How Long Does Ground Turkey Last In The Fridge?

Like most meats, it is critical to serve turkey when fresh. Although we all hate being wasteful, you can’t risk consuming slightly tainted or spoiled ground turkey; the risks of getting sick are too significant. So how long does ground turkey last in the fridge?

You can store raw ground turkey in the fridge for 1 to 2 days; you’ll want to keep the packaging sealed until it is ready to use. Also, you can keep the cooked ground turkey in the fridge for 3 to 4 days before it goes off. If you notice discoloration or a foul smell, it’s best to discard the turkey.

The exact answer to how long ground turkey can last in the fridge varies on the storage conditions and whether the ground turkey is raw or cooked. Continue reading the complete guide on how long ground turkey can last in the refrigerator.

How Long Does Ground Turkey Last In The Fridge?

Ground turkey can last anywhere from one to four days in the fridge, mainly depending on whether it is raw or cooked. More so, it can only last this long if you properly package or seal it.

As we all know by now, storing food in the refrigerator keeps it cold and preserves it, allowing us to use it for longer than if it were unchilled and out on the counter. Refrigerating foods also help slow down the growth and spread of harmful bacteria or pathogens.

It can be tricky to tell if the ground turkey has gone rotten with all the confusing “sell by,” “best by,” and “use by” dates. More so, its extended life period differs depending on the exact storage conditions and whether the ground turkey is raw or cooked.

You’ll want to keep ground turkey refrigerated at all times. In addition, ensure that you place the ground turkey in the fridge as soon as you get home from the store or within a maximum of two hours of purchasing it.

Harmful bacteria rapidly accumulate at room temperature between 40°F and 140°F. So, you’ll need to discard the ground turkey if it is left out at room temperature for over two hours to prevent the risk of food poisoning.

Consuming spoiled ground turkey can result in symptoms like abdominal cramps, fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and dehydration, depending on the severity of the bacteria or food pathogens present in the turkey.

Lastly, if you’re looking for a way to extend the shelf life of ground turkey significantly, consider freezing it. The ground poultry can stay fresh for upwards of three to four months.

How Long Does Raw Ground Turkey Last In The Fridge?

After the “sell by” date, ground turkey can last another one to two days if you store the turkey in the refrigerator at 40°F or less. Although the packaging may indicate that the ground turkey expires during its storage period, it remains safe as long as you keep it in the fridge at all times.

You can keep the unopened ground turkey in its original packaging when you refrigerate it. However, note that you’ll want to keep the ground turkey closed until you are ready to use it.

Consider popping it into the freezer to extend or maximize raw ground turkey’s shelf life. More so, wrap the turkey (with its original packaging) with aluminum foil or plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn.

Freezing raw turkey at 0°F without breaking the cold-chain cycle allows you to preserve it for three to four months. Although you can safely use frozen ground turkey after four months, the quality will deteriorate after this period due to freezer burn.

How Long Does Thawed Ground Turkey Last In The Fridge?

If you plan to take the ground turkey out of the freezer for use, it’s best to thaw it in the refrigerator to prevent harmful pathogens from spreading at room temperature. 

Ground turkey typically lasts an additional day or two once you thaw it in the fridge before cooking. However, if you defrost the ground turkey in cold water or microwave, you’ll want to cook it immediately.

How long is cooked ground turkey good for ?

Cooked ground turkey is a versatile food type; you can serve it with a yummy sauce and garnish or make homemade cutlets or meatballs from it. It is genuinely no wonder so many people like to keep it precooked in batches for its subsequent use. However, this leaves us questioning the quality and safety of cooked ground turkey stored in the fridge for several days.

how long does cooked ground turkey last in the fridge?

Cooked ground turkey can last between three to four days in the fridge if you store it correctly. More so, you’ll want to ensure that your pop the ground poultry into the refrigerator within two hours of cooking it to prevent harmful bacteria from spreading.

You need to ensure that you properly store the ground turkey by putting it into an air-tight container or wrapping it lightly with cling wrap or aluminum foil before popping it into the fridge. 

To further extend cooked ground turkey’s shelf life, place it in the freezer after sealing it in an air-tight container or freezer bag. Cooked ground turkey can maintain its best quality for two to three months.

Then, cooked ground turkey can last three to four days in the fridge after freezing and defrosting it. After that, however, you need to thaw it in the refrigerator; if you pop it into cold water or the microwave, you need to eat it immediately. 

How To Keep Ground Turkey Fresh For Longer?

There are excellent alternatives to consider that will allow your ground turkey to last longer and stay fresh. For example, properly sealing or packaging your food instead of shoving it uncovered into the fridge will keep your meat fresh and edible for longer.

First, it is imperative to keep in mind that supermarkets’ shelf-life guidelines assume that the product is appropriately handled through cold-chain management from start to finish.

So, it is advisable to add your ground turkey and other meats to your basket lastly or right before you pay for all your grocery items. Alternatively, consider taking an insulated bag or cooler along with you while shopping to keep the ground turkey cold until you get home to pop them in the fridge or freezer.

Second, when refrigerating ground turkey, place the meat into a shallow and air-tight container with an air-tight lid; ensure that the package has no holes. Alternatively, use heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic cling wrap to cover it. 

If you plan to freeze the ground turkey, use a heavy-duty freezer bag or opt for a foil or aluminum wrap designed for the freezer specifically.

Ensure that you refrigerate or freeze the ground turkey the moment you get home (preferably) or at least within a maximum of two hours of purchase. Then, keep the raw ground turkey separate from other foods in the fridge to avoid cross-contamination and bacteria spreading.

Another valuable tip for managing and lengthening ground turkey’s fridge life is to ensure that your refrigerator is properly clean. A sparkly clean fridge helps maintain a constant temperature, reducing the spread of harmful bacterial.

Then, when preparing the ground turkey, ensure that you cook it all the way, ensuring that you reach a food-safe temperature of 160°F. Following this requirement guarantees that most harmful bacteria die, reducing the likelihood of food poisoning.

When storing your cooked ground turkey, consider placing it in an air-tight container away from other raw meat products in your fridge. Additionally, mark the turkey’s date to prevent eating spoiled meat and discard it as soon as it turns slimy, smells rotten, taste-off, or are passes its expiration date.

Lastly, if you defrost the frozen ground turkey, thaw it in the fridge to ensure that the poultry stays cool while defrosting. You should never leave the ground turkey e at room temperature for over two hours; it creates the perfect climate for harmful bacteria growth.

Conclusion

The raw ground turkey stays fresh for a day or two in the refrigerator if you store it correctly. In comparison, you can keep the cooked ground turkey in the fridge for up to four days if you store it in a closed, air-tight container.

Be sure to use and trust your available senses by looking at, smelling, and feeling the texture of the ground turkey to ensure that it’s fresh. If the meat seems a little funky, throw it in the trash to prevent you from getting food poisoning.