

Color 

If you can notice that the color of the steak has changed to grey-green then it is the indication that your steak is past its prime time.

Texture 

If you feel something slimy or gooey while touching the steak then it means that your steak has gone bad and it is better to discard it. 

But keep one thing in mind that rinsing the steak won’t help you in this scenario as you won’t be able to get rid of the bacteria. Rather rinsing the bacteria-laden steak will put you at risk of cross-contamination as the bacteria will spread in the utensils and other food items that will come in contact with the water from the steak that has gone bad.

It is worth mentioning that you should wash your hands thoroughly after touching the bacteria-laden steak or else the bacteria will transfer from your hands to any other thing that comes in contact with your hands.

Smell 

If you smell something acidic or sour while taking a sniff test of your steak then it means that your steak has gone bad and you should discard it.  

Thus, you should consider the points discussed above while deciding whether or not you are going to devour a steak that is 2 days past the use-by date.

Moreover, the way you have stored your steak also impacts the shelf life of the steak. 

For instance, if your steak was stored for more than 2 hours at room temperature (or more than 1 hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit) then it is better to discard it as bacteria grow best at 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and there are chances of your steak to be already bacteria-laden in this case.

Health implications of eating bad steak

Steak if on one hand is a rich source of protein, on the other hand, it is also a highly perishable commodity that can be attacked by bacteria quickly which can degrade its quality.

So if due to any reason, bacteria somehow found their way to your steak and have spoiled it then the best thing you should do is to discard it.

The most common case that you can see regarding the consumption of bad steak is the incidence of food poisoning. 

As the steak belongs to the meat group that is a highly perishable food commodity and can have E.coli, Salmonella, Enterobacteriaceae, Lactobacillus spp., Leuconostoc spp., Pseudomonas spp., Shewanella putrefaciens, or Staphylococcus present in it which can cause food poisoning which is characterized by abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.

  1. Diarrhea is an indication of the body that a certain obnoxious agent has entered it. So consumption of bad steak or bacteria-laden steak often causes diarrhea.
  1. Food poisoning after consuming a bad steak is characterized by abdominal pain. Abdominal pain is also accompanied by vomiting and nausea in most cases.
  1. If you have consumed a steak that has microbial growth in it then you will experience nausea and vomiting which is the natural defense of the body to get rid of the unwanted harmful substance that has entered the body.
  1. Consuming a steak that has gone bad will also raise your body temperature and you can experience fever which is the natural defense mechanism of your body and is the indicator that something is off with your body.

Therefore you should immediately take medical help and try to drink as much water as possible so that while the body is getting rid of the toxins in form of diarrhea and vomiting, the water that you drink will protect your body against dehydration that vomiting can otherwise result in.

You can read how to cook a steak here.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you eat steak 2 days after the use-by date” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can eat a steak that is past the use-by date. 

Citations

https://www.eatingwell.com/article/80518/do-food-expiration-dates-really-mean-anything/#:~:text=For%20sell%2Dby%20dates%20that,5%20weeks%20past%20the%20date).

https://www.quora.com/Are-steaks-still-safe-to-eat-one-day-after-the-use-by-date

https://www.livestrong.com/article/441979-can-you-eat-meat-after-sell-by-date/

https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/food-expiration-dates-should-you-eat/

https://oureverydaylife.com/what-happens-if-you-cook-steak-a-day-after-the-sell-by-date-12629905.html

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

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