14 answers

"Use or Freeze By" Date for meat...anyone Ever Go Past?

Just wondering--I'm notorious for failing the "just smell it!" test for everything--raw meat always smells nasty for me. Of course, the time I decide to try buying a club pack again and plan to divide and freeze I forget to freeze, which is why I stopped buying them because it was a waste. Well, it smells okay to me, the meat isn't all brown yet (starting to turn slightly less red, but not downright brown). Do you follow the date for ground beef or follow your nose? Just wondering! My husband will probably give it the final sentence when he gets home.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for the feedback. I actually did freeze it. If I hadn't had a date stamped on there I would not have thought anything was wrong with it. I over cook meat anyway. We grew up eating game so I guess used our own dating system and I keep my fridge really cold (water ices over). I stopped buying the Club Packs because we shop in the middle of the night and I started forgetting to divide and freeze it and it would spoil (I would always go to bed planning to do it in the morning).

Our store has a "use or freeze by" instead of a "sell by" date. I think they discount meat as it approaches the "use by" date, which is why sometimes we get really good steak for less. :)

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I will use the smell taste even before the date. I might use something a couple of days after the date. But my boys are older. I wouldn't risk it if someone in the household had a weaken immune system.

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I will use the smell taste even before the date. I might use something a couple of days after the date. But my boys are older. I wouldn't risk it if someone in the household had a weaken immune system.

3 moms found this helpful

Mostly I follow my nose. If it's more than a week past the date then I'd probably toss it. Turning brown is okay for steaks and ground beef, it doesn't hurt the quality of the meat at all.

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I just made meatloaf that said "sell or freeze by sep 17" it was the 19th, it looked pretty good and when smelled it it smelled good so I used it.. and it was still great. Chicken is the easiest to tell with for me and seems to be the first to turn bad (and fast).. I always make my husband smell it because like you, it always smells bad to me too (bionic pregnancy nose and all lol).

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"use by" or "sell by"? I frequently use meat that is past the "sell by" date. I usually give it the smell and look test. If in question, I throw it out.

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a day or two past is ok - not more than that for ground beef. Steak, chicken breast, pork chops (ie non-ground items) can go longer so long as you cook them properly.

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When in doubt throw it out!

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I agree you can go 1 or 2 days past the sell by (or freeze) date.

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The sniff test isn't accurate..... toxins are building up before it gets to the rank stage.

It is usually good for a day or two past the use or freeze by date, but frankly, I don't know that it is worth it.

Meat turning brown isn't an indicator, either... the browning is just oxidation from exposure to air.

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