How Long is Beef Roast Good After the Sell By Date?

Beef roast is a delicious, versatile cut of meat that works great for everything from weeknight dinners to holiday feasts. It often comes with a sell by date printed on the package, which raises the question – how long is the roast still safe to cook and eat after that date?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down exactly how many days beef roast stays fresh after the sell by date and how to tell if it’s gone bad.

Overview of Beef Roasts

Beef roast refers to larger cuts of beef from the primal or subprimal sections of the cow Different roasting cuts include

  • Chuck roast – from the shoulder/neck
  • Rib roast – from the rib section
  • Rump roast – from the round/hindquarter
  • Sirloin tip roast – from the sirloin primal
  • Tenderloin roast – from the short loin primal

Roasts are well-marbled cuts that become meltingly tender when cooked with moist heat methods like braising or roasting. They take well to herb rubs spice blends and marinades since they cook low and slow.

What is the Sell By Date?

The sell by date is the manufacturer’s recommendation for when the grocery store should stop selling the product. It allows them a reasonable time to keep it displayed before quality starts diminishing.

This date is not an indication of when the meat becomes unsafe to eat. Beef roast will remain fresh and good quality for a certain number of days past the sell by date if properly handled and stored.

How Long Does Beef Roast Last After Sell By?

Beef roast typically stays fresh for:

  • Unopened, refrigerated: 5-7 days past the sell by date
  • Opened, refrigerated: 3-5 days past the date
  • In freezer: 6-12 months past the date

The printed date is more of a guideline than a hard rule. Trust your eyes and nose – if the beef still looks and smells normal, it should be fine to cook. Discard at the first sign of spoilage.

Proper storage is also key for maximizing shelf life. Keep roast well-wrapped in original packaging or airtight containers.

Maximizing Freshness of Beef Roast

Follow these tips to keep beef roasts as fresh as possible after bringing them home:

  • Refrigerate promptly: Keep roast chilled at 40°F or below.
  • Keep raw meat separate: Store on bottom shelf away from other food.
  • Avoid thawing/refreezing: Thawing then refreezing reduces quality.
  • Re-wrap after opening: Use freezer bags or plastic wrap.
  • Marinate in fridge: Don’t leave roast at room temp to marinate.
  • Watch use-by dates: Cook within 3-5 days or freeze for later.
  • Trust your senses: Rely on smell, color, texture – not just the date.

Proper fridge temperatures and limiting air exposure prevents premature spoilage.

Can You Cook Beef Roast After Use By Date?

The use by date, also called the expiration date, is essentially the manufacturer’s last recommended day to cook or freeze the product.

However, beef roast that’s been continuously refrigerated can still be safely cooked for 3-5 days after its use by date, provided it shows no signs of spoilage.

Some signs it may be past its prime:

  • Slimy, sticky, tacky texture
  • Dull, faded brown color
  • Rancid or “off” smell
  • Mold or dry patches
  • Sour or bitter odor when cooked

When in doubt, remember the old adage – “When in doubt, throw it out!” Don’t take risks with spoiled meat.

Storing Beef Roast in the Freezer

For longer term storage, freeze beef roast up to 2 weeks before the sell by date.

It will maintain quality in an airtight package in the freezer for 6-12 months past the printed date.

Allow roast to thaw for 1-2 days in the fridge before cooking. Do not refreeze previously frozen meat.

Tips for Cooking Frozen Beef Roast

Cooking frozen roast takes extra time but can be done. Here are some tips:

  • Add 30-50% cooking time for frozen roast.
  • Roast at same oven temp (250°F – 325°F).
  • Use a meat thermometer to check doneness.
  • Cover with foil to prevent drying out.
  • Let rest 20 minutes before slicing.
  • Expect some moisture loss.
  • Use pan drippings for gravy.

The roast may take hours to thaw and cook through, so plan accordingly!

How to Tell if Thawed Beef Roast is Bad

Check thawed roasts closely before cooking. Signs it may have spoiled:

  • Strong, unpleasant sour or ammonia-like odor
  • Grayish, dull brown discoloration
  • Slime or stickiness on surface
  • Weird fuzziness or dry spots
  • Fermented smell when cooked
  • Off taste that persists after cooking

When in doubt, throw it out. Don’t taste meat that smells or looks questionable.

Safe Handling of Beef Roast

To prevent bacterial contamination, remember:

  • Wash hands before/after handling raw meat.
  • Avoid cross-contamination.
  • Defrost in fridge, not counter.
  • Marinate in fridge.
  • Don’t reuse marinade without boiling.
  • Cook to safe internal temperature.

Always check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure doneness. Cook roasts to at least 145°F.

Final Thoughts

Beef roast that’s properly refrigerated retains quality and safety for 3-5 days past its sell by date. For longer storage, freeze up to 12 months. Monitor appearance, smell and texture closely. Adhere to food safety guidelines when handling and cooking.

With good storage practices, you can feel confident cooking delicious beef roast even after the sell by date has lapsed. Just be vigilant for any signs of spoilage. Stay savvy, trust your senses and enjoy the tasty roasted beef!

Steak Past its Sell-By Date


Can I use beef roast after sell-by date?

Sell-by Dates “For poultry or ground meat, eating the food one to two days past the date should be ok, and for beef, three to five days after the date has passed,” says Schapiro.

Is beef good 5 days after sell-by date?

Beef safety Keep wrapped meat on a plate or pan to catch drips that might contaminate other foods. Generally, you can expect to be able to use ground beef one to three days after the sell-by date depending on how it has been handled. Steaks will likely be good for another day or two.

How long can a beef roast stay in the fridge?

Refrigerator [40°F (4°C) or below]
Fresh beef, veal, lamb, and pork
3 to 5 days
3 to 5 days
Fresh, uncured, uncooked
3 to 5 days
Fresh, uncured, cooked
3 to 4 days

Can I eat roast beef after 7 days?

Mar 21, 2023 USDA recommends using cooked beef within 3 to 4 days, kept refrigerated (40°F or less). Refrigeration slows but does not stop bacterial growth. USDA recommends using cooked leftovers within 3 to 4 days.

How long does a beef roast last after the sell-by date?

How long does a raw beef roast last after the sell-by date? After beef roast is purchased, it may be refrigerated for 3 to 5 days – the “sell-by” date on the package may expire during that storage period, but the beef roast will remain safe to use after the sell by date if it has been properly stored.

How long is beef good for after sell by date?

How Long Is Beef Good for After Sell by Date Use or freeze beef, veal, pork, and lamb products with a “Sell-By” date within 3 to 5 days of purchase. Fresh chicken, turkey, ground meat,

How long does cooked beef roast last?

Cooked beef roast will usually stay good for 3 to 5 days in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer. How to tell if beef roast is bad?

Is there an expiration date on beef?

It is uncommon to see expiration dates on fresh meats. However, they are printed on some processed meats. The sell-by date does not mean your beef is no longer safe. Fresh beef will last in the fridge for 1-2 days after the sell-by date. It will last in the freezer for 6-8 months as long as it is stored properly.

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