How long does roast beef last in the fridge? (3 Tips)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “How long does roast beef last in the fridge?”. We will look at the shelf-life of roast beef in the fridge the and proper way to store roast beef in the fridge. Then, we study meat science in detail and consider the factors that make roast beef spoil. 

How long does roast beef last in the fridge?

Roast beef lasts in the fridge for 3-5 days. Cooked meats generally have a shelf-life of anywhere between 3-5 days.

Food that is stored in the fridge must be properly covered at all times to prevent spoilage by microorganisms and the flavor of other foods from spoiling your roast beef.

Beef and meat items must be stored in the lower parts of the fridge. 

Do not store meat in the door compartment as the temperature is insufficient to protect such highly perishable food.

Beef is a good source of protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B. Red meat provides you with essential nutrients when eaten as part of a balanced diet. Roast beef is often served at parties and events. The delicacy is cooked in the oven where the temperature needs to be closely monitored. Roast beef generally takes around 3 hours to be well-done, but it is definitely worth the wait.

What makes your roast beef spoil?

 Meat is mostly water and highly nutritious, which means that it is a haven for bacterial growth 

Hence, it is likely to spoil sooner if it wasn’t refrigerated or handled properly.

 Meat is usually attacked by Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp., Listeria; these microorganisms thrive at a slower pace if the ground meat was handled carefully. 

When you freeze, the bacteria become inactive; hence your meat lasts longer. Freezing beef is always a safe bet because the microbial activity has completely halted. 

However, if the beef was subjected to certain adverse conditions such as hot temperature; or an exposed environment; your meat quality and safety are at stake.

If you refrigerate your roast beef you can expect to consume it safely until the sell-by date or even a few days after.

Refrigeration is not as efficient as freezing is when it comes to conserving the shelf life of meat. Refrigeration works best if you intend to consume your roast beef sooner or later.

What conditions compel you to discard Roast Beef?

If you left meat at room temperature for more than 2 hours, you might need to throw it away. Room temperature or higher encourages bacterial growth that can cause food poisoning and make a person sick.

The quality of cooked beef deteriorates as the sell-by date approaches, but it gives off signs when it is about to spoil.  Throw it away if you observe off-odor, moldy or slimy texture.

If you observe any of the three following signs, it means your roast beef has spoilt: 

  • a Greyish-brown color
  • a sticky or slimy texture
  • an off-odor

Let us discuss some measures you could take to ensure that the roast beef lasts for as long as it can.

  • After you prepare the roast beef it should be refrigerated immediately or within 2 hours. 
  • You can also freeze your roast to ensure freshness for a longer period. Roast beef in the freezer will last for four months.
  • Put in an air-tight container to prevent ambient microorganisms from coming in contact with the roast beef. 

You could also use aluminum or plastic foil to wrap up your roast beef and prevent ambient microorganisms from coming in contact with it. Wrapping ensures maximum safety and quality of any food quality.

Meat, including beef, is a perishable commodity that requires careful handling. Meat is home to microorganisms that can cause food poisoning. It is advised to store meat at low temperatures as room temperature can cause your meat to spoil prematurely. Therefore, it has been deemed necessary to care for meat-based products such as roast beef.

Other FAQs about Beef which you may be interested in.

How long can thawed beef stay in the fridge?

Can you cook frozen beef?

Can you put raw ground beef in a slow cooker?

Can roast beef spoil in the fridge?

There are two different kinds of bacteria; Pathogenic bacteria and spoilage bacteria. Pathogenic bacteria are capable of making a person sick, while the spoilage bacteria cause food to deteriorate.

Spoilage bacteria can grow even in the food that is in a refrigerator. These bacteria cause food to develop unpleasant attributes such as odor and taste.

According to USDA, the temperature of 40 F to 140 F is labeled as The Danger Zone. This range of temperature encourages bacterial growth.  Spoilage is usually a quality issue in its initial stage and does not cause illness. However, gradually the food becomes a complete hazard.

In this brief guide, we answered the question, “How long does roast beef last in the fridge?”. We looked at the shelf-life of roast beef in the fridge and the proper way to store roast beef in the fridge. Then, we studied meat science in detail and considered the factors that make roast beef spoil. 


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.