Can you eat ground beef 2 days after the use-by date?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “Can you eat ground beef 2 days after the use-by date” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can eat ground beef that is 2 days past the use-by date. Moreover, we are going to discuss the shelf life of ground beef and different ways to spot spoiled ground beef.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Can you eat ground beef 2 days after the use-by date?

Ground beef usually lasts for about two days after it has passed its sell-by date. According to the USDA, you should consume ground beef before the use-by date, but whether or not you will eat properly stored ground beef that is two days past the use-by date (stored at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit the entire time) is totally dependent on your judgment (you should do a sensory evaluation of ground beef).

How to do a sensory evaluation of ground beef?

There are a few clear indicators that indicate if your ground beef has gone bad. To determine if the ground beef has gone bad, look at its appearance, color, texture, and smell.

Appearance

If you see mold or other organic growth on your ground beef or if it is discolored, it’s time to throw it out.

It’s worth noting that you should avoid smelling moldy ground beef since molds can produce mycotoxins, which can disturb your gut microflora and damage your immune system if they enter your body by inhalation.

Color

Examining the color of ground beef might help you identify whether it has rotted or is safe to consume. The outside of good grade, unspoiled ground beef purchased from the supermarket should be bright red.

However, if the exterior surface of the ground beef is gray or brown, it should be discarded. This discoloration indicates that it has begun to spoil.

Texture

If you touch the ground beef and it feels sticky, slimy, or gooey, it’s time to throw it out.

Smell

If you smell something sour or ammonia-like while sniffing your ground beef, it’s time to throw it out.

Lastly, I do not recommend tasting cooked ground beef with a foul odor, but if you are brave (and silly) enough, you will notice a significant change in the texture and mouthfeel of the spoiled ground beef. It will have an off-flavor.

Thus, if the microbes have somehow gotten into your ground beef and spoiled it, the best thing you can do is throw it out.

What are the exceptions of the use-by date rule?

When it comes to the use-by date, you can use ground beef that is beyond this date if it was properly frozen (before the use-by date). Ground beef can be stored in the freezer for up to four months.

Ground beef can also be cooked to extend its shelf life a bit.

What is the use-by date?

The ‘use by’ date is the last date on which food can be safely consumed, prepared, or processed after it has been properly stored.

How long can you leave the ground beef in the fridge?

Raw ground beef lasts in the fridge for 1-2 days while cooked ground beef lasts for about 3-4 days if kept at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It should be kept in plastic zipper bags on one of the refrigerator’s shelves.

It’s worth noting that the values given above are for ground beef’s expected shelf life.

How long does ground beef last at room temperature?

When kept at room temperature, ground beef lasts for around 2 hours.

Because bacterial growth occurs at a quicker rate between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, ground beef left out for more than 2 hours should be discarded.

Furthermore, if the surrounding temperature is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the rotting process is accelerated, and ground beef left out in the open for more than an hour at such temperature should be discarded.

How long does ground beef last in the freezer?

Raw ground beef lasts for 3-4 months while cooked ground beef lasts for about 4 months in the freezer if stored in an airtight plastic freezer bag, although it is best consumed within 1-2 months for the best quality and taste.

As a result, freezing the ground beef extends its shelf life significantly due to the freezer’s low temperature, which inhibits bacterial growth on the ground beef.

You can read the benefits of different types of meat here.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “Can you eat ground beef 2 days after the use-by date” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can eat ground beef that is 2 days past the use-by date. Moreover, we discussed the shelf life of ground beef and different ways to spot spoiled ground beef.

Citations

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ways-to-tell-if-ground-beef-is-bad#:~:text=Ground%20beef%20can%20be%20refrigerated,and%20quality%20before%20this%20date.
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/how-to-tell-if-ground-beef-is-bad
https://exactlyhowlong.com/how-long-after-use-by-date-is-ground-beef-good-and-why/

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