How Do I Store Raw Meat In The Refrigerator?

Meat comes from animals that may have bacteria which is harmful to the human body.

Storing meat the proper way prevents the multiplication of the existing bacteria. These bacteria can not only make you sick but will also spoil your meat.

Cold temperatures are ideal in preventing the growth of bacteria. You may think all you need is getting that raw meat in the refrigerator.


Apparently, that is not all; there is the proper way of storing raw meat in the refrigerator to make it last longer and safe for consumption for the you and your household.

Refrigerating Raw Meat

  • Wrap the raw meat before placing it in the refrigerator. You can as well use the butcher paper in which you purchased the meat if it is tightly wrapped to limit air exposure.
  • If you had already opened your meat, rewrap it using a plastic paper.
  • Place a tray or a plate beneath the wrapped meat to trap any leaking juices from the raw meat.
  • Store the raw meat on the lower shelf in the refrigerator, which is the coolest shelf.
  • Keep it separately from other foods to avoid picking up foreign scents and flavors.
  • Place it at the very bottom to prevent contamination of other foods by the leaking juices. Some refrigerators have a drawer especially designed for the storages of meat.

Freezing and Thawing

You can also freeze raw meat in the freezer for later use.

While in a container, place the raw meat in the freezer while still fresh.

Frozen meat can stay for as long as a year. However, freezing raw meat reduces its quality, specifically texture and flavor.

To prevent this quality alteration, thaw your meat using the right procedure.

Best Way to Thaw Meat

The best option is you start by planning, remove the meat from the freezer down to the refrigerator a day prior.

It is important to note that large pieces of meat will take several days to thaw.

Alternatively, if you skip the first step, you can dip the frozen meat in a bowl of cold water though this is not recommendable.

Others opt to use the microwave which works but at the expense of the quality and texture of the meat.

Refrigeration Safety Tips For Your Raw Meat

  • Place the meat at the bottom on the lower shelf.
  • Have a tray or plate beneath the refrigerated meat.
  • Often clean your refrigerator, especially around the area with the raw meat.
  • Avoid unnecessary frequent opening of the refrigerator.
  • Do not mix your meat with other foodstuffs.

Is Ground Beef Good After Three Days In The Refrigerator?

Ground beef is simply minced meat.

It is pretty much common in making foodstuffs such as sausages, meatballs, tacos and burger. Ground meat exposes most of its surface to the atmosphere, giving space for attachment of bacteria.

This makes ground beef more susceptible to rotting compared to ordinary beef.

Consumption of such beef may be harmful to your health. Exposure of ground beef causes two types of bacteria to attach to it;

  1. Spoilage bacteria; which may not be harmful but causes rotting, awful taste and unpleasant odor.
  2. Pathogenic bacteria; which may go physically undetected, but is harmful and causes food poisoning.

Either way, do not consume any of the ground beef.

Is It Safe To Consume My Ground Beef After Three Days?

No, it is not safe.

As stated, ground beef is more exposed to bacteria during the grinding process hence has a shorter life span compared to ordinary meat.

It is also important that you check for the sell-by date as you refrigerate or consume it. For ground beef, it is safe when consumed after the first two days in a refrigerator.

After the third day, the ground beef may start showing signs of rotting. Placing it in a freezer will lengthen its lifespan to about one month.

Signs Of Spoilt Ground Beef


Change of color may occur due to several factors such as temperature, oxygen, light and bacterial growth.

On normal circumstances, the outer layer of ground beef has a red color because of the presence of oxymyoglobin. At the same time, the interior remains greyish brown as it is not exposed to oxygen.

However, if the outside turns to gray or brown, it is an indication of rotting, meaning you ought to throw your ground meat.

Moreover, if you notice any mold growth, that leaves green, blue or gray spots, indicates that your ground beef is not safe for consumption.


By feeling your ground beef, you can tell if it is rotting. Fresh beef is firm and breaks when squeezed while a rotten one feels slimy and sticky.

Wash your hands after handling the latter to avoid cross contamination by touching other foodstuffs.


This might be the simplest test.

Fresh ground beef has no smell or rather it is unnoticeable while a rotten ground beef produces an unpleasant smell.

Change if the smell is due to the overgrowth of bacteria. If you do not notice any smell, check out with the other tests I’d your ground beef is still fresh.

Sell-by Date

Check the manufacturer best before the date, which acts as a guideline to when it is unsafe to consume particular products.

Consume refrigerated ground beef within 2 days. Do not eat the ground beef past its expiry date unless when frozen.

Effects of Consuming Refrigerated Ground Beef after Three Days

As stated, after 3 days of refrigerating your ground beef it is probably rotten. You can confirm this with the tests above.

Consuming such ground beef can lead to food poisoning causing diarrhea, vomiting and fever to you and your loved ones.

Tips To Keep Your Ground Beef Healthy For Consumption

  • Getting home after purchasing the ground beef, immediately place it in the refrigerator to minimize exposure to room temperature.
  • Check the expiry date before purchase as well as its color to confirm freshness.
  • Store it separately from other foodstuffs to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Consume the ground beef within 2 days of refrigeration.
  • Place it on the lower shelf in the refrigerator at the bottom just like other raw meats, in case its juice leaks.
  • Thaw ground beef in the refrigerator to minimize exposure to room temperature.
  • Do not leave the ground beef in room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands after handling rotten ground beef to avoid spreading bacteria.