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Old 05-17-2019, 02:06 PM   #1
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Shelf life of cooked roast beef

OK, so I cooked 2 eye of round roasts, to slice up for deli meat. Not a very tender cut, but sliced thin it is quite nice.

My hands aren't strong and my DH has shakes, so I borrowed a slicer from a co-worker.

My question has to do with how long do you keep cooked beef in the fridge? I am old enough to say that not one person in my life ever got food poisoning from refrigerated meats, and my rule of thumb has always been about a week. After that, I feel I'd rather discard it.

But I know people who have cooked large roasts and eaten off of them for as long as 2 weeks with no problems or issues.

These days, they tell you 3-4 days when you look it up. I have an opinion that some organizations tend to overreact and over-exaggerate things in today's world, and I thought I'd like some input from people, real people, about their experiences and rules regarding this.

As I said, I know people who keep it longer than I do, and they've never had food poisoning or illness. I've had this cooked beef in the fridge (hasn't been out once), wrapped in foil, for 5 days as of tonight, when I plan to slice and freeze in single portions for sandwiches.

Any input is appreciated.

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Old 05-17-2019, 03:01 PM   #2
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Hi. I'd keep it for about a week. If you don't think it will be eaten by then, freeze some.

People often don't realize it when they have food poisoning. They expect any symptoms to follow immediately after eating something bad, but symptoms often take up to a week to show up. Then people dismiss it as "stomach flu." There's no such thing

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Old 05-17-2019, 03:31 PM   #3
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...I've had this cooked beef in the fridge (hasn't been out once), wrapped in foil, for 5 days as of tonight, when I plan to slice and freeze in single portions for sandwiches...
Since you're close to your one-week deadline, you might want to use the meat for more options than just roast beef sandwiches. Make (or buy a jar of) beef gravy and freeze some slices in the gravy, all set for hot beef sandwiches. Or simmer some sliced beef in BBQ sauce (we use a KC Masterpiece sauce and marinade because it has a lot less sugar) and make BBQ beef sandwiches - really good on brioche or Hawaiian style rolls. Either of these options don't require nice, full slices of beef - a bonus if you can't cut slices by hand nicely. (Yup, voice of experience)
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Old 05-17-2019, 03:44 PM   #4
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Personally, I think you loose a lot of flavor after about 3 or 4 days so I'd freeze it now.

Great ideas above from Cooking Goddess.
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Old 05-17-2019, 04:09 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input.

I did take into consideration the "stomach flu." thing when I posted, and it's not ever been an issue. I started several explanations, but really, I think you'll never agree with me, it's just our experiences are different.

My idea is to slice tonight, and freeze individual portions, so that when we need them, the only thing defrosted is what we'll use that day. Sounds like a week is not outrageous...

The only alternative we have to sandwiches (using sugar-free whole wheat bread) is hot on a plate with vegetables on the side. No gravies, no Hawaiian rolls, no brioche, no potatoes, no bbq sauce, etc, allowed. It's unfortunate. Oh, I could cut into strips for salads, though.

While we have many dietary restrictions, our cholesterol is aces, so sandwiches with mayo made with that SF WW bread are OK.

What I was really curious about is do people really throw out anything over 4 days old or, like my family and everyone I know, do people keep it longer than that. And I'm not talking 2 weeks, either, like a couple of people I know, but I got to wondering about how many others there were like us out there. Looking for vindication, I guess, LOL.
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Old 05-17-2019, 05:21 PM   #6
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What I was really curious about is do people really throw out anything over 4 days old or, like my family and everyone I know, do people keep it longer than that. And I'm not talking 2 weeks, either, like a couple of people I know, but I got to wondering about how many others there were like us out there. Looking for vindication, I guess, LOL.

My husband sees leftovers differently than I do. He will eat most anything sometimes slightly over a week old, but three days is my limit. After three days most food just doesn't taste good to me anymore, although I'm sure it's not going to make me sick, I don't have to eat it so I don't.
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Old 05-17-2019, 05:35 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input.

I did take into consideration the "stomach flu." thing when I posted, and it's not ever been an issue. I started several explanations, but really, I think you'll never agree with me, it's just our experiences are different.
I don't base my answers to questions like this on my own personal experiences because anecdotes don't prove anything. The fact is that many people - note I'm not referring specifically to you - don't connect cause and effect very well if they have an upset stomach, they're very unlikely to think it's from a 10-day-old piece of meat they ate a week ago. It's interesting that you're so certain that people you know have never done this.

I'd get it wrapped up and in the freezer
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Old 05-17-2019, 05:37 PM   #8
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Personally, I think you loose a lot of flavor after about 3 or 4 days so I'd freeze it now.
My experience is the same. Deli sliced roast beef just starts to taste bad sooner than other deli meats.

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Old 05-17-2019, 05:45 PM   #9
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Thanks for the input.

I did take into consideration the "stomach flu." thing when I posted, and it's not ever been an issue. I started several explanations, but really, I think you'll never agree with me, it's just our experiences are different.

My idea is to slice tonight, and freeze individual portions, so that when we need them, the only thing defrosted is what we'll use that day. Sounds like a week is not outrageous...

The only alternative we have to sandwiches (using sugar-free whole wheat bread) is hot on a plate with vegetables on the side. No gravies, no Hawaiian rolls, no brioche, no potatoes, no bbq sauce, etc, allowed. It's unfortunate. Oh, I could cut into strips for salads, though.

While we have many dietary restrictions, our cholesterol is aces, so sandwiches with mayo made with that SF WW bread are OK.

What I was really curious about is do people really throw out anything over 4 days old or, like my family and everyone I know, do people keep it longer than that. And I'm not talking 2 weeks, either, like a couple of people I know, but I got to wondering about how many others there were like us out there. Looking for vindication, I guess, LOL.
I think your idea of freezing portions, and thawing them right before you consume them is a good one.

I am also a big believer in the sniff test. My big Italian honker is pretty good at detecting bad food.

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Old 05-17-2019, 05:46 PM   #10
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lol... sometimes I don't even know how long something has been in the fridge. Foods in sauces or something similar will make me much more cautious. I feel they will turn far easier/faster.

I fully agree with Kayelle though, after a while it loses its taste.

freezing has its own taste problems - so a type of sauce is a good idea. With your restrictions perhaps you could try a simple 'au jus'.

If you are undecided you could also just freeze the 2nd roast to cook later.

BTW, welcome to DC!
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:58 PM   #11
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It's interesting that you're so certain that people you know have never done this.
I really have intensely studied this...and I don't doubt that other people have experience exactly what you say. I'm just saying that in my 64 years I've never known anyone to prove they were, and I had nitpicked some people half to death over it. And had many people get royally annoyed with me because I even suggested that it's "possible" it was something they ate, and in the end, had to agree that it wasn't.

I really believe I have never known anyone who ate meat that had been in the fridge up to 2 weeks to get sick - most people never, ever let things go that long, anyway, so I think the majority of my experience is meant cooked and kept for 1 week. 3-4 days, to me, just seems like overreaction. And of course, it would depend on how it's stored.

I am trying to be careful or I wouldn't have asked, anyway. Even when I think I know something, my mind can be changed.

Definitely, though, sliced and frozen tonight - 5th day - and if anything looks the least bit "off" when it's defrosted because I must resort to plastic wrap and freezer bags and not vacuum-pack, into the trash it will go. Sometimes I wonder if our fridge cuts out, so we do keep a frozen cup of water with a penny on top, to check for defrosting.

We did, unfortunately, cook both roasts. I thought afterwards I ought to have cooked one and frozen one. This is something of an experiment for us, the electric slicer.
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Old 05-17-2019, 08:00 PM   #12
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My experience is the same. Deli sliced roast beef just starts to taste bad sooner than other deli meats.

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I agree, which is why we figured to slice, wrap and freeze in individual portions, instead of slice, keep a few days, and maybe freeze leftovers later on.
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:09 PM   #13
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I do pretty much the same thing....cook, slice, portion, vacuum seal, and freeze.

I live alone and love a grilled tri tip, but unless I'm having family over it's just way too much for one person. I slice up and refrigerate what I think I'll use within 3 days, and portion out the rest to freeze.

Like others have mentioned, it may be 'OK' for a couple days longer, but I like my beef roasts on the rare side and after day 3 the lovely slices are past their prime.
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:44 PM   #14
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...sometimes I don't even know how long something has been in the fridge....
And this is the main reason I take photos of our nightly dinner. Sure I like to post them here, but it comes in handy when I start picking through leftovers and keep saying "now when did we have THIS dish?" After all, Himself's memory is even worse than mine.
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:13 PM   #15
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And this is the main reason I take photos of our nightly dinner. Sure I like to post them here, but it comes in handy when I start picking through leftovers and keep saying "now when did we have THIS dish?" After all, Himself's memory is even worse than mine.
Hee hee! Yup, me too!
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:33 PM   #16
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I never thought of pictures. And I'm forever going "when did we cook this?" and expecting DH to remember, when I know he wasn't paying attention.
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:00 AM   #17
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I never thought of pictures. And I'm forever going "when did we cook this?" and expecting DH to remember, when I know he wasn't paying attention.
Pirate does 99% of the cooking in this house. And there are never any leftovers. If I say just on egg please, that is what he cooks. The only leftovers we ever have are for Teddyboy the dog who belongs to Spike. And he refuses to eat them. Dang Dog!
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Old 08-15-2019, 08:47 PM   #18
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In reality a lot depends on your fridge temperature. I keep my fridge really cold. All the way to the coldest setting. Meat doesn’t spoil for two weeks or more. But it certainly does lose its flavor.
My wife doesn’t eat anything more than 2-3 days. Me on the other hand, I will eat anything.
With kids out of home I need to learn to cook less for two of us. But old habits die hard. All my pots are huge. So I do have a lot left overs.
In reality it is veggies that I’d worry more than meat.
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Old 08-15-2019, 10:25 PM   #19
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In reality a lot depends on your fridge temperature. I keep my fridge really cold. All the way to the coldest setting. Meat doesn’t spoil for two weeks or more. But it certainly does lose its flavor.

In reality it is veggies that I’d worry more than meat.
Thank you for your reply :) I can see that a fridge that's colder would be safer.

As far as the veggies, a couple of days and if they aren't eaten, I toss them. I don't know why, I've just always done that :)
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Old 08-16-2019, 11:53 AM   #20
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Thank you for your reply :) I can see that a fridge that's colder would be safer.

As far as the veggies, a couple of days and if they aren't eaten, I toss them. I don't know why, I've just always done that :)
Smart move, on veggies.
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