How Long Does Meat Stay Good in the Refrigerator?

While you might not want to be wasteful, you're risking your health by eating steak that's been in the fridge for 10 days. Meat is only safe to keep in the refrigerator for a certain length of time, after which you should throw it out.

Most food should be consumed or frozen after being in the fridge for just a few days.
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This may be costly, but consuming meat that has gone bad may cause you to become ill. Spoiled meat may have a strange look or smell. although tainted meat may appear normal.

Tip

Most food should be consumed or frozen after being in the fridge for just a few days. This will reduce your risk of serious illness from food poisoning.

Read more: 15 Tips to Store Your Food So It Will Last Longer

Store Beef Safely

You can keep fresh beef roasts and steaks in the refrigerator safely for three to five days by storing the meat at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, advises the USDA. Be sure to consume ground beef, liver, kidneys and beef tongue within two days.

If the product's package includes a use-by date, eat or freeze the fresh beef by that date, even if it is earlier than what USDA guidelines suggest. If fresh beef has turned brown and is sticky when you touch it, the meat may have spoiled.

Beef leftovers — including casseroles — should be eaten with three to four days. Beef that is fresh or already cooked can be frozen at 0 degrees F for several months. Fresh meat can last up to a year, while cooked beef should be thawed and consumed within three months.

Keep Pork Fresh

When you buy fresh pork chops, roasts or ribs, plan to use or freeze them within three to five days. The USDA says you should eat pork liver within one to two days.

Cook your pork to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F and let your meat rest for 3 minutes prior to serving. Proper cooking will kill any bacteria present in properly stored meat, so you don't need to rinse your roast before baking.

If you marinate the pork and want to use the leftover marinade on cooked pork, make sure you boil the sauce before doing so.

Cook Chicken Sooner

The safe storage window for fresh chicken is much shorter than that of pork chops or beef roasts. You need to eat fresh chicken in one to two days after purchase, according to the USDA.

The USDA also advises against rinsing chicken before cooking it, noting that this does not kill bacteria and may actually spread the germs to other surfaces. If you buy a fully cooked rotisserie chicken, make sure it is hot at the time of purchase.

If you want to eat it later, cut it into pieces, refrigerate it in a shallow container and use it within three to four days. You can eat it cold or reheat it to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

Read more: Is Eating Expired Foods Worth the Risk?

Follow Seafood Safety Tips

You need to eat fresh seafood within two days of purchase and store it in the fridge until you're ready to cook it, according to the FDA. When shopping for fish, select pieces that smell fresh and mild and have flesh that springs back when pressed.

Avoid any pieces that have mushy spots or have darkening or drying around the edges. Whole fish should have firm, shiny flesh and clear eyes. Avoid clams, mussels and oysters with cracked or broken shells.

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