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Old 01-28-2010, 04:55 AM   #1
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Beef and the "Sell By" Date

So this is something I have always wondered. My local store always dates the ground beef one day after they put it out for sale. So, let's say I bought some ground beef that says sell by Jan 26. I used it to make goulash last night ( the 27th ) Does cooking it extend the life of it? I was thinking of freezing it all this morning but don't know if that's necessary. Thoughts anyone?


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Old 01-28-2010, 06:36 AM   #2
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After you cook the meat the original sell by date becomes meaningless. Then you should consume it or freeze it within three days.

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Old 01-28-2010, 06:44 AM   #3
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A “Sell By” date is stamped on a package to help the store know how long to display the product....It is not a safety date...It can however help the consumer to know the time frame in which to buy and or use the product for it’s best quality.....After the date passes the product should still be safe for a period of time if kept at 40* or less....In this case, ground beef should be ok 1-2 days past the “Sell By” date...It should be used (cooked) or frozen during this time....If frozen the Date means nothing as the product will be safe almost indefinitely....The quality/texture of the product will deteriorate over time however....After cooking the "Sell By" date means nothing.

Cooking "extends" the foods life only to the point of it being consumed or frozen in a timely manner. ~~~ Any of your goulash that you did not consume...Freeze it for later keeping in mind that the longer it is frozen the quality/texture will suffer. HTH

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Old 01-28-2010, 07:53 AM   #4
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The sell by date is just a suggestion. That date does not mean the meat will no longer be usable on that date. It is just a best guess at when the meat will not be in it's prime anymore. No one has any way of knowing exactly when a piece of meat will go bad.

Cooking buys you some more time. If the meat has already turned though then cooking won't help.
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:09 PM   #5
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Cooking the meat results in an extension of the date...eat or freeze within a few days
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:56 PM   #6
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I purchaced a piece of ribeye that was passed its "prime", at least as far as the average consumer believes. It was a little grey around the edges, but had no offensive odor. In fact, it was a little drier than what is usually found in the market. I snapped it up, especially since it was marked down by about 3 bucks a pound. It was beautifully dry aged, but didn't meet the "bright red" requirements of most consumers. It was some of the best tasting ribeye that I ever purchased from that store, and was suprememly tender as well.

Knowledge and a good nose will get you further than will a sell-by date, IMHO.

Dairy products are usually great up to 7 days past the sell-by date, when refrigerated properly. And cryovac meets, let them wet age in the fridge for a time to further tenderize them. btu again, do the research and learn what is safe and what isn't, and how to judge the product.

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Old 01-29-2010, 04:38 PM   #7
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Thanks for all of the replies. I know the sell by date was just a suggestion. Heck, Walmart's sell by date is always 7 days in the future, while my local grocery store uses the next day. I guess I was just wondering if cooking it added some time, and you guys answered my questions. Thanks!

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