How Long Does Cooked Ground Beef Last In The Fridge?

How Long Does Cooked Ground Beef Last In The Fridge?

How Long Does Cooked Ground Beef Last In The Fridge? Although ground beef is a very adaptable ingredient, occasionally it stays in the fridge for one or two days longer than you would want. It is challenging to determine how long ground beef can be kept in the refrigerator because it largely varies. The following advice is provided for these circumstances in order to assist you in making the best decision regarding your meat, avoiding preparing unhealthy meals, and minimising waste!

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How Long Does Cooked Ground Beef Last In The Fridge?
How Long Does Cooked Ground Beef Last In The Fridge?

How long does cooked ground beef stay fresh?

After being cooked, most meats are generally good for around the same amount of time. The USDA estimates that this period will last 3–4 days.

But there is a lot more surface area for bacteria to adhere to when you cook ground beef or other ground meats (like ground turkey or ground chicken).

What’s the Real Life Shelf Life of Ground Beef in the Fridge?

Authorities on food safety and organisations will inform you that raw ground beef can be stored for 1-2 days in the refrigerator after purchase.

The taste of the dinner can be severely ruined by using expired meat. Additionally, using expired meat carries the risk of making you exceedingly ill. This is brought on by the quick bacterial growth on meat that happens over time.

Sincerity dictates that it will last one to four days. However, you need to use the meat with additional caution if you’re on days three or four.

Nevertheless, there are a few methods you may make sure the meat you’re using is safe. We’ll go over warning indications that your cooked ground beef is rotten both inside and outside the refrigerator in the section that follows.

What Signs Point to Bad Cooked Ground Beef?

When utilising cooked ground beef that has been kept in the refrigerator for a few days, there are a few tests you should always perform. By doing this, you can be certain that the meat you use to prepare healthy meals for your family is in good shape.

Compared to raw beef, it might be considerably tougher to identify if cooked ground beef has gone bad. Checking the texture at this point is pointless because the meat and its other ingredients have already been blended. The texture test won’t yield the same results as when the meat is raw.

You can still use the following additional advice, which is better suited for evaluating already-cooked meat:


There will always be some indicators of ruined ground beef, even though it is much difficult to determine from the appearance of cooked ground beef than it is from uncooked.

Keep an eye out for any black patches, fuzzy growths, or mould on the meat.

Put the meat in the trash if you see any of these symptoms. If consumed, this fungus indication can seriously illen you.


A significant factor is also how the flesh feels. You should be able to tear apart firm ground beef with your fingertips.

When doing this, if you notice that your meat has a slimy, sticky texture, your meat may be rotten.

An increase in germs is the reason for this slimy feel. This bacterial proliferation has altered the structure of the flesh. It has acquired its slimy texture as a result of these germs.


Food quality can often be determined by how it smells. The simplest method of determining whether your meat has gone rotten is to smell it. This is because the smell is the most obvious sign that anything is going wrong.

Similar to raw ground beef, the fragrance is a key indicator of whether or not meat is still edible. The meat should still smell the same as when it was placed in the refrigerator if it is still in good condition.

Make careful to throw it away if it starts to smell strange or different. Any strange odour is a sure sign that the meat has gone bad.


Give a tiny amount of your cooked meat a taste test to determine whether it still tastes the same if you haven’t noticed any strange odours coming from it. You should discard it if the texture or flavour have changed in any way.

Avoid eating the rotten meat. Spit it out and then rinse your mouth out with some water.

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What Does That Mean? Is Ground Beef Safe?

Don’t let all this talk of bacteria scare you away from buying ground beef.

We must cook it more quickly than you would a steak because it has the potential to harbour more bacteria.

This doesn’t imply that it is dangerous, which is why we must swallow it quickly.

To ensure that you are securely cooking your ground beef, heed the safety advice provided below.

How to Keep Cooked Beef Fresh

Cooked beef should cool either in the refrigerator or on the counter for a little length of time with a loose cover. If large pieces are divided into smaller ones or are spread out on a baking sheet, it will cool more rapidly.

When the beef is no longer hot, tightly cover it in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. The meat should be chilled as soon as possible after cooking, ideally within two hours.

Harmful bacteria can quickly grow if meat is kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) or above for longer than two hours.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture advises eating cooked beef within 3 to 4 days of refrigerating it (USDA).

Guidelines for Storing Ground Beef

The following advice will help you preserve your meat so that it will remain edible for up to 4 days. You won’t waste any meat if it goes bad!

Clean Your Container

Before placing the cooked ground beef in the storage container, check to make sure it is dry and clean.

This is crucial because meat is far more likely to quickly develop bacterial growth if there are already some germs present in the container.

Keep in mind that all of the bacteria in the container will grow exponentially if there are already lots of them there.

Temperature of a refrigerator

Make sure the temperature in your refrigerator is under 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). This is the ideal temperature to stop the formation of bacteria in your refrigerator for all items.

Be careful not to leave the fridge door open for an extended period of time. In an effort to maintain a low temperature, this will increase the temperature and use more electricity.

Different Foods

Maintaining proper refrigerator hygiene requires keeping the various food categories apart. This will prevent cross-contamination, in which bacteria from uncooked food contaminate things that don’t require cooking.

Freeze effectively

Make sure your meat is properly wrapped in plastic wrap or stored in the appropriate container before freezing it. This will stop freezer burn from occurring to your cooked meat.

Defrost only while heated

Only thaw your cooked meat from freezing in time to cook if you intend to reheat it. It will go bad if you keep it out or in the fridge for an extended period of time. The safest method for defrosting it is to keep it in the refrigerator as opposed to leaving it outside.

Select meats that are USDA-certified.

A smart place to start is with your meat source’s USDA certification. By doing this, you may be sure that your meat was produced in a clean, safe environment and to a high standard.

That being said, even the most meticulously prepared ground beef might still develop some dangerous bacteria. Salmonella and E. coli are the most prevalent meat germs, although neither affect the flavour or aroma of the meat. These can contaminate food.

It is crucial to be knowledgeable about these germs. However, you may eliminate these bacteria by cooking your beef until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius).

Watch the short movie below for further details if you’re interested. It sums up the ideal time frame for storing cooked meat properly!

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About Cuisine Cravings Team

Hello there! Cuisine Cravings Team is a group of people who are passionate about Kitchen Ideas that developed this website to educate people on the finest kitchen techniques. We publish articles that focus on basic and fundamental cooking ideas for all levels of chefs, from beginners to specialists! Our objective is to remove the guesswork out of meal preparation so you may worry less and enjoy more! Food is an important aspect of our life, and we are excited to share our knowledge with you!

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