Ground pork is a versatile meat that you can use in various dishes.
But, it goes bad fast, especially if not well stored. For this reason, it is crucial to know how long it can last in the fridge.
So, exactly how long can ground pork keep in the fridge? Stay tuned!
How Long Does Uncooked Ground Pork Last In The Fridge
Generally, ground meats have a lower shelf life than whole cuts of meat like pork chops.
That’s so because ground meat has a large surface area exposed to air than whole cuts.
This gives the spoilage bacteria more space to latch on and grow.
According to the USDA, raw ground pork has a shelf life of 1 to 2 days in the fridge.
Since this is a very short period, it’s best to buy ground pork when you’re planning to cook it.
A day earlier is okay, but don’t let it go past that time.
Once bought, cook your fresh meat as soon as possible.
And if you don’t intend to cook it right away, refrigerate it immediately at 40 degrees or lower.
You can also opt to freeze the raw meats if you don’t plan on cooking in a couple of days.
When freezing, use freezer paper, or a heavy-duty freezer bag.
Remember to maintain freezer temperature at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
Cook raw pork thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
This helps in destroying all the harmful bacteria on the ground meat’s surface.
How Long Does Cooked Ground Pork Last In The Fridge
Sometimes despite everything, you end up with leftover ground pork.
If that’s the case, refrigerate the meat products as soon as it’s cooled.
Don’t let it sit at room temperatures for more than 2 hours. On hotter days, the time is reduced to one hour.
Leaving meat at temperatures 40-140 degrees longer than two hours facilitates the growth of bacteria.
The pathogenic bacteria multiply fast, leading to food poisoning or spoiled meat.
So, immediately you’ve allowed your cooked meat to rest and cool, refrigerate it.
Use airtight containers, heavy-duty aluminum foil, Ziploc bags, or plastic wraps when chilling.
Remove as much air from the storage container as possible.
And place your leftovers away from the door, preferably, on the bottom shelf.
Ensure you keep the fridge temperatures at 40 degrees or lower.
Leftover cooked pork can last 3-4 days in the fridge before it goes bad.
How Long Does Thawed Ground Pork Last In The Fridge
According to an FDATrusted source, raw, thawed ground pork can keep for 1 to 2 days in the fridge.
It’s crucial to thaw frozen pork before cooking. Rather than cooking it straight from the freezer.
Thaw your frozen pork in the fridge instead of the microwave, hot water, or counter.
Defrosting in the microwave or counter activates the harmful bacteria present when freezing.
This means you’ll have to cook the thawed piece of meat immediately. Otherwise, the activated microbes will multiply rapidly, rendering the food unsafe.
Cooked ground pork that has been defrosted in the refrigerator can keep for 3-4 days in the fridge.
If the pork leftovers were thawed in the microwave or cold water, consume them immediately.
How Can You Know Your Ground Pork Is Spoilt
Spoilt food contains one or two types of bacteria. They are:
- Pathogenic bacteria – these bacteria cause food-borne diseases and are hard to detect. They don’t result in changes in the food’s smell, texture, or color.
- Spoilage bacteria – they interfere with the food’s quality, not safety. Spoilage bacteria don’t lead to foodborne illnesses, instead, they make food rot.
Here are tell-tale signs that your ground pork is bad and unsafe to eat.
For appearance, start by observing the color of the meat. Fresh raw ground pork is pink with white dots mixed all over.
If your meat has dull color or appears grey or brown, discard it.
Another thing to look for is the presence of mold. Look for blue or green spots, and if you see any, throw the meat.
Establish what the ground pork smell like. Freshly ground pork has no smell, while bad ground pork smell.
If the pork has an acidic, ammonia-like smell or a sour smell, don’t eat it.
Take note of how your ground pork feels. The meat should feel tacky and not form dents when pressed.
If your meat has a sticky or slimy texture, chances are it’s infested with microorganisms. So, discard it.
How long ground pork can keep in the fridge depends on the type of meat.
Raw and cooked ground pork can last 1-2 and 3-4 days in the fridge. For refrigerated thawed meats, consume raw and cooked pork within 1-2 and 3-4 days.
Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)
You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!
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