ground beef

How to recognize whether ground beef is good

Ground beef is a versatile ingredient that you can use to make burgers, and so much more. If you have ground beef in the fridge and you’re not sure if it’s still good, there are simple ways to check it to see if it’s spoiled. Never eat meat that has gone bad!

Look closely at the ground beef

See if it has turned a dull brown or gray.

Fresh ground beef is bright red but may have a few brown spots in the center as it comes from different parts of the beef. The longer you keep the ground beef, the grayer it will turn. If all of the ground beef is gray rather than red or brown, it’s best to throw it away. Packaged ground beef develops a brown color inside because no oxygen gets to the center.

Sniff the ground beef to see if you detect a sour odor.

Fresh beef has a slight odor, but when it goes bad it smells spoiled or sour. The smell comes from gases produced by the bacteria on the meat. If the meat has a strong odor, don’t eat it. Many bacteria that lead to foodborne illnesses such as B. Salmonella cannot be smelled and can also be found on fresh beef. Always cook the beef thoroughly to kill these bacteria. If you don’t feel comfortable eating the meat, throw it away.

Touch the flesh to see if it feels slimy.

Press down on the meat with your fingers to feel its texture. Fresh meat should easily break into pieces in your hands. If the meat is sticky or slimy, it has most likely gone bad. Always wash your hands before and after handling raw meat so you don’t spread bacteria or contaminate surfaces.

Check the expiration date.

Raw ground beef is safe to eat within a day or two of the recommended best before date. Check the calendar to see how many days have passed since purchase and discard the ground beef if it’s old.

Store ground beef properly

Store raw ground beef in the refrigerator or below 4°C.

If you plan to cook the ground beef soon, store it in the refrigerator. If you leave it at room temperature, harmful bacteria will develop within two hours. Never leave meat at room temperature for more than 2 hours, or more than 1 hour if it’s over 32°C. If you don’t plan to cook the ground beef right away, freeze it.

Cook the ground beef within 2 days of the expiration date.

If it’s been in the fridge the whole time, it will stay fresh and safe to use for up to two days after the date printed on the package. Use it as soon as possible after purchase so it doesn’t go bad.

Store raw ground beef in the freezer for up to four months.

Put it in plastic freezer bags and label them with the best-before date from the packaging. Squeeze the air out of the bag before sealing it to save freezer space. After a few months, you may notice white spots from the freezer burn on the meat. You can cut away these spots if there are only a few. Otherwise, throw the meat away.

Thaw the beef in the refrigerator or in a sink filled with cold water.

Place the frozen ground beef in the refrigerator a day or two before you plan to use it to thaw completely. If you want to defrost the meat in the sink, fill it with cold water and submerge the ground beef. Change the water every 30 minutes until the ground beef is completely thawed. Meat that has been thawed in water must be cooked immediately. Never let the meat thaw at room temperature. You can thaw ground beef in the microwave, but you must cook it immediately afterward to avoid contamination.

Cook ground beef to 70°C before storing or eating.

The only way to kill the natural bacteria in beef is by cooking it through. While cooking, check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer.

Store cooked ground beef in the refrigerator or freezer.

You can keep it safe in the fridge for seven days before it goes bad, and in the freezer, it will keep for up to eight months. Store it in an airtight container!


Always cook ground beef to an internal temperature of 70°C. Keep cold food below 4°C and hot food above 60°C. Anything in between is a “danger zone” for bacteria to thrive. Wash your hands after handling raw ground beef to avoid contaminating surfaces.

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About the Author

Edison Greenwood

Edison Greenwood is a Outreach Editor for Freepromohub. He has worked for years in SEO and Digital Marketing and has a long history in e-commerce industry. When not writing he teaches yoga, editing videos, and DIY furnitures.