Ground beef is a popular favorite and cooked more often than maybe any other major meat group. Your local butcher shop will properly grind and package your ground beef for you so you don’t run the risk of contamination that can happen with supermarket meats.
- Your ground beef needs to be stored in the refrigerator right away or into the freezer if you will not be preparing it soon. Always make the stop at your local butcher shop your last stop so as to prevent the development of bacteria due to a lack of immediate refrigeration.
- Keep your ground beef stored at 40 degrees or less to prevent bacteria growth and always consume it within 48 hours or so. If you are storing it in your freezer, wrap it in plastic or foil. If you set your freezer to zero degrees, your ground beef should be good for a couple of months. A good way to keep track is to date your wrapped packages.
- When thawing, place the ground beef in the refrigerator and let it sit over the course of an entire night. Once it has been fully thawed, cook it within 48 hours and never re-freeze it. As your local butcher will remind you, undercooked ground beef can be dangerous as the accumulated bacteria can make you sick. It is recommended that the internal temperature of cooked ground beef be at 160 degrees F to be safe for consumption.
- Never cook your ground beef partially. If you want to refrigerate leftovers, they should be good for about three days or so.