How Long Does Ground Beef Last in the Fridge?

May 01, 2024

fresh raw minced beef

When cooking meals at home, raw mince, also known as ground beef, is a versatile ingredient that finds its way into countless recipes. Whether you're whipping up some juicy burgers or a comforting plate of spaghetti Bolognese ground beef, it is your trusty sidekick. But hey, making sure it's fresh and safe to eat is key for keeping those meals tasty and healthy. That's why we're here to talk about how long you can keep raw mince in the fridge and some smart tips for storing it just right. Let's dive in! 

Understanding Shelf Life of Ground beef: 

The shelf life of raw mince in the fridge depends on various factors, including its initial freshness, packaging, and storage conditions. On average, raw mince can last for 1 to 2 days in the fridge if stored correctly. However, it's essential to keep in mind that this timeframe can vary.

Factors Affecting Shelf Life of Ground beef: 

Packaging: How you package your ground beef makes a big difference in how long it stays fresh. Vacuum-sealed packs keep it fresher than trays covered with plastic wrap. If you're buying from a butcher, ask for airtight packaging to make it last longer.

Temperature: Keeping your fridge at the right temperature is key to keeping raw mince fresh. Store it at or below 40°F (4°C) to slow down bacteria growth and keep it tasty.

Freshness: The fresher the beef, the longer it stays good in the fridge. Always check the expiration date when you buy it and go for the freshest option you can find. 

Cross-Contamination: To keep your mince safe and make it last longer, store it in a separate container or tray on the lowest shelf of the fridge. That way, you avoid any drips onto other foods. 

Also Read: Understanding the Dry Aging Process of Beef

Signs of Spoilage of ground beef: 

It's super important to be able to tell when ground beef has gone bad to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Check out these signs to keep an eye on: 

Foul odor: When raw mince starts smelling funky, chances are it's gone bad. 

Change in color: Fresh raw mince sports a vibrant red hue. If it shifts to gray or brown, it's time to toss it out. 

Slimy texture: Spoiled ground beef might get slimy or tacky when touched. 

Tips for Extending Shelf Life of minced ground beef: 

Here are some tips to help you maximize the shelf life of ground beef in the fridge: 

Use it promptly: Make sure to plan your meals in advance and use raw mince shortly after buying it, ideally within a day or two.

Proper storage: To keep it fresh, store the ground beef in its original packaging or transfer it to an airtight container to shield it from air and moisture.

Temperature control: It's essential to maintain the right temperature in your fridge to slow down bacterial growth and preserve the meat's freshness.

Freeze for later: If you don't intend to use the ground beef right away, think about freezing it for later. Split it into portion sizes and store them in freezer-safe bags or containers to keep them fresh for an extended period.

Why has my mince changed color? 

No need to fret if the color on the outside of your meat doesn't match the inside. That vibrant red hue you notice on the surface of ground beef happens because oxygen mixes with the meat's pigments.

Sometimes, if oxygen can't reach the surface well, the inside might look more greyish brown. But don't worry, this change isn't a signal that your meat has turned bad. However, if you spot grey or brown hues creeping on the outside, it's a surefire sign that your meat is starting to spoil, and it's better not to risk it.

Several signs indicate that ground beef has gone bad: 

  • Foul odor: Spoiled ground beef will emit a strong, unpleasant odor that is distinctively different from its fresh state. 

  • Change in color: Fresh ground beef should have a bright red color. If it turns grayish or brown, it's a sign of spoilage. 

  • Slimy texture: Spoiled ground beef may feel slimy or sticky to the touch, indicating bacterial growth. 

  • Mold: Visible mold growth on the surface of ground beef indicates spoilage and should be discarded immediately.

If you observe any of these signs, it's best to err on the side of caution and discard the ground beef to avoid the risk of foodborne illness.

Also Read: How to Freeze Cooked Meat: Tips for Freezing


Raw mince is a must-have in the kitchen, adding flavor to many dishes. To keep it safe and tasty, it's important to know how long it lasts. Follow these storage tips and watch out for signs of spoilage to enjoy your meals worry-free. If you're unsure, it's best to play it safe and toss out any mince that seems off. 


Is ground beef good after 5 days in the fridge?

While ground beef can technically be safe to eat after 5 days in the fridge, its quality may deteriorate over time. It's generally recommended to consume raw ground beef within 1 to 2 days of refrigeration for optimal freshness and safety. If you plan to store it for longer, consider freezing it to maintain its quality. 

Can you keep raw ground beef in the fridge for 7 days? 

Storing raw ground beef in the fridge for 7 days is pushing the limits of its freshness. While it may still be safe to eat within this timeframe if properly stored and maintained at the right temperature (40°F or below), the quality may decline, and there's an increased risk of spoilage. It's advisable to use raw ground beef within 1 to 2 days of refrigeration or freeze it for longer-term storage. 

Does ground beef expire? 

Yes, ground beef does have an expiration date, typically indicated on its packaging. While ground beef may technically expire, it's more accurate to say that it spoils. The expiration date serves as a guideline for its freshness and quality. Proper storage and handling can help extend its shelf life, but it's essential to check for signs of spoilage before consuming it, even if it's within the expiration date. If in doubt, it's safer to discard ground beef that appears spoiled or past its expiration date.

Related Articles

Understanding the Dry Aging Process of Beef

Read more
Can you have beef for breakfast

Can you have beef for breakfast?

Read more
A Wine and Beef Selection Guide

A Wine and Beef Selection Guide

Read more

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.