Lamb is a delicious and versatile meat that can be enjoyed in a variety of recipes and cuisines.
However, if you’re not sure how long it can be stored or if it can go bad, it’s important to know how to properly handle and store it.
So, how long does lamb last? Does it go bad?
Lamb can last for up to 3-5 days in the refrigerator when stored properly. It can also be frozen for up to 6-9 months. Always check the expiration date on the package before using and discard any lamb that has an off smell or appearance.
In this article, we’ll go over the factors that can affect the shelf life of lamb, how to properly store it, and how to tell when it has gone bad.
What is Lamb?
Lamb is the meat of young sheep that are less than one year old. It has a tender, mild flavor and can be used in a variety of dishes, from stews and roasts to burgers and kebabs.
When purchasing lamb, you can choose from different cuts, including legs, chops, shanks, and racks. It’s important to note that different cuts may have different storage requirements, so be sure to read the packaging carefully.
How Long Does Lamb Last?
The shelf life of lamb can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the cut of meat, whether it’s cooked or raw, and how it’s stored.
When stored in the refrigerator, lamb can last for up to 3-5 days when stored properly. This includes keeping it in its original packaging or rewrapping it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent air from getting in.
Frozen lamb, on the other hand, can last for up to 6-9 months when stored at 0°F or below. It’s important to note that the longer lamb is frozen, the more likely it is to lose quality and flavor. So, if you’re planning on freezing lamb, try to use it as soon as possible to ensure the best taste and texture.
How to Store Lamb
Proper storage is key to keeping lamb fresh and safe to eat. Follow these tips to ensure your lamb stays delicious and safe for consumption:
- Refrigerate or freeze immediately: After purchasing or cooking lamb, promptly store it in either the refrigerator or freezer. This will help prevent the growth of bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
- Store in its original packaging or rewrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil: This will help prevent air from getting in and drying out the meat, as well as stop the transfer of odors from other foods.
- Label the package with the date of purchase or freezing: This will help you keep track of how long the lamb has been stored and ensure it’s still safe to eat.
- Be mindful of the temperature: Make sure your refrigerator is set to 40°F or below, and your freezer is set to 0°F or below.
How to Tell if Lamb Has Gone Bad
Before using lamb, it’s important to check it for signs of spoilage. Here are some signs to look for:
- Off-smell: If the lamb smells sour, rancid, or has an unpleasant odor, it’s best to discard it. This could be a sign that harmful bacteria have started to grow.
- Discolored meat: If the lamb has turned brown or grayish-brown, it’s likely that it’s gone bad.
- Slimy texture or sticky surface: If the meat feels slimy or has a sticky surface, it’s past its prime and should be discarded.
- Mold: Any signs of mold growth are an indicator that the meat is no longer safe to eat.
If you’re unsure whether your lamb has gone bad, trust your senses. It’s better to err on the side of caution and discard it if it doesn’t look or smell right.
Tips for Using Leftover Lamb
If you find yourself with leftover lamb, here are some delicious ways to use it up:
- Shepherd’s pie: Use leftover lamb to make a delicious shepherd’s pie topped with mashed potatoes.
- Tacos: Use shredded lamb in place of beef in your next taco night.
- Lamb burgers: Ground leftover lamb to make tasty lamb burgers.
- Stir-fry: Add leftover lamb to a stir-fry for a quick and easy meal.
In conclusion, lamb can last for up to 3-5 days in the refrigerator when stored properly and up to 6-9 months in the freezer. Ensure you always check the expiration date on the package before use and discard any lamb that has an off smell or appearance.
Remember to store your lamb in its original packaging or rewrap it tightly to prevent air from getting in and drying out the meat. Label the package and keep your refrigerator and freezer at the correct temperature.
If your lamb looks or smells off, trust your senses and discard it. And, if you have leftover lamb, it can be used in a variety of delicious recipes.
By following these tips, you can safely enjoy tender and flavorful lamb dishes at any time. Happy cooking!
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.