How Long After Use By Date is Ground Beef Good (And Why)?

Exact Answer: After 2 days

Every item we purchase today comes with three types of date, best before date, Use-by date, and Sell-by date but we still confuse to find out what they mean. The Use By Date is the last date to consider the peak quality of food. Though you can consume your food after the Use by Date, the quality slowly starts to degrade once the date has passed.

In simple terms, if you are too much concerned about the quality, Use By Date is the main thing to consider where the product is no longer safe to consume. Freezing and cooking are the ways to increase the quality of the food.

How Long After Use By Date is Ground Beef Good?

There is a huge difference between ‘Use by’ and ’Eat by’. When the ground beef is frozen, its life extends beyond this date.  As the Use-by date indicates the quality, you can have ground beef within 24 to 48 hours after the use-by date if it is preserved properly in the refrigerator at 40 degrees F or below then it.

In few cases, the ground beef gets spoiled though freezes at sufficient temperature. So, it is always good to check it once before consuming. The key factors like sour smell, texture, and brownish-gray color indicated that the beef is completely spoiled. The best practice is to store it in the refrigerator for making maximum use of it. Ground beef may last up to 3 months when it is preserved in the freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below it.

Few procedures should be followed to keep it in the freezer like, up above the original package, it should be wrapped with plastic wrap, freezer paper, or aluminum foil of heavy-duty or can also be placed in a freezer-safe plastic bag to avoid the burn of the freezer. If it is opened already, ground beef should be immediately transferred to the freezer-safe bag and along with a label of date.

Sell by and expiration dates are additional information given regarding the quality and safety of ground beef. You may still use the ground beef after 1 to 3 days of the sell-by date if it is properly reserved. Whereas expiration date or “best before” date tells the nearest date of when the product starts to spoil. In case of expiration date too, it lasts for 4 months and can eat for 2 days after the date if stores properly.

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In summary,

Type of beefRefrigeratorFreezer
Fresh and ground beef1-2 days6-8 months
Comed beef2 weeks6-7 months
Uncooked
Type of BeefRefrigeratorFreezer
Fresh and ground beef7 days6-8 months
Comed beef10 days6-8 months
Cooked

Why It Is Necessary to Discard After Use By Date?

The growth of Bacteria is the main factor to consider in the case of products like beef and fish. When the ground beef is expired, it starts to harbor a few dangerous bacteria upon it which may even lead to death if consumed. The rate of decay largely depends on the temperature at which it was stored and the amount it gets to moisturize. As long as, it is outside, bacteria start to grow on it gradually. 

This is the reason, raw beef shouldn’t be left for a large amount of time outside of the refrigerator and quality starts to decline from the sell-by date so, it should be consumed as soon as possible. As time passes, though beef may not taste as good as it was initially, it will be safer to eat.  It is dangerous to consume after 3-4 days of Use by Date or Sell-date.

It is highly suggested to avoid tasting the ground beef while examining it because even a small bite of expired beef can cause food poisoning like vomiting, fever and sometimes lead to death. This can be riskier and tend to cause severe Illness to pregnant women, children of lower age, individual who have a weaker immune system. 

Expired ground beef cause staphylococcus, salmonella, and other illness. Generally, ground beef should be thrown, if left for more than 2 hours at room temperature where bacteria grows at a rapid rate. Try to examine it carefully, before having it for a meal.

Conclusion

Normally, Whole beef stays longer but ground beef has many surfaces and usually gets exposed to air due to which spoils rapidly. But still frozen one tends to be fine for little more days.

Always keep an eye on a sell-by date before buying it to keep it stored for longer days. It is generally present in eatable items like meats and ready-made salads. Check the smell and look before consuming it. In few cases, it looks good but may not be safe. Discarding it is the better option than risking your health for it.

References

  1. https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/48763/
  2. https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/37571/
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