If you want to make sure that your ground pork tastes fresh and stays safe, you need to use it up between one to two days.
We’ve all been there, shopping around for a bargain and then you come across a packaging of ground pork that is close to its sell-by date. At this point you’re probably wondering how long does ground pork last in the fridge and if you can get around the expiry date. Well, as someone was professionally trained about food safety, I am here to tell you, you can’t.
In this post I will explain how long pork will remain good for, why you shouldn’t store the meat longer than recommended, and how to store it properly!
You can keep fresh raw ground pork in the fridge for one to two days. This rule has to be followed for unopened raw ground pork as well.
As for cooked ground pork, you can keep this meat in the refrigerator for three to four days as long as it properly stored.
No, ground pork, especially raw ground pork can’t be kept for a week in the fridge. If the raw ground pork has been in the fridge for more than 2 days, it is best to throw it out. In case, you are dealing cooked ground pork, then toss it out after four days is up.
This can sound pretty harsh if you have spent quite a bit of money on your raw ground pork. However, this is not a risk that you should be willing to take.
So, why does raw ground pork last in the fridge for such a short period of time?
This is because raw ground pork – or any raw ground meat, really – poses a higher threat for food poisoning than any other kind of fresh meat.
Unlike other cuts of pork or raw meat, here, the meat is ground using industrial grinders. If there is any contamination or bacteria on these grinders, it is mixed in the entire batch of the ground pork.
So, if the ground pork is left in the fridge for longer than a certain period of time without freezing or cooking, then the bacteria has time to multiply. Under these circumstances, there is a greater chance of food poisoning even if you cook the meat thoroughly.
It is only natural to wonder why you can’t simply cook raw ground pork if it has been sitting in the fridge for more than 2 days and get rid of the bacteria.
The thing is that bacteria produces heat resistant toxins. So, when you cook the pork the bacteria is killed but the toxins remain and are still potent. These toxins can still make you and others sick.
OK, so uncooked ground pork is a no go but what about cooked ground meats? Well, if you have cooked the ground meat before bacteria has set in, then you can make the ground pork last in the fridge a little longer.
It is still unwise to push things past things past four days, even if you are dealing with cooked pork. Cooked meat can go bad relatively soon if it isn’t frozen shortly after cooking.
If you are dealing with cuts other than ground pork such as pork chops, then you can store these in the fridge for three to five days.
It is best to cook the meat products or store them in the freezer before this time frame. However, the risk of food borne diseases is slightly less here. That being said, I really wouldn’t take any chances.
It is important to remember that ground pork can go bad before two days in the fridge. If you have kept the meat for longer, though, you may be curious about whether it is still good to cook and serve.
So, how do you need if the ground pork is bad? Well, here are some signs that you may be dealing with spoiled meat:
The biggest giveaway is the bad ground pork smell. Fresh ground pork will have little to no smell. However, if the meat has gone bad, then it is going to have a sour smell or simply smell as though it is off.
If you were to touch spoiled ground pork, it would have a slimy texture. It may also feel sticky. This means that the bacteria has begun to multiply on the surface.
Now, you can’t always go by appearance when it comes to spoiled ground pork. Still, it is a good idea to take a look. If there is a dull color, it has a greenish or gray tint to it, then it is likely to have gone bad.
The best way to make ground pork remain fresh for longer is to freeze it either soon after buying it or before the meat goes bad.
To do this, keep the ground pork in its original store packaging. You can then use aluminum foil, freezer paper, or plastic wrap to create a tight seal around the packaging. The tighter the seal, the less likely that freezer burn will set in.
Your other option is to use a heavy duty freezer bag. Place ground pork inside the bag and squeeze as much air out of the bag as you can. Once again, this tactic prevents freezer burn. Then, seal the meat tightly.
Frozen ground pork is good for about three to four months in the freezer. So, make sure to write the date of freezing on the package. This way, you know exactly when to use it up by.
It is just as important to thaw ground pork properly. Either leave it in the refrigerator storage until you have a completely thawed ground pork.
If you want to speed the process up, then place the entire packaging in a container of cold water. Replace the water in the container with fresh cold water every 30 minutes.
Cook the thawed ground pork immediately after it has been defrosted to prevent contamination.
You now have the answer to your question how long does ground pork last in the fridge! Make sure to keep it no more than two days in the fridge and to then cook it or freeze it immediately.