How Long Does Raw Steak Last in the Fridge or Freezer?


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3-5 days
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6-12 months (best quality)


Shelf Life Tips

  • How long does raw steak last in the fridge or freezer? The exact answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions - keep steak refrigerated at all times.
  • How long does raw steak last in the refrigerator? After steak is purchased, it may be refrigerated for 3 to 5 days - the "sell-by" date on the package may expire during that storage period, but the steak will remain safe to use after the sell by date if it has been properly stored.
  • Unopened steak may be kept in its original store packaging when refrigerating; to maximize the shelf life of steak, do not open the package until ready to use.
  • How long can raw steak be left at room temperature? Bacteria grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F; steak should be discarded if left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
  • To further extend the shelf life of steak, freeze; when freezing, place steak in the freezer before the number of days shown for refrigerator storage has elapsed.
  • You can maximize the shelf life of steak 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 raw steak last in the freezer? Properly stored, raw steak will maintain best quality for about 6 to 12 months in the freezer, but will remain safe beyond that time.
  • The freezer time shown is for best quality only - steak that has been kept constantly frozen at 0° F will keep safe indefinitely.
  • How long does steak last after being frozen and thawed? Steak that has been defrosted in the fridge can be kept for an additional 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator before cooking; steak that was thawed in the microwave or in cold water should be cooked immediately.
  • How long does steak last in the fridge once it is cooked? Cooked steak will usually stay good for 3 to 4 days in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer.
  • How to tell if steak is bad? The best way is to smell and look at the steak: signs of bad steak are a sour smell, dull color and slimy texture; discard any steak with an off smell or appearance.

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Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here

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