Chances are at one time or another you’ve purchased some ground pork and are interested in learning more about how to store it as well as food safety. Ground pork is a great versatile meat, but as is the case with many food products, you’ll want to know all the details. And as a side of caution, you might be surprised at the answer to how long does ground pork last in the fridge.
How To Store Ground Pork
There are a variety of ways you can store ground pork and sometimes all you need is some plastic wrap or you can leave it in its original packaging. Here are the details.
Your raw meat shouldn’t be left at room temperature but should be placed in the refrigerator or freezer right away. It can be left right in its original packaging.
If you’re putting it in the freezer and you intend to use it in smaller portions when you thaw it out, go ahead and portion it out now and freeze it in zipped freezer bags.
There’s no need to wrap your cooked pork in heavy-duty aluminum foil, instead the easiest way is just to transfer it to an airtight container for the refrigerator.
If freezing it, you can use an airtight container or a zipped freezer bag. Be sure to label the packaging with the contents and the date.
How Long Does Ground Pork Last in the Fridge?
Ground pork has a short shelf life when it’s raw. It will only last for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. After that you’ll risk consuming pork that’s gone bad.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, if you have leftover ground pork that’s still raw, still sitting around in your refrigerator after 3-4 days, it should be thrown away.
How Long Does Ground Pork Last in the Freezer?
Ground pork, whether it’s cooked or raw, will last in the freezer for up to 2 months. When packaging ground pork directly from the grocery store for the freezer, use freezer bags to help keep it from getting freezer burn.
Your pork meat should be dated and labeled for future reference.
How Can You Tell if Ground Pork Has Gone Bad?
There are a variety of indicators you can look for to know whether your ground pork has gone bad. We recommend using your senses such as smell, touch, and sight to note those signs of spoilage.
Ground pork that has gone bad has a slimy texture. By touching your ground fresh meat, you will feel the slimy texture. Sometimes it can even be seen.
Harmful bacteria or even just the growth of bacteria will cause a foul odor or sour smell. So if you’re not sure if your ground pork is any good, you can give it a big smell and you’ll know right away by its smell.
Many fresh meats are wrapped in freezer paper or butcher paper, depending on the type of meat. The goal of wrapping the meat helps to give it the best flavor and appearance.
And this is to help keep much air from getting to its surface area. But don’t let this fool you. Pathogenic bacteria can still form under the wrapping.
The best way to know if your ground pork as gone bad is to unwrap it and then see what you’re dealing with.
If you notice discoloration or the presence of mold, these can also be key indicators that your ground pork has gone bad.
What Are the Risks of Consuming Pork that’s Gone Bad?
When you consume pork that has gone bad, there are potential serious risks involved. Food poisoning or foodborne illnesses are caused by food that has spoiled. This is usually due to spoilage bacteria.
These illnesses can become very serious and even cause death in some cases.
How Do I Know if Ground Pork Has Expired?
Ground pork should have an expiration date as well as a sell-by date that’s printed right on the manufacturer’s packaging.
The sell-by date refers to the date the meat should be sold by. And the expiration date refers to the date the meat should be used by.
What is the Safe Temperature for Cooked Pork?
In order for pork to be considered safe to eat, it needs to reach an internal temperature of 145F degrees. This is referred to as a safe internal temperature.
Frequently Asked Questions
Following are frequently asked questions that relate to how long does ground pork last in the fridge. If you have a question that’s not answered here, feel free to drop it to us in the comments box below and we’ll be happy to respond.
Can you keep raw ground pork in the fridge for 4 days?
No, various types of meat have various windows of time that they’ll last in the refrigerator. But for the best quality fresh pork, it can only be kept for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
If it’s been there longer than that, it’s considered spoiled and should be thrown away.
Is pork good after 5 days in fridge?
Whether your raw pork has been stored in an airtight container or even something as hefty as a heavy-duty freezer bag, ground meat such as pork is no longer considered safe to eat after 2 days in the refrigerator.
Five-day old meat could potentially cause serious illness and should be thrown away.
How long can thawed ground pork stay in the fridge?
You might be thinking to yourself that uncooked pork should be thawed in cold water, and while that can be true under some circumstances, it doesn’t lengthen the shelf life as far as food safety is concerned for how long it’s safe to keep ground pork in the fridge.
It’s only safe to keep raw ground pork in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.