Ground beef is a versatile and inexpensive meat, but it also presents the risk of food-borne illness. The grinding process can mix bacteria from outside from inside, leading to higher risks for contamination if not stored or cooked properly. Due to an increased risk of contaminated ground beef cannot be stored for longer periods.
It needs to be tightly wrapped in an airtight container for better storage. Let’s reveal how long ground beef can sit out and continue reading this article. You can also read our latest guides on reheating and defrosting ground meat.
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How Long Can Ground Beef Sit Out?
The best way to keep raw ground meats fresh and safe from contamination will depend on what you plan on storing them. You should store all meat products in the refrigerator at reduced temperatures. If they’re kept anywhere between 40 and 140 degrees for too long, it could attract bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses.
Raw ground beef cannot sit out for more than 2 hours or 1 hour in 90 degrees F. However, it has a longer shelf life if you can use the refrigerator and the freeze-ground meat for 2-3 months.
What Happens if Ground Beef Sits Out Too Long?
A general recommendation is to not leave raw ground beef out for more than two hours, or one hour if the temperature reaches 90 degrees. Make sure to defrost your ground beef only when you start cooking with this meat.
Ground beef should be cooked to at least Medium-Well (about 160 degrees Fahrenheit) before eating. If it’s been left out longer than 2 hours or 1 hour above 90° F, there is a chance that harmful bacteria could multiply, which will make the meat unsafe for consumption. However, it has a longer shelf life if you can use the refrigerator and the freeze-ground meat for 2-3 months.
What Should You Do If Ground Beef Is Left Out Too Long?
It would help if you disposed of ground beef left out overnight. Whether or not it looks and smells fine, it’s not worth the risk – even if it’s cooked. The ground beef left out too long will tend to spoil, and such beef is highly dangerous to eat.
It contains pathogenic bacteria responsible for food-borne illnesses that you would not want your family members or customers to get sick from!
How Long Can Ground Beef Be In The Car For?
The Department of Agriculture suggests that you should not leave perishable items like meat out more than four hours. On hot days the car’s temperature is already high, which can easily soil your food within no time.
If your car’s air conditioner is working, then don’t worry about storing it for approximately two hours. According to USDA’s recommendation, meat should never be left unrefrigerated for longer than 2 hours. It gets cut down to just an hour when the temperature reaches 90° F.
Does Ground Beef Go Bad If Not Refrigerated?
Store your raw ground beef in the refrigerator and make sure it stays there for no more than 2 days because then it’ll start to spoil. It’s also important not to forget about canned beef, which has a relatively long shelf life.
Do Ground Beef Go Bad If You Lose Power?
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends discarding any food that entered the danger zone. During a power outage, your refrigerator will start losing its cooling gradually. You can minimize it by keeping the door close.
It will also help to maintain its freshness. Also, make sure to store food in closed containers as bacteria can grow on open containers and spoil the product inside within hours. Remember, don’t forget to look for the sign of spoilage in your food after a power outage. Immediately discard the food if you notice any such signs, i.e., color change and bad odor.
What Temperature Is Safe For Ground Beef?
Last but not least, we would like to mention the safe temperature for your ground beef. The best way to store your ground beef is in the fridge. Keep it at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, and never leave it on display for more than two hours – that’s when bacteria start growing. You may refrigerate ground beef for around one month.
How to Store Ground Beef?
All foods last for a little period if they are not stored properly. People do not store hamburgers for too long. If it is uncooked, it only lasts for a few days, but it can be stored for a bit longer if it is cooked. The beef used for making hamburgers can be stored for a long time.
If you want to store the hamburgers, then you need to take care of the following things.
Place in refrigerator
The refrigerator is always the best place for storing food products. Here the shelf-life of products is increased, and they can last for a long period retaining their best quality.
Similarly, if you have bought hamburgers and you have used some amount of them. You need to keep the remaining amount in a refrigerator to keep it fresh for a long period.
Don’t store it at room temperature
Room temperature is not suitable for hamburgers. They need a cool environment to sit in. If they are exposed to air for a long period, there will be more chances for bacteria to grow. It will result in hamburgers’ spoilage, and they won’t be fresh as they were before.
It would be best to keep the hamburgers at room temperature or hot environment for too long. Otherwise, they will rotten very quickly.
Store in a closed container
Once you have prepared hamburgers, you need to store them in closed containers to keep out moisture and other contaminants because keeping them unpacked will result in fast poisoning of hamburgers.
Store in freezer
The freezer can be the best option for storing food items for a very long period. If you have bought too many hamburgers, you can store them in the freezer. Here they can last for a longer period.
Can You Freeze Ground Beef?
Freezing hamburgers is a good option. The shelf-life of hamburgers is increased from days to months if they are stored in freezers. Hamburgers freeze well, and they can also retain their taste for months in the freezer.
If you have eaten some hamburger amount and left some and you don’t want to eat it. You can freeze it. It will remain fine for up to four months in the freezer. Always keep in mind, you need to defrost the hamburgers before eating them.
Moreover, refreezing the hamburgers that have been left for a long time at room temperature is not a good option because there might be a chance to multiply, resulting in spoilage.
How Long Does Ground Beef Last?
Hamburger is not a shelf-stable product. It can last for only a few days if it is not cooked. If it is kept in a freezer in a closed container, it can last up to six months.
Cooked hamburgers have a longer lifetime than uncooked hamburgers. But they cannot last for a long period at room temperature. If they are kept in the refrigerator, they can last for six days retaining their peak quality.
But if they are properly stored in the freezers, they will last for a long period. Cooked hamburgers can sit in the freezer for almost five months without losing their quality and taste.
How to Tell If Ground Beef Is Bad?
If the food products are not stored properly, they will get spoiled and won’t be okay to use. Similarly, if a hamburger gets rotten, you cannot eat it. But a question arises that how can you tell if a hamburger is bad?
Not up to perfection, but your senses are the tools that can help us to tell if the hamburger has gone bad. You can tell whether the hamburger has gone bad or not by checking its taste, color, and smell.
- The color change is the common trait of spoiled hamburgers. The fresh hamburgers are bright red. If you notice that your hamburger has turned brown, you should not use it because it is rotten. Try to get rid of it at once.
- The second thing to look after the color is the smell of hamburgers. Fresh hamburgers have a pleasant meaty smell. To check your hamburger, give it a good sniff. If it smells poor, then you should get rid of it.
- Another way to check the hamburgers is by conducting a touch test. Fresh hamburgers break apart when you try to squeeze. But if it feels slimy and sticky to touch, it indicates the presence of spoilage bacteria. You should not use it if you notice this change in the texture.
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