How long can raw meat be stored in the fridge?

by (227) Updated January 27, 2014 at 9:38 PM Created January 29, 2013 at 9:32 PM

I heard that if you store raw meat below 35 degrees fahrenheit, that it can last for weeks in the refrigerator without spoiling and actually the enzymatic action will increase over time.

I realize that conventional wisdom and the USDA give a range of 1-3 days, but I'm asking about experiences from other unconventional hardcore meat eaters who are not absolutely fearful that eating raw meat will lead to e. coli.

Anyone have experience with this? I have 40lbs of ground beef coming from US Wellness today and debating whether to store it in the fridge or freezer.


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3365 · January 30, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Asprey suggests that 'aged' meats are actually loaded with toxic agents. Basically, the same micro-organisms that are 'aging' the meat are also very unhealthy for the meat that is you. Don't know how true this is.

Otherwise, if you're talking beef & lamb in particular, you can pretty much eat it until it smells spoiled. Generally E. Coli is only going to be present from mishandling somewhere along the line, and usually only exists on surface areas that I'm aware of. Even a rare steak sees surface temps ample enough to destroy bacteria.

So... beware ground meats (yes, even if you grind them yourself) because, in effect, the entire serving becomes 'surface area' due to the grinding process.

Also, many times when a meat smells spoiled, it's just the blood/juices that have gone bad. Rinse it thoroughly in cold water and sniff again. This happens most often with chicken in my experience, but beef and beef liver get nasty odors, too

775 · January 29, 2013 at 10:00 PM

In my experience, uncooked meat lasts up to 5 days in the fridge. I would certainly freeze most of your ground beef. Unless you can eat 40 lbs in 4 or 5 days ;)

Keep your meat in the back, which happens to stay colder and you should be ok for more than 3 days. I always use the smell test. Hasn't failed me yet!!

1981 · January 29, 2013 at 10:20 PM

I have a fair amount of faith in my body's poison-detectors. I've stored raw meat in the fridge for 10-12 days, and sometimes I've used it and it's been fine. Sometimes, it smells or looks 'not-right' and I turf it.

5584 · January 29, 2013 at 10:06 PM

first off, i am extremely jealous that you can afford 40 lbs of US Wellness Meats!!! i always buy the minimum 7 lbs when i order and it's still over $100.

i usually keep meat in the fridge no more than 3 days.

1230 · January 29, 2013 at 11:59 PM

Dude, don't risk food poisoning. That's my general advice with regard to meats. One false move & it'll cancel any marginal gains you ever make.

It's not just e. coli. It's a heck of alotta other stuff that wants to get inside your body and multiply. And not all of it is curable with medicine.

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0 · January 27, 2014 at 9:38 PM

I hunt ducks and deer, several of my friends have started ageing the ducks... you place the WHOLE DUCK in the fridge, in the open and age it for a week... they seem to like it but I have yet to try it (kinda freaks me out).

As for venison... after harvesting a deer it is normal to "bleed" the meat for several days depending on the age and sex of the animal... the older the animal the longer the process, this year I harvested a doe that was 6 years old and once the meat was quartered it goes into an Ice chest full of ice, once a day you add water and then drain the bloody water out then add more ice... My family has been doing this for several generations, it takes the "wild taste" out of the meat.

962 · December 10, 2013 at 12:55 AM

so I picked up my grass fed steer two days before Thanksgiving (actually divided with other families). The freezer is full full full and one bag of bones can not fit and goes in the fridge. I call a friend and he says sure, bring them to work for my dog. I then forget a few days, but the last night, with the bones already smelling (it is now 8 days since the pickup) I decide that I should have the bones with exposed marrow, because frankly I like that dog but not so much that I would share baked marrow with him. I cook them in the oven, and the marrow is far better than anything you can buy at Kroger (perhaps a tad less perfect than regular grass fed marrow). I spread it on mashed potatoes with a glass of red and I feel like a king. I froze the rest overnight (by now the freezer is less full), then I took them to work the next morning. So at least marrow holds up one week in the fridge.

0 · December 09, 2013 at 10:04 PM

@elaichi - Wet aging is what you are referring to. Google search "how to properly wet age beef" and you should find plenty of resources. It should not be done with ground beef (due to the surface area issue addressed previously), but you can safely wet age vacuum sealed cuts of beef for up to 6 weeks after the packing date. You MUST know the packaging date, which is nearly impossible for almost all transactions... get to know your butcher and the can get this info for you.

1637 · January 30, 2013 at 7:39 PM

I think just freezing the unused amount it ready to use portions is a pretty easy fix.

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