How Long Can You Keep Beef Before It Goes Bad?

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The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service recommends storing fresh steaks and roasts in the refrigerator from three to five days and ground beef only one to two days. Beef roasts can be stored in the freezer from four months to one year, while steaks can be stored from six months to one year. Hamburger has a freezer shelf life of only three to four months.

Unopened packages of meat can be stored in the refrigerator in the original packaging. If the package has been opened, store the meat in an airtight container, such as a zippered plastic bag. Beef that is to be stored for longer than two months should have a double layer of packing using aluminum foil, plastic wrap or airtight plastic bags to prevent freezer burn. Always freeze meat before the maximum refrigerator storage time has elapsed.