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how long does steak last in the fridge?

Knowing how long steak will last in the fridge whether it is cook or raw is important in food safety. This will prevent you from serving food that may have gone bad and give you foodborne illness.

The amount of time steak lasts in the fridge varies depending on how it was packaged, stored and if it was raw or cooked.

Raw Ribeye steak on a parchment paper sitting on wooden counter.

How long does steak last in the fridge? It is safe for most uncooked raw steaks to be left in the fridge for 3-5 days. If you have leftover cooked steak the USDA recommends using it within 3-4 days.

How long can raw steak last in the fridge?

The length of time that uncooked steak can last in the refrigerator varies. Typically 3-5 days is the rule for raw steak in the fridge before it starts to go bad.

The way that steak is packaged is also a factor in how long it will last in the fridge.

From the butcher counter

If you buy your steak from a butcher you want to use it within 2-4 days. This is for two reasons. One, the steaks have been sitting in the meat case all day and have been exposed to more bacteria.

Two, it is usually wrapped loosely in plastic and then in paper rubberbanded or with a string wrapped around it. The fact that it isn’t tightly sealed allows for more air to get to the meat and dry it out.

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Meat that is red in color has been exposed to oxygen which is why when you see vacuum-sealed meats they are a dark red color.

Vacuum sealed

When you buy steak from the prepackaged section of the grocery store they will have vacuum-sealed steaks. The oxygen has been sucked out allowing it to last a little longer.

It is completely sealed which doesn’t allow contaminants or oxygen to get to the meat so you might notice a further out use by date.

Typically vacuum-sealed steaks will last you about 10 days in the fridge. Be sure to keep an eye on the use-by date.

Plastic wrapped

If your steak is bought on those Styrofoam plates and wrapped in plastic you can leave it in the refrigerator for 2-4 days.

Similar to the butcher-bought steaks it has been exposed and not really sealed tightly. It still has air in the package. You also want to make sure you use it before the use-by date.

How long can cooked steak last in the fridge?

The USDA recommends that you don’t leave leftover cooked steak for longer than 4 days. They say that 3-4 days is ok if you have properly stored your cooked steak in 40°F or less.

Refrigerating cooked steak doesn’t eliminate the growth of bacteria, it only slows it down so you don’t want to wait too long.

It is important to make sure that cooked steak is refrigerated as soon as it is cooled down. If it is left out for over two hours you should throw it away.

Store your steak in an airtight container or Ziploc bag when storing it in the fridge or freezer.

SteaksRefrigerated freshness
Raw butcher bought 3-4 days
Raw vacuum sealedup to 10 days
Raw plastic wrapped3-4 days
Cooked 3-4 days

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