(Closed) anyone else iffy about cooking with packaged meat's sell-by date?

posted 4 years ago in Cooking
Post # 3
2494 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

I never use anything past the date on it, and even on the date I’m unsure about it. If meat looks a little off colour, or has any kind of weird smell to it I throw it out.

I hope you’re both feeling better soon!

Post # 4
9149 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I don’t really cook with much meat but I wouldn’t cook it much longer after the date.  If it’s a sell-by date that means it should still be good to use for the day after the sell-by date.  After that you would either need to freeze it or throw it out.  An expiration date would be different I think.  Of course anything that smells bad I wouldn’t use.

I think the sell by date is when the store needs to sell it by to give the consumer a chance to cook it (within the 1-2 day window) or freeze.

Post # 5
2687 posts
Sugar bee

If something in the fridge is past its best by date, we usually throw it out.  We got a vacuum food sealer for Christmas, and we’ll make exceptions for meats still sealed in vacuum bags (but only if they still look and smell ok).

Post # 6
710 posts
Busy bee

I freeze meat the day I buy it if I’m not going to cook it within 24 hours. Saves a lot of space in the fridge in addition to avoiding that spoiled meat and wasted money.

Post # 7
680 posts
Busy bee

Greying of meat is natural as it gets more exposed to air. Some companies treat their beef with some kind of dye or something to keep it super red and others don’t, so that’s why some will grey easier/faster. If you ever are questioning it, THROW IT OUT! That’s me and my SO’s rule of thumb. $5 worth of meat is never worth a week’s worth of pain!

I’ve both used meat after the dates if it smelled fine (but also made sure to thoroughly cook it) and I’ve thrown out yet-to-expire meat that smelled funky. It’s best to go by the sniff test.

Post # 8
4436 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Definitely when in doubt, throw it out! It’s not worth the possible sickness to try and save a small piece of meat. We have an 18month old son, and I would never feed him anything I had any reservation about.

Post # 9
1891 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Regardless of the date on the package, I try to cook or freeze ASAP.  Chicken breasts and any ground meat go bad the fastest, so I’d use those within 24 hours of purchase.  Steaks and vacuum-sealed meats last a little longer, like 2-3 days, in the fridge.  Some people will hold on to meats for longer before cooking, but I am really particular about icky smells and tastes… Sometimes, even “fresh” meat can be gross when you take it out of the package, so use your good judgement.

You can also buy your own vacuum sealer if you tend to do all your food shopping at once, it will reduce the meat’s surface exposure and will keep it fresh a little longer.

Post # 10
2379 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Generally speaking, I purchase enough groceries for 1-2 days worth of meals at a time.  No meats sit in my fridge for more than 48 hours, if I’m not going to use it immediately, I freeze it.  The sell by date assumes optimal conditions from the time the product was packaged to the time it’s used, and that just doesn’t happen.  There are always temperature fluctuations between transport, stocking and just sitting in the grocery store.  Yes, it means more grocery trips for me.  But it means fresher produce and an excuse to be out in the gorgeous Spring weather!

Post # 11
4497 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I am super paranoid about the dates on meats. I know a person that works as a butcher at a grocery store and he has told me some horror stories that I just can’t escape. If it hits the date I usually pitch it.

Post # 14
11284 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

@missebelle:  no, i never eat meat past it’s due date.  as for your beef, smell it.  if it smells “stinky”, don’t eat it.  i would still probably cook the meat well done if the date is close. 

i did have food poisoning once from eating in a seafood restaurant.  they must have served tainted shellfish.  i couldn’t tell b/c it was covered in sauce and it was spicy.  the worst experience of my life.  it was terrible.  i was in bed for 2 solid weeks.

Post # 15
4355 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

We buy our meat in bulk, so when it gets home from the store we seperate it in to portions, keep only 1 portion out for immediate use and freeze the rest for later use. We’ve never run in to issues this way because we only thaw out the frozen portions the day we need them.

I agree though, when there’s doubt about meat it’s better to play it safe. No one likes food poisoning!

The topic ‘anyone else iffy about cooking with packaged meat's sell-by date?’ is closed to new replies.

Get our weekly roundup of the best of Weddingbee.
I agree to receive emails from the site. I can withdraw my consent at any time by unsubscribing.

Find Amazing Vendors