Ground beef consists of beef chopped in a mincer or meat grinder. The beef contains different fat ratios when sold at stores. Ground beef can create dishes such as meatloaf, hamburgers and tacos. The meat cooks quickly and usually can be purchased relatively cheap. After you prepare ground beef at home, the shelf life can be extended by storing it in the refrigerator or freezer. Proper handling, cooking and storage will keep the ground beef fresh and safe from harmful bacteria.
Things You'll Need
- Meat thermometer
- Freezer bags or containers
- Airtight containers
Cook the ground beef to a safe internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Divide the beef into your desired portions. Place the ground beef into freezer bags or containers.
Place the ground beef in the freezer immediately. Use it within 3 to 4 months.
Prepare the ground beef and cook it to a safe internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the ground beef in airtight containers.
Store the beef in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Store the ground beef below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the refrigerator for best results.
Tips & Warnings
- Thaw frozen ground beef in the refrigerator overnight. Cook the thawed beef within 1 to 2 days.
- Always wash your hands, utensils and kitchen surfaces before and after handling raw ground beef to prevent a food-borne illness.
- Never store partially cooked ground beef because this method will not kill all the pathogens and they will multiply.
- Never leave ground beef out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. Discard any beef stored at room temperature longer than 2 hours because bacterial growth may have formed.
- United States Department of Agriculture; Focus on Ground Beef; October 2007
- University of California: Storing and Handling Beef
- Texas A&M University; Cooking with Ground Beef; Jenna Anding; December 2008
- University of Arizona; Ground Meat and Poultry Food Safety; Mary Abgrall; June 1998
- Clemson University Extension; Safe Handling of Beef; P.H. Schmutz et al.; November 2006
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images
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