Burger "sell by" date, seriously?

Hamburger
Photo credit: Lynn Ketchum
Q:

How many days is ground beef safe after the "sell by" date?

- Washington County, OR
A:

That will depend on how cold it has been kept while it was at the store, while it was transported to your house and how cold your refrigerator is. The optimum temperature is 33 degrees F for meats in your refigerator.

Generally, you can expect to be able to use ground beef one to three days after the "sell by" date depending on how it has been handled. Quality begins to decline on the Sell by date, so you should try to use the meat as soon as you can.

Don't use foods that show signs of spoilage such as mold, off-odor, slimy texture.

If perishable foods won't be used soon, freeze them to maintain freshness if they freeze well.

Glenda Hyde
Family and Community Health Educator
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