How long can ground meat stay in the fridge?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long can ground meat stay in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of ground meat in different mediums. Moreover, we are going to discuss the easy way to do vacuum sealing at home and the tips to store ground meat properly.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How long can ground meat stay in the fridge?

According to USDA, raw ground meat can be kept in the fridge for approximately 1-2 days as long as the safety standards are maintained. On the other hand, cooked ground meat stays good in the fridge for about 3-4 days.

The meat itself is a highly perishable food item and when it is ground, its overall surface area increases. As the surface area of ground meat is increased, therefore there is more space for bacteria to spread on. Moreover, during the mincing and grounding process, the bacteria that were otherwise present on the surface of the meat now gets mixed throughout the whole mixture and the rate of contamination, as well as degradation of ground meat, also increases.

What is the optimum temperature to store ground meat?

You should always store your ground meat at 40°F or below. Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40°F and 140°F, therefore it is always advised to store your ground meat at a lower temperature.

How long does ground meat keep at room temperature?

Cooked as well as raw ground meat lasts for about 2 hours when left out of the fridge at room temperature. 

You should discard the ground meat that has been left in open for more than 2 hours as bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore there are greater chances of the ground meat being already contaminated with bacteria when left out for more than 2 hours.

Moreover, if the temperature of the surroundings is about 90 degrees Fahrenheit, then the process of spoilage takes place at a faster pace and it is recommended to discard ground meat that is left out in the open for more than an hour at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Other FAQs about Ground meat which you may be interested in.

Which is the best blender for pureeing meat?

How long does ground meat keep in the freezer?

Raw ground meat lasts for about 3-4 months if kept in an air-tight container, plastic freezer bag, or heavy-duty freezer containers in the freezer. 

Cooked ground meat if kept in an air-tight container or air-tight plastic freezer bag can last for up to 4 months in the freezer

Thus keeping the ground meat in the freezer will increase its shelf life considerably owing to the cool temperature of the freezer that halts the bacterial growth on the ground meat.

How long does ground meat last after being frozen and thawed?

Frozen raw ground meat if thawed in the refrigerator can stay there for 1-2 days before cooking. But if you thaw your ground meat in a bowl of cold water or the microwave, it is advised to cook it immediately afterward. 

You can read about different types of ground beef here.

How to vacuum seal the ground meat?

You can also opt for vacuum sealing at home that involves the process of putting the ground meat in a plastic zipper bag, removing air from it, and almost sealing the bag with a little space left while lowering it into water. 

Afterward, press out the bubbles from the bag starting from the bottom of the bag and once you reach the sealed end, you should press the seal closed. 

The reason behind doing vacuum sealing is to ensure that there is minimum air present in the plastic zipper bag with the ground meat. As air has moisture and oxygen in it that favors bacterial growth, so by removing air, raw ground meat can retain its freshness for a long time.

You can also use a vacuum sealer pump to easily vacuum seal at home.

Tips to store ground meat properly

  1. The ground meat should be washed thoroughly before storing it in an air-tight container or bag in the fridge. Moreover, you can also opt for vacuum sealing for retaining the freshness of ground meat for a long time.
  1. It is a good practice to store the raw ground meat on the shelf of the fridge rather than the door as there is a lot of temperature fluctuation at the door of the fridge.
  1. It is best practice to store the raw ground meat on the lowest shelf of the fridge to eliminate any chances of its dripping on any other food item.
  1. Refrigerate the raw ground meat promptly at or below  40°F. 

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long can ground meat stay in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of ground meat in different mediums. Moreover, we discussed the easy way to do vacuum sealing at home and the tips to store ground meat properly.

Citations

https://www.foodsafety.gov/food-safety-charts/cold-food-storage-charts
https://www.allrecipes.com/article/how-long-does-ground-beef-last-in-the-fridge/
https://www.thekitchn.com/how-long-is-it-safe-to-keep-raw-meat-in-the-refrigerator-223122
https://steakschool.com/learn/how-long-does-beef-mince-last/

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.