Question about vacuum packaging store bought meat

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Assistant Cook
Sep 24, 2021
Reidsville NC
Do you gain anything by taking a package of store bought ground beef (in the little styrofoam trays covered with plastic wrap) and vacuum sealing it? Will it last longer in the fridge? Can you leave it in the original store packaging and vacuum seal it or do you have to remove it for any benefit?
My personal opinion is that you do not gain anything by vacuum sealing it in the original packaging.
The air is still in there, you will not remove the air unless you pierce the plastic wrap.
I understand where you're coming from - you figure the less it is handled the longer it will last, correct?
Basically true, but ground beef has been exposed to air simply by the process of being ground. Just being ground exposes more surface to potential contamination.

How long would you like to keep it?
"They" say it should only be kept 1-2 days. If it is not opened nor touched, I've kept it 3-4 days with never a hitch.
That being said, if I have not used it within that time, I throw it (as is) in the freezer.
Don't think many of us have a vacuum sealer. That's why freezers are used.
For instance I buy whole fillets of beef from butcher. I take home and cut into steaks and freeze straight away. I bag in lots of 6.
I cook for 6 when friends come here.
Mince beef also the same. On special at $9 kg atm. I freeze in 300 and 500 gms per packet.

Our vacuum sealer removes most of the air so it is less likely to end up with freezer burn. By using the original packaging, air could likely hide around the surface of the food that you are sealing.
If I'm not going to use a tray of meat by its 'use by date', I vacuum seal it and freeze it. I seen benefit in vacuum sealing meat so it will keep longer in the fridge.

Vacuum sealing for longterm freezing works great! I have an upright freezer (manual defrost). Last winter I defrosted a chuck roast for a meal and it looked, cooked and tasted brand new after two years in the freezer.
  • Raw Meats – Raw meats can be kept up to 10 day when vacuum packed before needing to be cooked or frozen. In comparison, raw meat that is not vacuum packed will only last 3-5 days in the refrigerator before turning.–%20Raw%20meats%20can,in%20the%20refrigerator%20before%20turning.
jrut, think you've got your answer? If you want to vacuum pack - take it out of it's original packaging.

I have also, on many occasions, just thrown the meat, in its original package, straight into the freezer. Not for long term storage but within a reasonable time - no harm.
I don't bother vacuum sealing things to refrigerate, only freezing. I don't keep meat that much longer in the fridge - I'm using it in a short time, or freezing. And I take them out of original packaging, and put them in the vacuum packs. I also do a lot of things that aren't meat. Some things I have to partially freeze, before vacuum sealing; otherwise, too much wetness is in them, usually vegetables.
If you are planning for a long storage, freezing, then I'd say yes, it helps. First of all you are talking meat out of Styrofoam packaging, right there it's a benefit. And it will definitely will less longer in vacuum packaging versus some plastic wrap. If you are planning to keep in the fridge for few days, then I do not see why bother. No point doing that.
If I am going to leave the meat in the fridge, I leave it in the packaging it came in, assuming the packaging looks to be in good condition. I wouldn't bother vacuum sealing it. If it is going in the freezer, then it depends on the packaging. If it's cryovac type of packaging, in good shape, I'll write the date on it and stick it in the freezer. If it's flimsier, or damaged, packaging, I'll put it in a zipper bag and try to squeeze out as much air as possible and write the date on it. If I had a vacuum sealer, I would use it.
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