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Monday, May 24, 2010

Just how long does meat last?


After finding a pork roast from about 18 months ago in my freezer I decided I needed to talk to my meat manager friend about how long meats remain fresh and edible.

I asked first about how you can tell if something in your fridge is still good. He made a good point in reminding me that bacteria cannot been seen, you have to use your nose. It is very heard to write what to smell for though, so next time you buy some fresh meat give it a smell and then you will know what fresh smells like. Once a piece of meat has been cut and then touches another surface the color can start to change -- so color is not the way to judge if something is fresh.

My next question was, "How long can you keep it in the freezer? Fridge?" This was the response he gave me: As far as fresh cuts of meats this depends on a lot of factors. Is the fridge at the proper temperature? That is the biggest issue. If the temperature is right 1 to 2 days max on ground meats, no more the 3 to 5 days for fresh cut meat. If the meat is vacuum packed you can get about 5-10 days in the fridge and you can get six months to a year in plastic freezer bags.

I personally use my food saver and vacuum pack everything and I believe that I can push my meats to at least a year that way. From what I understand from researching online many people will push vacuum packed meats two years.

Norbest says you can get up too two years if the original packaging is not broken.

So there you have it, some simple to follow guidelines. While everyone may have their own ideas as to what is acceptable, use your best judgment.

4 comments:

Julie Sutherland said...

I think for frozen items, preference and quality matter so as long as it's OK to you it's OK and you'll be able to tell if it's freezer burned. (I've heard they've actually served Woolly Mammoth steaks uncovered in the recent polar ice melts to scientists). Refrigerated items are more dicey since they'll actually become a safety issue as they get too old.

Julie Sutherland said...

Also, professionals are liable if anyone gets sick, and will always be extremely conservative. (Plus, the meat counter man sells more meat if people throw it out more often because it might be old)

{Linds} said...

I have been wondering about this! THANKS!!

Ann said...

http://stilltasty.com/
This site tells you how long you can keep almost any food in the fridge/freezer. It's a good reference!

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