How Long Can Cooked Meat Stay in the Fridge


The meat industry has gotten a bad rap for food safety in the past, but it’s not as bad as you might think. In fact, most of the time it’s totally harmless to eat raw or undercooked meat. However, there are some instances where eating raw or undercooked meat could be dangerous—especially if you have an immune system condition such as AIDS or sepsis (a blood infection caused by bacteria). That said, most of us don’t have any health conditions that would put us at risk for getting sick from uncooked meat. So what does this mean? Basically, if you can’t tell whether your steak is cooked all the way through when you cut into it at home—whether that is with your eyes or just by touch—you should probably throw it away!

Raw Meat

It’s important to store cooked meat in the fridge, but what about raw meat? Raw meat should be stored at a temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). If you are not going to cook it right away, wrap it in plastic or place it in a sealed container before refrigerating it.

Once you’ve purchased your raw products from the store, their shelf life will vary depending on their location: if they’re kept in the freezer section of your grocery store, they may have an extended shelf life; however if they are stored closer to room temperature (like near produce), their expiration date could come sooner.

To ensure that you use up all of your meats before they spoil or go bad–which can happen quickly when left out at room temperature–we recommend using our handy guide below!

Cooked Meat


When you cook meat, it’s important to keep it refrigerated. Cooked meat can last for up to 3 days in the fridge, but keep in mind that if you don’t eat all of your cooked meat within that time frame, it may not taste as fresh when eaten later on.

If you want to store cooked meats longer than 3 days and you’re not going on vacation or anything like that where there would be no access to refrigeration (like camping), then freezing is a good option for preserving the quality of your food items!


Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days, though they may not taste as good after that. If you want to keep your leftovers longer than three days, it’s best to freeze them. The USDA recommends freezing cooked meat within 2-3 months of purchase and consuming it within 1-2 months after thawing.

If you’re willing to take on some risk by keeping your cooked meat out of the freezer longer than recommended (and if it’s properly wrapped), then yes: there is such a thing as “too long.” You’ll just have to trust yourself here–if something looks or smells funny when you open up your freezer at home, throw it away!

When it comes to meat, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

When it comes to meat, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. The best way to store meat is in the fridge. But if you don’t have room for your whole package of ground beef or chicken breasts in there, don’t worry–you can portion out what you need and store the rest at room temperature until you’re ready for it.

Just make sure that when it comes time for cooking those portions of meat again (whether they’re raw or cooked), they’re kept separate from other foods in your fridge so they don’t contaminate them with bacteria or germs!


As you can see, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to the fridge and cooked meat. If you’re unsure about how long your leftovers will last in there or whether they should be thrown out yet, check out our guide on how long food stays good in the refrigerator!

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