How Long After Use by Date is Ground Turkey Good (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 Days

When the dark and light turkey meat is mixed together and is processed along with the fat and remaining skin, sometime later the ground form can be seen. This kind of turkey is known as ground turkey.



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As this type of turkey does not have a pink color or crumbly texture, most people are quite fond of it. In the ground turkey, its meat, skin, and fat are processed with the additives, after removing them from the bone.

How the ground turkey is made depends on its sale, expense, and availability. 

As ground turkey also includes vitamins, minerals, and fat, it is a popular substitute for ground beef. But people mostly use ground turkey, because it is considered to be healthier than ground beef.

This is because of its saturated fat content.

How Long After Use by Date is Ground Turkey Good

How Long After Use by Date is Ground Turkey Good?

Ground Turkey Kept In-After Use-by-Date
In Refrigerator3 – 4 Days
In Freezer1 Year

Ground turkey usually lasts for 2 days when kept in the refrigerator, before its use-by date. And if the ground turkey is kept inside a freezer, then it can last up to 3 – 4 months, while maintaining its best quality.

But you’ll be surprised to know that raw ground turkey is edible for some time even after its use-by date.

If the ground turkey is stored correctly, it is edible even after its expiration date. If you are keeping the ground turkey in the refrigerator, it can last up to 3 – 4 days.

But if you wish to taste the turkey in its best quality, it is recommended to eat it within 2 days after purchasing it. The ground turkey should be stored between 33°F to 40°F in the refrigerator.

Ground Turkey

But make sure to store it on that shelf of the refrigerator which is usually made for the meat.

To store the ground turkey for a longer period, you can keep it in the freezer. But you should remember that turkey should be kept inside the freezer before its expiration date passes, i.e., within 2 days after buying it.

The ground turkey maintains its best quality, when stored inside the freezer, for 3 – 4 months. After that, even though it is edible for up to a year, its quality will be compromised.

The ground turkey must be wrapped in aluminum foil and then kept inside a container that is freezer-specific. The temperature of the freezer must be 0°F or lower than that.

Why does Ground Turkey is Good for That Long After Use by Date?

If the ground turkey is stored properly, it can last for a longer period. But how exactly should a ground turkey be stored?

When storing in a refrigerator, place the ground turkey on a plate first instead of placing it directly in the refrigerator. This is to prevent any juices of the ground turkey to get into contact with other food.

If you’ve just purchased it, and have not yet opened the packaging, then it’s recommended to store it without removing it from its package, as it will increase its shelf life by a day or two.

When you are ready to use the turkey, only then you must open the original packaging. But make sure to remember that the turkey lasts in the refrigerator for only 2 days after the use-by date.

Ground Turkey Package

If you’re storing it in the freezer, wrap aluminum foil tightly around the ground turkey, without removing its original packaging. By doing this, the ground turkey can last for up to 6 months and sometimes for even one year.

Even if you have removed the packaging and want to store it in the freezer, you can wrap the turkey in heavy-duty freezer paper. If you have used only half of the turkey and want to store the remaining raw ground turkey, then you can also keep the remaining turkey in the freezer.

But the shelf life of this remaining ground turkey is for only 3 months. This is because bacteria are most likely to develop as the surface area of the turkey is exposed.

Thus, it’s important to store the ground turkey properly and consume it when it’s still edible and is still in its best quality.


As mentioned earlier, turkey can last for a year in the freezer, only if it’s stored properly. But although it can last for a longer period, the ground turkey loses its quality with time.

Ground Turkey Storage

If it is not stored correctly, then the turkey might start giving off a sour smell and will become slimy in texture. These symptoms mean that the ground turkey is no longer edible, and it should be thrown right away.

Improper storage of ground turkey can also lead to freezer burns. This is a situation in which the turkey loses its color and is dehydrated.

That is why it is recommended to not remove the turkey from its original packaging.


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