How Long Does Ground Pork Last in the Fridge?
I love to cook with ground pork, but choosing the best way to store it in the fridge is very important for keeping it fresh and making sure that it’s safe for your next delicious meal. So, how long does ground pork last in the fridge? According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), fresh ground pork can be stored in the fridge for 1-2 days. This may be a shorter amount of time than you thought, but, it’s important in preventing pathogenic bacteria from setting up on raw ground meat.
Knowing How Long Ground Pork Lasts in the Fridge
Keeping your ground pork fresh just takes a few simple steps. Here’s how to ensure you have fresh ground pork or sausage.
How to Store Ground Pork in the Refrigerator
Keeping raw meat fresh and helping it maintain its fresh flavor is very dependent on getting it into the refrigerator quickly. You don’t want your raw pork spending any extra time out on the counter. Room temperature meat is not what we want. Here are a few tips to help you keep food safety top of mind.
Best practice when dealing with ground pork is to get it in the fridge as soon as you get home from the grocery store. Storing perishable foods like raw sausage depends on keeping the meat at the right temperature to slow down harmful bacteria growth.
Use an Airtight Container
When it comes to storing ground pork and keeping it fresh, you need to be sure that it is kept in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag. This is the best way to store opened or even sealed ground pork. If you’re going to be portioning the pork, you’ll want to wrap it up nice and tight in some freezer paper or even heavy-duty aluminum foil before you put it in a plastic bag to ensure the best results. The original store packaging is not enough to get the job done, and you’ll want to go the extra mile to help ensure freshness and the best flavor.
Refrigerator Location Matters
Have you ever heard of the danger zone when it comes to the temperature of your ground meats? You’ll want to store your ground pork in the coldest area of the fridge, so, keep it away from the fridge door so that it isn’t getting too warm. The danger zone temperature is between 40°F and 140°F, where bacteria growth accelerates. Ain’t nobody got time for food poisoning, so, be sure you’re keeping that ground pork nice and cold.
Freezing Ground Pork: Long-Term Storage Solutions
To avoid freezer burn when freezing your ground pork you’l want to wrap it in butcher paper or plastic wrap, and then wrap it again in some heavy-duty aluminum foil. You can also put your meat (works for raw chicken, raw turkey, and raw ground beef as well) in a heavy-duty freezer bag. Don’t forget to mark freezer bags with the date and a description of the meat inside so you know what you’re dealing with weeks or months into the future. Getting into this habit of making good notes on your frozen foods is a good thing!
To thaw your ground pork you’ll want to put it in cold water, being sure to keep it in a leak-proof bag. It’s a good idea to change the water if it begins to get warm to maintain a safe temperature.
How to Tell if Ground Pork Has Gone Bad
You came here wondering how long does ground pork last in the fridge, but, it’s so important to remind you to do a visual and smell-test on any meat you’ve stored in the fridge before eating it. You want to avoid eating any ground meat that has a sour smell, a slimy texture, or that has changed color from pink to gray. These are the tell-tale signs that harmful bacteria has started to set up shop on your food. This can lead to foodborne illness, so, if there’s even a hint of bacterial growth, you’ll want to get rid of that piece of meat. This is the safest way to ensure you don’t get sick.
Safety and Cooking Tips
- Expiration or Sell-By Dates: Knowing how long ground pork lasts in the fridge starts with that expiration date. Always keep an eye on the sell-by date or expiration date marked on the package. For the best quality, be sure to cook or freeze your ground pork within this timeframe. There’s a reason these dates are printed on the packaging, and it’s to keep you safe.
- Ground Pork Cooking Temperature: When it’s time to use your refrigerated or frozen ground pork, you should cook to an internal temperature of 160°F, measured with a food thermometer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best ground pork recipes?
I’m glad you asked! I absolutely love to cook with ground pork. The flavor and texture are wonderful, while being a healthier option than ground beef. My Ground Pork Chili recipe is absolutely delicious and one of the most popular recipes on my blog. I also have a yummy recipe for Ground Pork Tacos that you should check out! Also, don’t miss my Air Fryer Pork Stuffing Meatballs. They are the best!
What about other meats?
- Different Meat: You can follow similar storage tips for other types of raw meat, like raw ground beef, pork chops, fresh sausages, and even lunch meats. Fresh pork cuts, including pork tenderloin, can last 3-4 days in the fridge if stored properly. Be sure to do your research for each type of meat to find out if there are specific storage or handling instructions that you should follow.
Can I cook ground pork in a slow cooker?
- Slow Cooker Safety: Yes, cooking ground pork in a slow cooker is a great option. Ensure the cooking time is sufficient to reach a minimum internal temperature for the pork.
Is it safe to store ground pork with other meats?
- Storage Practices: Store different meat types like raw poultry, red meat, and ground beef separately in the fridge. This prevents cross-contamination. Using a safe container or separate airtight containers for each type of meat is a good idea.
How do I handle fresh vs. frozen ground pork?
- Fresh vs. Frozen:Fresh ground pork requires quick refrigeration and you should use it within 1-2 days for the best quality. Ground pork lasts in the freezer for up to three to four months before quality starts to diminish.
What about other pork products?
- Pork Products Shelf Life: Other pork products including hot dogs or unopened raw ground pork might have different storage lifespans. You can follow USDA guidelines, which asserts that unopened hot dogs can last 2 weeks in the fridge but only a week in the fridge once opened. You can freeze hotdogs for best quality up to two months.
As long as you’re following best practices, you’ll have plenty of success cooking-up delicious and healthy ground pork recipes!