How long does ground beef keep in the fridge?

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

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

How long does ground beef keep in the fridge?

According to USDA, ground beef can be kept in the fridge for approximately 1-2 days as long as the safety standards are maintained.

Beef belongs to the meat food group and is a highly perishable commodity. There is a great risk of bacterial contamination if this food item is not stored and afterward cooked appropriately.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that you should always read the labels for the best before the date of the store-bought ground beef.

How long does ground beef keep in the freezer?

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

You can read more about cold food storage here.

How long does ground beef keep at room temperature?

Ground beef lasts for about 2 hours when kept at room temperature. You should discard the ground beef 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°F and 140°F, therefore there are greater chances of the raw ground beef being already contaminated with bacteria when left out for more than 2 hours.

What is the optimum temperature to store ground beef?

You should always store your ground beef 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 beef at a lower temperature.

Does ground beef has a higher risk of bacterial contamination?

The beef itself is a highly perishable food time and when it is ground, its overall surface area increases. As the surface area of ground beef 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 beef, also increases.

How to vacuum seal the ground beef?

You can also opt for vacuum sealing at home that involves the process of putting the ground beef 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 beef. As air has moisture and oxygen in it that favors bacterial growth, so by removing air, raw ground beef can retain its freshness for a long time.

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

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

Tips to store ground beef properly

  1. The ground beef 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 beef for a long time.
  2. It is a good practice to store the raw ground beef on the shelf of the fridge rather than the door as there is a lot of temperature fluctuation at the door of the fridge.
  3. It is best practice to store the raw ground beef on the lowest shelf of the fridge to eliminate any chances of its dripping on any other food item.
  4. Refrigerate the raw ground beef promptly at or below  40°F. 
  5. If you want to freeze the ground beef it is better to wrap it in the aluminum foil or freezer bag before putting it in air-tight heavy-duty freezer containers.

Conclusion

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

Citations

https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/16508

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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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