I believe you love steak, and it is hard to resist eating it the moment you get home. Most people tend to purchase their steak days before they cook it. But is steak in the fridge for 7 days or more safe?
Well, according to the US Department of agriculture, raw, undercooked, or cooked steak is only good for 3-5 days in the fridge. After that, eating the steak exposes you to foodborne illnesses.
If you want to know more about steak, how to tell if it has gone bad, how long they last cooked or raw, and how it can be stored, then read on.
What happens when you eat steak kept in the fridge for 7 days?
When you eat steak kept in the fridge for 7 days or more, you leave yourself exposed to getting a foodborne illness. This could be because of the bacteria that has grown in it over time.
These pathogenic bacteria include E. coil, salmonella, and staphylococcus. And the symptoms include; vomiting, nausea, fever, abdominal pains, and other gastrointestinal issues.
These symptoms usually occur between 1 to 3 days of consumption, and on normal occasions, disappear after four days. If the symptoms persist for up to a week, then you should seek your doctor’s opinion.
How long can steak last in the fridge?
The US Department of Agriculture states that steak lasts between 3 to 5 days. However, there are speculations that try to oppose the extent to which they last in the fridge.
Some of these speculations are;
1. Steak sealed in plastic bags
The variety of steak we purchase at grocery stores is wrapped in plastic bags, which are supposed to be airtight. Meat grows mold or bacteria when they are exposed to oxygen; since these plastic are airtight, they ought to last longer.
However, those plastic bags are thin and could be easily torn. The US Department of Agriculture claims it is not safe to assume and store longer. It is best to err on the safe side and store no more than five days.
2. Steak that is vacuum sealed
Many companies sell their steak in vacuum-sealed packages and claim its shelf life is extended as much as ten days. However, the USDA advises that vacuum sealing doesn’t make any difference.
3. Steak wrapped with butcher paper
Many people assume that butcher paper can be used to wrap steak as tightly as the plastic wrap does. However, it is not 100 percent safe and is not advised by the USDA as well.
So, what is the best way to store your steak?
If you don’t intend on using the steak before the next five days, the best way to store it is in the freezer. Steak can be kept as long as 6 to 9 months in the freezer.
Below are some tips for storing your steak in the freezer;
- Store in the bottom section of the freezer.
- Wrap the steak with aluminum foil; even if it is still in its original package, you can still add an extra layer of foil protection. This helps to preserve the quality and taste of the steak further.
- Do not freeze meat that has been kept at room temperature for more than 2 hours. The best practice is to cook the meat properly first before freezing.
Can you eat steak that has passed its use-by date?
Yes, you can, but it also depends on a few variables. The USDA states that it is okay to eat steak that has passed its use-by date but not more than two days.
Remember that the use-by date is actually an estimate. If the steak is still below two days after its use-by date, it doesn’t mean the steak is bad. Instead, the quality and taste of the meat would not be at their best.
Now, how can you tell if steak is bad?
You probably have bad or spoiled steak if;
1. It is way past its use-by date
If you end up with steak that is way passed its use-by date, there is a high possibility that the steak is bad. You should avoid eating such steak as it may cause food poisoning.
2. The steak is slimy
Having a steak that feels slimy or slippery to the touch is a particularly obvious sign it isn’t good. Slime is caused by a build-up of harmful bacteria.
3. The steak has a suspicious color
Steaks have a natural red color, and this is a result of the hemoglobin and myoglobin present in them. However, if the steak has a pale grey color or black spots on them, then it is probably bad and should not be eaten.
4. It has an offensive smell
Normally, the smell of meat isn’t quite appealing, but it is also not offensive. If you get an offensive or off-putting smell from your steak (sour or ammonia-like), then there is a good chance that the steak is bad.
Can you cook a spoilt steak?
No, you can’t. No matter how long you cook the steak, the pathogen and bacteria in it will not die. It is best to throw out the steak and purchase another.
What temperature range should your fridge be in to store steak?
Your refrigerator should be between 34 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Should you store frozen steak on the counter to defrost overnight?
No, you should not. Storing steak for more than 2 hours at room temperature can promote the growth of mold and bacteria. The best practice is to store it in the fridge overnight and cook the next day.
Can you eat steak that has been frozen for three years?
Yes, you can. Although the taste of the steak may not be what you hoped for.
How long should a refrigerated steak sit out before grilling?
Around 20 – 30 minutes. You can also pat the steak dry with paper towels if you are in a hurry.
Can you eat raw steak?
While it is a common practice, it is not safe as it may contain bacteria that may cause food poisoning. The USDA recommends all steak be cooked to at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit before eating.
Conclusion: Can you eat steak kept in the fridge for 7 days?
It is not safe. Steak kept for more than five days is considered harmful, according to the US Department of Agriculture. It is best to toss or throw out such steak.
You can also use the guide mentioned in this article to further test if your steak is bad. In addition, follow the guide mentioned to store your steak properly and safely.
I hope you enjoyed this article, if you did, you should also see if you can boil steak.
Thank you for reading this article.