Ground beef, often known as beef mince, is a common dinnertime dish. It's easy to cook, inexpensive, and doesn't require a solid recipe to produce dinner, making it a great dinner for every family.
Most families regularly purchase minced meat packets at once, keeping some in the fridge for upcoming meals, most families keep it in the freezer. While minced meat in the supermarket generally has a "best-before" date printed on the box, butcher's mince does not typically have it, and this makes it more difficult to tell if it's suitable to eat.
How would you know if the minced meat is good to go if you haven't cooked it as planned? Or how will you know if the leftovers are still good? Read more on this guide to find out if your minced meat is good or it has gone bad.
How long can minced meat stay in the fridge?
Although cooked mince has a shorter shelf life than raw mince, in actuality, cooked mince does not last much longer than fresh. Raw ground beef will only keep in the refrigerator for one to two days, according to the USDA, while cooked ground beef should be refrigerated and used within three days.
A craft butcher located in Brisbane named Clint from Peter August said that beef mince could last 1-2 days in store before a customer takes it home. After that, it is recommended that you cook the meat within one to two days.
However, if you don't plan to cook your mince meat, you can place it in the freezer immediately, and it can last from three to four months. Alternatively, you can request to have your minced meat vacuum packed, which lasts considerably longer than the regular packaging.
Why did my minced meat change color?
Don't worry if the minced meat gets a different color on the inside. The ground beef's surface appears bright red because of the interaction between the oxygen and the meat's pigments. When there is insufficient oxygen reaching the surface, the interior of the mince might occasionally take on a greyish-brown hue. The meat hasn't gone rotten because of this color shift. However, a clear sign that your mince meat is rotting is if the outside turns grey or brown, it's not suggested to cook the steak furthermore, and it's best not to take any chances.
How to tell If the Minced meat is spoiled?
Aside from changing the meat color from grey to brown, you can also tell the difference if the meat is fresh by the smell and feel.
Fresh meat usually provides a mild iron-like smell. Obviously, if the meat smells bad, then it's surely rotten or not safe to eat. If the smell of the meat is bad, then it might contain salmonella or E. coli.
Touch the ground beef, and the ground beef should be dry when frozen or taken out of the fridge. However, if the meat is slimy, then it might not be normal.
Always remember to never cook spoiled or rotten meat as it may contain various diseases that can make you sick.
How to properly store mince
Always track the date.
Monitoring how long the food has been kept in the freezer or fridge is very important. It is highly recommended to write down the date when you bring anything at home, and it's a simple method that keeps you aware of how long you can have your ground beef in the fridge or freezer. In addition, this prevents any food-borne illnesses.
Store raw minced meat
If you want to prevent raw mince from leaking and contaminating other items in the fridge, you should securely wrap it up or keep it in a container. However, If you're freezing it, raw mince should be packaged air-tight or portioned out into zip lock bags and stacked flat. It's best to have the store vacuum pack raw mince meat if you plan to save it for weeks or months.
For the best results, defrost beef mince in the refrigerator before cooking and eating it within a few days after taking it out of the freezer.
Always prepare ground beef to a minimum temperature of 160°F/70°C, the best temperature to avoid bacteria and food-borne diseases.
Minced meat is a very versatile and practical dinner that's perfect for families. Just always remember to check if it's good or bad. You don't want to serve bad meat to your family.