The exact answer to the question “How long does raw ground beef last?” depends to a large extent on storage conditions — keep ground beef refrigerated at all times.
How long does raw ground beef last after the sell-by date? After ground beef is purchased, it may be refrigerated for 1 to 2 days — the "sell-by" date on the package may expire during that storage period, but the ground beef will remain safe to use after the sell by date if it has been properly stored.
Unopened ground beef may be kept in its original store packaging when refrigerating; to maximize the shelf life of ground beef, do not open the package until ready to use.
How long does raw ground beef last at room temperature? Bacteria grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F; ground beef should be discarded if left for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
To further extend the shelf life of ground beef, freeze; when freezing, place ground beef in the freezer before the number of days shown for refrigerator storage has elapsed.
You can maximize the shelf life of ground beef in the freezer by overwrapping the original store packaging with airtight heavy-duty aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or freezer paper or place the package inside a heavy-duty freezer bag in order to prevent freezer burn.
How long does ground beef last in the freezer for safety purposes? The freezer time shown is for best quality only — foods kept constantly frozen at 0° F will keep safe indefinitely.
How long does ground beef last after being frozen and thawed? Ground beef that has been defrosted in the fridge can be kept for an additional 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator before cooking; ground beef that was thawed in the microwave or in cold water should be cooked immediately.
How long does ground beef last in the fridge once it is cooked? Cooked ground beef will usually stay good for 3 to 4 days in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer.
How to tell if ground beef is bad? The best way is to smell and look at the ground beef: signs of bad ground beef are a sour smell, dull color and slimy texture; discard any ground beef with an off smell or appearance.
Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please