Ground pork is a relatively versatile meat, and it can be used in countless recipes. If you buy ground pork in bulk, store it properly so that it doesn’t spoil before you get the chance to enjoy cooking with it. Knowing the average shelf life of ground pork can help ensure its freshness as you plan meals throughout your week or month. By understanding how long ground pork lasts in the fridge, you’ll reduce your risk of food-borne illnesses while ensuring your ingredients still have plenty of flavor when mealtime comes around. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what’s typical for ground pork storage times and provide tips on judging whether or not yours has gone bad so that you can make informed decisions about when to cook with — or discard — any remaining contents within your refrigerator.
How Long Does Ground Pork Last in the Fridge?
For safely stored, fresh ground pork, you can typically expect it to last for one to two days in the refrigerator before going bad. To extend its shelf life, you can store frozen ground pork in an airtight package or container and it will still be safe to eat within three to four months. Just make sure that any thawing and reheating instructions on the package, such as cooking to an internal temperature of at least 145 °F (63 °C), are followed.
It’s important to remember that ground pork is more perishable than other types of meat and needs to be cooked within a short window after purchase. If your ground pork has been in the refrigerator for more than two days, the safest option is to either cook it right away or throw it out.
Judging Whether Your Ground Pork Has Gone Bad
If you’re unsure if your ground pork has gone bad — even after checking the expiration date — you can use your senses as a guide. Start by looking at the color of your ground pork. If it’s discolored or slimy, these are signs that the meat has gone bad and should be discarded immediately. Additionally, you can smell your ground pork to detect any sour odors which is another indication of spoilage.
Keeping Your Ground Pork Fresher for Longer
If you plan on using ground pork in the near future, it’s best to store it in its original packaging or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. This will help prevent any moisture from getting into your ground pork and will also keep out any bacteria. Additionally, make sure you’re storing your ground pork in the refrigerator as soon as possible after purchasing it or defrosting it. This will help maximize its shelf life and decrease the chances of food-borne illness.
When it comes to ground pork, the key is to eat it as soon as possible after purchasing or defrosting it. By knowing how long ground pork can last in your refrigerator — and some helpful tips for judging if yours has gone bad — you’ll be able to make informed decisions about when to cook with it or throw it out. This will help you enjoy the delicious flavors of ground pork while still ensuring your safety by avoiding any food-borne illnesses.
Can You Buy Ground Pork?
Yes, you can buy ground pork at most grocery stores, butcher shops, and online. Just make sure to check the expiration date before purchasing it to ensure that your ground pork is as fresh as possible. Additionally, you should also look for any telltale signs of spoilage such as discoloration or slimy textures.
Is Ground Pork The Same Thing As Sausage?
No, ground pork is not the same thing as sausage. Ground pork is simply freshly-ground pieces of pork that you can use for making dishes such as burgers or meatballs. Sausage, on the other hand, typically contains a mixture of spices and ground meats — often including pork — which are then blended together and packed into a casing. Sausage is usually pre-cooked and comes in various shapes, sizes, and flavors.
By understanding the differences between ground pork and sausage, you’ll be able to make informed decisions about which type of meat will best suit your needs and preferences when it comes time to prepare a delicious meal.
How Long Does Raw Ground Pork Last in the Fridge?
Raw ground pork can last in the fridge for one to two days before going bad. To maximize its shelf life and minimize your chances of food-borne illness, make sure you store your pork in an airtight package or container and use it as soon as possible after purchasing it or defrosting it.
How Long Does Ground Pork Last in the Fridge After It’s Cooked?
Cooked ground pork can last in the fridge for up to four days, although it’s best to eat or freeze it within two days of cooking. For optimal safety and quality, make sure you store your cooked ground pork in an airtight container or package and use it as soon as possible after cooking.
A Word About Internal Temperature
It’s important to note that the safe internal temperature for consuming ground pork is at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. To check the internal temperature of your cooked ground pork, use a meat thermometer and insert it into the thickest portion of the meat. If it reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, then your cooked ground pork is safe to eat.
Can You Freeze Ground Pork?
Yes, you can freeze ground pork for up to three months. To maximize its shelf life and minimize spoilage, make sure you store your ground pork in an airtight package or container before freezing it. Additionally, you should use large pieces of freezer paper or plastic wrap to separate the individual packages into smaller portions. This will help preserve the freshness of the pork and make it easier to thaw out only the amount you need at a time.
When thawing frozen ground pork, make sure to do so in the refrigerator — never on the countertop or in warm water. Additionally, try to use your thawed pork within two days after defrosting for maximum freshness.
How To Defrost Ground Pork?
When it comes to defrosting ground pork, there are two main methods you can use. The first is to allow the meat to thaw naturally in your refrigerator overnight. This will help preserve its flavor and texture, but make sure that you cook it within one or two days after thawing. Alternatively, you can also defrost ground pork by submerging it in cold water. This method is faster and will make your pork much easier to work with, but you must also cook it immediately after thawing or discard any unused portions.
The Bottom Line
Ground pork is a delicious, versatile ingredient that can be used in all sorts of dishes. To ensure your safety and enjoy the best quality, make sure you’re keeping an eye on how long ground pork lasts in the fridge or freezer. Additionally, always check the expiration date before purchasing and look for any signs of spoilage. Finally, always use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your cooked ground pork before consuming it. With these helpful tips and tricks, you’ll be sure to enjoy the delicious flavors of ground pork for many meals to come!