shelf life of beef, steaks and roasts

Steaks and roasts usually come packaged with no shortage of labels, including those on safe handling. Two increasingly common ones are lean and extra lean, the result of new feeding regimens intended to reduce the fat in cattle muscle. True, the resulting beef may not be as juicy and flavorful as conventional cuts, but it is lower in both saturated fats and cholesterol.


Whether keeping raw meat in the refrigerator or the freezer, proper wrapping will result in a better-tasting product.  To find out what  kinds of packaging are best, click on the relevant Q/As.

Beef Shelf Life
Fresh Steak, uncooked- -2-3 days6-12 months
Fresh Ground Meat (Beef, Bison, Veal) - -1-2 days3-4 months
Fresh Roasts (Beef, Bison)- -3-5 days9-12 months
Cooked Meat- -2-3 days2-3 months
Canned Meat, opened- -3-4 days- -
Canned Meat, unopened 1 year- -- -
Fresh Veal- -1-2 days4-6 months
Variety Meats (giblets, tongue, liver, etc.)- -1-2 days3-4 months
Canned Chili, opened- -1 week- -
Beef Stew Meat- -1-2 days- -
Meat Products, restructured (flaked)- -- -9-12 months
Roasts- -3-5 days4-12 months
Ground Veal- -1-2 days3-4 months
Boyer, Renee, and Julie McKinney. "Food Storage Guidelines for Consumers." Virginia Cooperative Extension (2009): n. pag. Web. 7 Dec 2009.

"Cupboard Storage Chart." K-State Research and Extension n. pag. Web. 23 Dec 2009.

"Meat & Poultry." S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., 2011. Web. 23 Jun 2011. <>.

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