How Long Can Beef Brisket Be Refrigerated?

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Storing meat in the refrigerator does not render it edible forever. Bacteria that you cannot see live on the meat and continue to grow during refrigeration. Like all meat, beef brisket can only remain in the refrigerator for a number of days before bacterial growth reaches unsafe levels. Eating beef brisket after the recommended time leaves you susceptible to foodborne illnesses.

Raw

  • Raw beef brisket keeps up to five days in the refrigerator. Leave the meat in its original packaging and place it in the refrigerator as soon as you return home from the supermarket. Set the meat on the bottom shelf so that any blood that drips from the packaging does not contaminate other foods. Cook the meat within the five days, or it won't be safe to eat.

Leftovers

  • Wrap leftover brisket tightly in foil or plastic wrap, or put it in a container with a tight-fitting lid. It will keep for up to four days in the refrigerator. After that, it's no longer edible because of the amount of bacterial growth that develops. If you notice cooked beef brisket sitting in the back of your refrigerator, and the four days have elapsed, don't eat it. Throw it away.

Refrigerator Temperatures

  • Cooked or uncooked, beef brisket requires a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower during refrigeration. Bacterial growth increases in temperatures above 40 F, rendering the meat unsafe for consumption when held at such temperatures for two hours or more. In temperatures of 90 F and higher, the beef brisket is only safe to eat for up to one hour before it will need to be thrown away.

Considerations

  • If there is a chance that you will not cook the meat within the five days, freezing it will buy you more time. Temperatures of 0 degrees F or below keep the brisket fresh for up to 12 months. Leftovers can be put in the freezer for up to three months.

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