How long can meat be stored in the refrigerator? Storage conditions and periods

Storing beef and pork in the refrigerator

If, for some reason, you cannot put the purchased product in the freezer, use the refrigerator. Proceed as follows:

  1. Remove plastic wrap from cut of beef or pork.
  2. Transfer to an enamel bowl or plastic container.
  3. Cover with a lid, but not tightly.
  4. Place on a shelf close to the freezer compartment.

The maximum shelf life depends on the temperature:

  • at t +5 - +7 - no more than 12 hours;
  • at t 0 - +7 - up to 24 hours;
  • at t -3 – 0 – up to two days.

Tip: a large piece of fresh meat is stored much better and longer, so it is not recommended to first cut it into portions.

Shelf life of meat in a vacuum

Modern techniques make it possible to preserve raw meat and all its original characteristics and properties much longer. It will be completely usable after a long time. At the same time, the shelf life of meat in vacuum packaging increases on average two to three times.

You can profitably buy packaging materials in Moscow wholesale and retail to extend the shelf life of products and raw meat on store shelves, as well as in warehouses.

Let's look at the specific numbers in the table. Here experts provide confirmed comparative data.

It is important to know how long meat can be stored in vacuum packaging. The deadlines for raw meat in a vacuum and in film are as follows.

Refrigerated. The temperature is maintained at +3 degrees. In a frozen state. The required temperature level is maintained: it is -18 degrees.
In vacuum film the period will be 7 days. It can be stored in a vacuum for up to 18 months.
Can be stored in film for a maximum of 3 days. Storage in film is permissible for a maximum of six months.

Experts say: the shelf life of meat in vacuum packaging increases significantly. At the same time, the product remains safe and suitable for consumption. This technology also allows you to preserve all the taste properties of the product, its consistency, and other features.

Pork and beef in the freezer

Pork and beef can be stored in the freezer for up to a year, it is only important to take into account the temperature in the chamber:

  • at temperatures from -10 to -8 °C - about 3-4 months;
  • at t from -18 to -10 °C – up to 4-8 months;
  • at t from -24 to -18 °C – up to 10-12 months.

To prevent beef and pork from spoiling in the freezer, do the following:

  1. Rinse the product well.
  2. Divide into portions.
  3. Wrap each one in foil. You can use parchment or a plastic bag.
  4. Be sure to write the freezing date on the bag.

Try not to cut beef and pork into small pieces, as this will keep the meat for less time - a large piece will last much longer.

How many days can different types of meat be stored in the freezer?

Industrial freezers can keep any food for decades, but a standard home freezer is subject to stricter time limits and food must be purchased with caution.

  1. Cattle product (pork, beef or lamb) should be kept frozen for 4 months to a year.
  2. Poultry (whole chicken, goose, etc.) can spoil faster. It can be kept in the freezer for a maximum of a year, but after 8-9 months the taste is lost.
  3. Poultry meat (chicken, turkey, duck), chopped into pieces, can sit quietly for up to 8 months.
  4. It is more difficult to predict how long minced meat will last in the freezer even at the lowest temperature. Any chilled food (minced meat, offal) has already been in the store for some time. The approximate shelf life of frozen minced meat is 4 months, but you should always check the expiration date on the packaging and mentally subtract another month or so. Supermarkets often have the sin of re-sticking stickers with the date of manufacture if something is out of stock.


If you need to cook chicken that has been in the freezer for longer than the given time, you should boil it for at least an hour and a half. Various spices will help get rid of the unpleasant smell of old meat, but you need to be sure that the meat has not been defrosted more than once, otherwise it will no longer be suitable for cooking.

Storage without refrigeration

If a situation arises where a cold spot cannot be found, try one of the following methods:

Fabric soaked in saline solution

Wrap the product in paper. Prepare a strong salt solution and soak a towel or any rag well in it. Wrap a dampened cloth around the bag of meat. Shelf life is up to three days.

nettle leaves

Wrap the fresh product in nettle leaves, place in a glass or enamel bowl, and cover with a wet cloth. Shelf life is up to two to three days.

Lemon juice or vinegar

Rub with lemon juice (or vinegar) and place in an enamel bowl. Do not cover. The maximum period is two days.

Chilled milk

Another old, proven method: rinse a fresh piece, put it in an enamel container, and fill it with chilled homemade milk. Duration – no more than three days.

As a last resort, you can cook marinated meat. How much and what to take for pickling - decide for yourself. Any method will do, for example, use a shashlik recipe. Beef or pork cooked in vinegar, kefir or lemon juice will not go rotten within three days.

How and for how long can the finished product be stored in the refrigerator?

There is a difference between storing raw and finished product, which can be seen below.

How long does baked chicken last in the refrigerator?

Baked chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for a long time. Baked wings and legs, thighs and drumsticks, and whole baked chicken will keep well for at least three days. The temperature regime should not exceed +5°Ϲ. To prevent the chicken from absorbing foreign odors, place it in a tray and cover with a lid.

How long does fried chicken last in the refrigerator?

Food standards allow fried chicken to be stored for up to three days. Storage is allowed in a closed pan, airtight trays/containers or in foil. If you plan to store meat for more than two days, you need to fry it before consuming it.

How long does boiled chicken last in the refrigerator?

If the refrigerator compartment maintains a constant temperature not exceeding +2°Ϲ to +4°Ϲ, with a humidity of 85%, storage time, according to established standards, is allowed up to 24 hours. It is better not to take risks with storing boiled chicken and consume it immediately. Boiled chicken spoils quickly, and the likelihood of poisoning will be quite high if the storage period is violated.

How long does fried meat last in the refrigerator?

If a constant temperature regime is maintained from +2°Ϲ to + 4°Ϲ, fried products can be stored for three to four days. Storage: tray/container/foil.

Poultry, rabbit meat, nutria - stored correctly

How long poultry, rabbit meat or nutria can be kept fresh depends on the chosen storage location. In the table we tried to reflect the main options and deadlines.

In a refrigeratorIn the freezer
Fresh carcassUp to two days8-12 months
Portioned piecesOne day6-8 months

When storing without a refrigerator, treat the carcasses in any way - soak in milk, rub with lemon juice or wrap in nettles. Store no more than a day.

How to freeze correctly

Preparation for freezing is more important. It is necessary that the meat lies in separate portions, and not as a whole frozen piece.

  • Wash fresh meat, remove excess moisture with a napkin and cut into portions convenient for cooking.
  • Wrap each serving tightly in foil, paper or cling film.
  • Place several servings in one bag.
  • Write the date of freezing on a piece of paper or a sticky note and put it in the same bag.
  • Place everything in the freezer.

Interesting: Is it possible to eat cherries from the freezer after 4 years of storage?

Recording the date will help you determine exactly when you froze the meat and how long it can be stored. The pieces in the paper will not freeze together and will not be re-frozen. They are convenient to take out, defrost and cook.

Offal and minced meat - how and where to store

We buy liver, kidneys, heart and other offal from time to time, mainly to prepare liver filling for pies. How long they are stored and under what conditions, we will consider further.

By-products spoil quickly - they can be stored in the refrigerator for no more than eight hours. If not used during this time, transfer to the freezer. In the freezer, store in foil or plastic. The maximum period is up to two months.

How long fresh minced meat will be stored also depends on the conditions. If in the refrigerator - no more than 10 hours, in the freezer - 2-3 months.

How to preserve meat longer: tips

Beef is stored fresh in the refrigerator better if it is not washed before putting it in the chamber. Washed meat spoils faster. If, upon purchase, the semi-finished product was no longer fresh and a characteristic smell appeared, you need to rinse the meat, but not with water, but with a weak solution of vinegar. This will stop the spoilage process a little. If meat is separated from the bones before storage, it will retain its properties longer. It is very convenient to place the meat in a plastic food container before storing it in the refrigerator. It is recommended to store minced beef only in such containers, and not in bags.

You need to defrost meat slowly, in natural conditions, or even better in the refrigerator. This will avoid unnecessary losses of tissue juice and vitamins and minerals dissolved in it. It is best to place a piece of meat that is removed from the freezer in the refrigerator. Defrosting in this case may require from 6 to 24 hours, but at the same time it will be possible to preserve the nutritional value of the product as much as possible.

The shelf life of chilled and cooked meat in the refrigerator depends on temperature and other factors. If you follow certain rules, you can keep beef fresh longer. But you need to plan everything in advance. If the product begins to spoil and you cannot cook it, it is better to freeze the beef for future use.

Shelf life of semi-finished meat products in the refrigerator

Semi-finished products include products that remain to be cooked until ready. Examples include cutlets, stuffed peppers, cabbage rolls, schnitzel, etc. They are stored under the following parameters:

  • Large pieces of beef, pork, lamb – 48 hours;
  • Breaded preparations – 36 hours;
  • Small portions in sauce or marinade – 36 hours;
  • Chopped semi-finished products – 24 hours.

Poultry fillet products retain freshness at half the rate.

Shelf life of chilled meat according to GOST and SanPin

Regulation is prescribed in documents - State Industry Standards and Sanitary Rules and Norms. GOSTs regulate the requirements of the product manufacturer for preparation and sale, SanPiN establishes hygienic requirements for shelf life and storage conditions. According to documents, the time that a cut or carcass can remain fresh in the cold is from +2 to +4 in the form of:

  • Large boneless pieces – 48 hours;
  • Small boneless pieces – 36 hours;
  • Minced beef, pork - 24 hours;
  • Minced poultry – 12 hours.

The fresher the raw material was initially, the higher the percentage of preservation of useful elements.

About beef, pork and lamb

Marked portioned pieces of these types of meat, sealed in cellophane, if the freezer is equipped with a “quick freezing” mode, can be stored for different amounts of time: beef - no more than 10, lamb - 6, pork - 8 months. Pure fat or pieces of meat sufficiently saturated with it can be kept in the chamber for no more than four months.

Having found out how long frozen meat can be stored in the freezer, you must remember that the temperature at which it was cooled must be constant, without further decrease or increase. Only in this case can you get tasty and healthy beef, lamb or pork for your culinary masterpieces. If the refrigerator does not have a “quick freezing” mode, then any type of meat should be stored at a temperature no higher than minus 18 degrees.

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