Are you a fan of ground pork? Whether you’re using it for a savory stir-fry or a juicy burger, it’s important to know how long it can last in your fridge.
Raw ground pork has a short shelf life, but with proper storage techniques, you can extend its freshness. In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of ground pork storage, including how long it lasts in the fridge and freezer, how to tell if it’s gone bad, and more.
So, let’s dive in and learn how to keep your ground pork fresh and delicious!
How Long Does Ground Pork Last In Fridge?
According to the USDA, raw ground pork has a shelf life of 1 to 2 days in the fridge. This means that you should use it or freeze it within that time frame to ensure its freshness and safety.
However, if you want to extend the shelf life of your ground pork, there are a few things you can do. First, make sure to keep it refrigerated at all times. Unopened raw ground pork can be kept in its original store packaging when refrigerating, but once opened, it should be transferred to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag.
To maximize the shelf life of ground pork, do not open the package until ready to use. This will help prevent bacteria growth and keep your meat fresh for longer.
Ground pork will stay fresh up to five days, but around day three, you should definitely check the package. If it starts to turn brown or has a sour smell, it’s time to discard it.
The Shelf Life Of Raw Ground Pork
When it comes to raw ground pork, it’s important to keep in mind that it has a relatively short shelf life. According to the USDA, raw ground pork can be kept in the fridge for 1 to 2 days. This is because the pork has already been exposed to the air through the grounding process, making it more susceptible to bacteria growth.
It’s important to note that this shelf life applies to both opened and unopened packages of raw ground pork. If you have an unopened package of ground pork in the fridge, make sure to use it or freeze it within 1 to 2 days of purchase.
To further extend the shelf life of your raw ground pork, you can freeze it. Before freezing, make sure to wrap the meat tightly in heavy-duty aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or freezer paper. Alternatively, you can place the meat in a heavy-duty freezer bag.
When freezing ground pork, make sure to do so before the number of days shown for refrigerator storage has elapsed. Properly stored, raw ground pork will maintain its best quality for about 3 to 4 months in the freezer.
If you’ve already frozen your ground pork and want to thaw it, make sure to do so within 2 to 3 months. Thawing should be done in the fridge or using cold water, and once thawed, the meat should be cooked immediately.
Proper Storage Techniques For Ground Pork
When storing ground pork in the fridge, it is important to follow proper storage techniques to ensure its safety and freshness. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Keep it refrigerated at all times: Ground pork should be refrigerated at temperatures below 40 °F. Make sure to store it in the coldest part of the refrigerator, such as the bottom shelf.
2. Use an airtight container or resealable plastic bag: Once you open the package of ground pork, transfer it to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. This will help prevent bacteria growth and keep your meat fresh for longer.
3. Label the container or bag: Label the container or bag with the date of purchase or the date when you opened it. This will help you keep track of how long it has been in the fridge.
4. Store it properly: Store ground pork separately from other meats and cooked foods to prevent cross-contamination. Make sure to keep uncooked and cooked pork items separate as well.
5. Check for freshness: Check the package of ground pork on day three and day five to ensure its freshness. If it starts to turn brown or has a sour smell, it’s time to discard it.
By following these proper storage techniques, you can extend the shelf life of your ground pork and ensure its safety for consumption.
How Long Can You Freeze Ground Pork?
If you want to keep your ground pork for longer than a few days, freezing is your best option. When freezing ground pork, it’s important to keep it in its original store packaging and create a tight seal around it. This can be achieved by using heavy-duty aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or freezer paper. Alternatively, you can use a heavy-duty freezer bag and squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing.
Frozen ground pork will maintain its best quality for about three to four months, but it will remain safe beyond that time if it has been properly stored. To ensure that you use your frozen ground pork before it goes bad, make sure to write the date of freezing on the package.
When thawing frozen ground pork, it’s best to do so in the refrigerator. This will allow the meat to thaw slowly and safely. Once thawed, ground pork can be kept in the refrigerator for an additional one to two days before cooking.
Signs That Ground Pork Has Gone Bad
There are several signs that ground pork has gone bad and should not be consumed. One of the most obvious signs is a sour smell. Fresh ground pork should have little to no smell, so if you notice a strong, unpleasant odor, it’s likely that the meat has gone bad.
Another sign to look out for is discoloration. If you see gray, green, or brown patches on the meat, it could be an indication of rotten ground pork, freezer burn, or simply expired meat. In any case, it’s best to err on the side of caution and throw it out.
Texture is also a good indicator of whether ground pork has gone bad. It can become dry and rubbery, or slimy and moldy. If you notice any of these textures, it’s best to discard the meat.
It’s important to note that ground pork can turn brown naturally, especially if it’s from a reputable purveyor. However, if you’re unsure whether the discoloration is natural or a sign of spoilage, it’s best to err on the side of caution and discard the meat.
Tips For Using Up Ground Pork Before It Expires
If you’re worried about your ground pork expiring before you have a chance to use it, here are some tips to help you use it up before it goes bad:
1. Plan ahead: If you know you won’t be able to use all the ground pork within a few days, consider dividing it into smaller portions and freezing them for later use. This way, you can thaw only what you need and avoid waste.
2. Cook in bulk: Consider cooking a large batch of ground pork and using it in multiple meals throughout the week. This will help you use it up before it expires, and also save time on meal prep.
3. Use versatile recipes: Ground pork can be used in a variety of dishes, from tacos to stir-fries to meatballs. Look for recipes that use ground pork as a main ingredient and that you can easily adapt to your taste preferences.
4. Store properly: Make sure to store any leftover cooked ground pork in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag in the fridge. This will help it stay fresh for up to four days.
By following these tips, you can make sure that your ground pork doesn’t go to waste and that you get the most out of your purchase.