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How To Store Ground Beef After Opening? The Best Tips

When you have opened any sealed material, such as ground beef, it is wrong to leave it exposed for several reasons. Leaving ground beef uncovered and improperly stored after opening exposes the meat to bacteria and germs in the air.

As such, it gets contaminated very quickly and may begin to spoil. Again, leaving the beef exposed shortens its shelf life and thus could lead to food wastage. Also, opened food cans are exposed to a threat of other mixing with other materials, whether edible or not.

How To Store Ground Beef After Opening?

Safely storing ground beef after opening undergoes several steps or activities meant to ensure all possible risks of spoilage are eliminated. One of the key techniques includes refrigeration, which may also include storing the ground beef in the freezer if one wants it to last long. Another approach involves holding the ground beef in a container that is air-tight and sealable. If you don’t have a sealable container, you can place the raw ground beef on a plate and then wrap it with cling film or food wrap before refrigerating it.

How To Store Ground Beef After Opening
How To Store Ground Beef After Opening

How Can I Keep Ground Beef Safe After Opening?

People can adopt various ways to store ground beef and keep it safe if the techniques are well-tested. Don’t use it if you’re unsure about using a specific method to preserve ground beef over a long time.

A trial and error technique isn’t worth your health or anyone else’s, for that matter. Here are several storage steps you can apply to guarantee the safety of your ground beef after opening.

  • Step 1: Properly wrap the remaining ground beef. You can use the same container or place it in a new but clean container. Not too huge, to avoid huge air spaces in between. If you do not have a container, you can place the ground beef on a plate and tightly cover it using a cling film or foil paper.
  • Step 2: Place the ground beef in the refrigerator at a temperature of about 40 °F. However, if you want the meat to stay longer, you can place it in the freezer compartment of your refrigerator.
Ground beef should be properly wrapped either in the same package, or in a new, clean container.
Ground beef should be properly wrapped either in the same package, or in a new, clean container.

What Will Happen If Ground Beef Isn’t Properly Stored?

If you’re not so keen on storing your ground beef, there are several unique ways it could get spoilt. While some can be reversed if discovered early, others can’t. Here are a few ways poor storage could ruin your ground beef.

  • Bacteria Contamination: Bacteria are everywhere, even in the air. If the beef is exposed for a long time, the bacteria will settle on its surface and multiply.
  • Warm Temperatures: Poor storage of ground beef could mean it has been stored at a place with warmer temperatures. A warm environment is an excellent ground for the multiplication of bacteria.
  • Foreign Objects: If not correctly covered, other items in the kitchen or the fridge may accidentally fall and mix with the meat and vice versa. Proper sealing or covering of the ground beef is recommended to avoid such an accidental outcome.
Ground beef should be stored in the fridge or freezer for longer storage.
Ground beef should be stored in the fridge or freezer for longer storage.

How Can I Tell Ground Beef Has Spoilt?

Food poisoning is the worst thing that can happen when one consumes spoilt food. That’s because it causes severe body weakness and pain; in extreme cases, it could be fatal.

That’s why it is advisable to devise ways to determine if the ground beef is suitable for consumption or has spoilt. You can do this both before and after storage to be on the safe side. Here are some signs to look for when determining if ground beef is fit for consumption.

  • Color Change: Raw ground beef is reddish. If you realize that the color has changed to grayish, the meat has begun to spoil, and the only option you have is to throw it away.
  • Terrible Odor: Rotten smell from edible materials is one sign confirming the item has begun to spoil. For ground beef, the smell is too strong to miss, and if you sense it, please don’t ignore it.
  • Molds: Another way to tell ground beef has spoilt and isn’t safe for consumption is the appearance of molds. You can notice the molds by looking at the meat, and if you find black or abnormal white or brownish spots, that’s mold!
  • Slipperiness: When you touch the ground beef or lift it with a spoon or fork and find it slippery, it is spoilt. The greasy texture results from bacteria activities that produce a sticky liquid.
  • Taste: If the ground beef tastes rotten, discard it without a second thought. However, it is almost certain that you’ll not get to this point without discovering some of the other signs mentioned above. Nevertheless, if that has happened and the taste still feels awful, throw away the meat.
  • Expiry Date: checking the expiry date and confirming the ground beef has not reached that time is one of the first things you should do. Remember, whether or not you have opened the seal, the date has a meaning and must not be exceeded. Otherwise, you should throw away the meat. Again, if the ground beef is opened before the expiry date, it could spoil earlier.
Fresh ground beef should have a reddish hue.
Fresh ground beef should have a reddish hue.

How Long Can Ground Beef Last In A Fridge After Opening?

If the expiry date isn’t or won’t be reached within the period the meat is stored, it can last up to three days in the fridge and remain suitable. If you want it to go for up to three months, you can place it in a freezer. However, remember that it should be adequately covered.

For longer storage, store the ground beef in the freezer.
For longer storage, store the ground beef in the freezer.

Frequently Asked Questions to How to Store Ground Beef After Opening?

How Can I Store Ground Beef After Opening?

To safely store ground beef, begin by wrapping it properly or placing it in a sealable container. After that, put it in the fridge or freezer.

Why Is It Important That I Store Ground Beef Safely After Opening?

While it is advisable to store all edibles in a safe place if not consumed immediately after opening, ground beef bacteria quickly contaminate them. So, safekeeping is necessary.

How Can I Tell Ground Beef is Spoilt?

There are several ways you can tell that ground beef is spoilt, including color change from reddish to gray, molds, terrible odor, slipperiness, and awful taste. Also, you can tell by checking the expiry date.

Conclusion to How To Store Ground Beef After Opening?

After opening, ground beef must be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for it to last longer and avoid contamination by bacteria. In all cases, it must be properly sealed and kept away from other food. Ground beef lasts up to 3 days in the fridge and for several months in the freezer.

Author Bio

Daniel Iseli (Head Chef)

Hi, my name is Daniel and I am passionate about cooking. I have been cooking for the past 20 years and am happy to share my best recipes and cooking-related knowledge with you.