When it comes to meal planning and grocery shopping, it’s important to know how long different types of food can last in the fridge. Ground beef is a staple ingredient in many dishes, but it can be difficult to know how long it’s safe to keep it in the fridge. In this article, we’ll answer the question, “how long does ground beef last in the fridge?” and provide some tips for safe storage.
First, it’s important to note that ground beef is a perishable food item. This means that it can spoil and become unsafe to eat if it’s not stored properly. According to the USDA, raw ground beef can be stored in the fridge for 1-2 days. Cooked ground beef can be stored for 3-4 days. However, these are just general guidelines and there are a few factors that can affect how long your ground beef will last in the fridge.
One of the most important factors is temperature. Ground beef should be stored at a temperature of 40°F or below to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Make sure your fridge is set to the right temperature and avoid keeping the ground beef in the door, as this is the warmest part of the fridge. Instead, store it on a shelf towards the back of the fridge where it’s colder.
Another important factor is packaging. Ground beef should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or placed in an airtight container to prevent air and moisture from getting in. This will help to slow down the growth of bacteria and prevent spoilage. If the ground beef is already in a package from the store, leave it in its original packaging until you’re ready to use it.
It’s also important to pay attention to the color and smell of your ground beef. Fresh ground beef should be bright red and have no odor. If it starts to turn brown or gray, or develops a bad smell, it’s likely spoiled and should be thrown out.
If you have ground beef that you don’t plan to use within a few days, it’s best to freeze it. Raw ground beef can be stored in the freezer for up to 4 months, while cooked ground beef can be stored for up to 3 months. Be sure to label the package with the date and type of meat so you can keep track of how long it’s been in the freezer.
In summary, ground beef is a perishable food item that should be stored properly to ensure its safety and prevent spoilage. Follow these tips for safe storage: store it at 40°F or below, wrap it tightly, pay attention to its color and smell, and freeze it if you’re not going to use it within a few days. By taking these precautions, you can enjoy delicious and safe ground beef in your meals.