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At Home Storage

Like all perishable foods, beef must be handled and stored properly to avoid spoilage and foodborne illness. Follow these food-safe practices:

Remember that ground beef, beef for stir-fry, beef for stew and beef for kabobs are more perishable than whole muscle cuts (roasts and steaks).  During the grinding process for ground beef, any bacteria on the surface are mixed throughout.  Cutting into strips or cubes creates more exposed surface area for bacteria to grow on.  Both processes result in shorter shelf life.

The chart below lists recommended storage times for preservation of wholesomeness and quality in beef.


Refrigerator/Freezer Storage

  Type of Beef Refrigerator
(35°F to 40°F)
(0°F or colder)
Fresh Beef Steaks
Pot Roasts
3 to 4 days 6 to 12 months
Beef For Kabobs
Beef For Stew
Beef For Stir-Fry
2 to 3 days 6 to 12 months
Ground Beef 1 to 2 days 3 to 4 months
Leftover Beef (Cooked) All 3 to 4 days 2 to 3 months
Cured, Smoked and Ready-to-Serve Beef Products Corned Beef, (ready-to-cook) 1 week 2 weeks
Deli Products
3 to 5 days 1 to 2 months
Smoked Sausage
Dry and Semi-Dry
1 week no
Sausage, unsliced 2 to 3 weeks no





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