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How Long Does Ground Pork Last? Does it Go Bad?

Ground pork is a versatile ingredient used in numerous dishes such as meatballs, hamburgers, and stir-fries.

Whether it’s purchased from the grocery store or prepared at home, the shelf life of ground pork is a concern for many cooks.

So, how long can we keep ground pork around? Does ground pork go bad?

Ground pork can last up to two days in the refrigerator and up to six months in the freezer when stored properly. Uncooked ground pork should always be cooked within two days, and cooked ground pork should be stored in the refrigerator for no longer than four days. If the pork develops an off odor, slimy texture, or grayish color, it’s best to discard it.

In this article, we’ll identify the factors that impact the shelf life of ground pork and offer tips on how to store it to help it stay fresh for longer.

We’ll also provide insight on how to tell if ground pork has gone bad and safe ways to use leftovers.

Let’s get started on creating tasty meals with fresh, safe ground pork!

What is Ground Pork?

Ground pork is a combination of minced pork meat and fat, and it’s commonly used as a substitute for ground beef in many recipes. Ground pork is typically made from lean parts of the pig, but it can also contain pork fat and other cuts of meat.

You can find ground pork in the meat section of most grocery stores, and it’s also possible to make it yourself by grinding pork meat at home. Ground pork is commonly used in recipes such as chili, meatballs, sausage, and even pasta sauces.

How Long Does Ground Pork Last?

Several factors determine the shelf life of ground pork, including the type and quality of the meat, the storage conditions, and the processing method.

When properly stored, uncooked ground pork can last up to two days in the refrigerator, or up to six months in the freezer. Cooked ground pork, on the other hand, should be stored for no longer than four days in the refrigerator.

How to Store Ground Pork

Proper storage methods can help extend the shelf life of ground pork. Here are a few critical tips to follow:

  • Store in an airtight container: Place the ground pork in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag to prevent odors from the refrigerator or freezer from seeping in. This also helps reduce the risk of cross-contamination of harmful bacteria.
  • Refrigerate or freeze immediately: If you’re not going to use the ground pork right away, refrigerate it or freeze it immediately to keep it fresh. Uncooked ground pork should be cooked within two days.
  • Keep frozen: Frozen ground pork can last up to six months in the freezer, so make sure to label the container with the date of the freezer to have a clear indication of its shelf life.
  • Thaw safely: Thaw frozen ground pork in the refrigerator, microwave, or cold water. Never leave it out at room temperature to thaw as this can increase the risk of harmful bacteria growth.

How to Tell if Ground Pork Has Gone Bad

Consuming spoiled meat can cause food poisoning and other health issues, so it’s crucial to check your ground pork before using it in any recipe. Here are some signs to look for to determine if it has gone bad:

  • Off odor: If the ground pork smells sour or foul in any way, it may have gone bad. An unpleasant smell is a clear indication that harmful bacteria have begun to grow.
  • Slimy texture: Touch the meat using clean hands to assess its texture. If it feels slimy or tacky, it’s best to discard it. It’s a sign that the pork has broken down and has become unsafe to consume.
  • Grayish color: Fresh ground pork should have a pinkish color. When it turns gray, it indicates that the meat is no longer fresh and should be thrown away.

Tips for Using Leftover Ground Pork

Suppose you find yourself with leftover ground pork with no idea of what to make. Here are some useful tips for putting it to good use:

  • Freeze for later: If you have cooked ground pork that you don’t plan to use immediately, consider freezing it for later use. Be sure to label the container with the date it was frozen and store it in the freezer for up to six months.
  • Make stuffed peppers: Mix the ground pork with cooked rice and seasonings, stuff it into bell peppers, and bake for a delicious comfort meal.
  • Add it to soup: Give your soup an extra punch of protein by incorporating cooked ground pork into your broth.
  • Make dumplings: Recreate your take-out meal at home by using cooked ground pork to fill your dumplings.


In conclusion, the shelf life of ground pork depends on various factors, including the storage conditions, quality of the meat, and processing method. To maximize its shelf life, store ground pork in an airtight container, refrigerate or freeze it immediately, and never leave it out at room temperature.

If your ground pork has gone bad, toss it out; don’t risk consuming toxic meat. Keep an eye out for off odors, slimy textures, and grayish colors.

Luckily, there are several ways to use leftover ground pork, so no need to waste good food. Consider making stuffed peppers, adding it to soup, or making potstickers. And remember, when in doubt, toss it out!

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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.