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How Long Does Sliced Roast Beef Last? Does It Go Bad?

Sliced roast beef has been a staple in sandwiches and salads for years.

However, unlike whole cuts, sliced roast beef has a shorter lifespan that depends on several factors.

In this article, we’ll be exploring the shelf life of sliced roast beef and answering the question: how long does sliced roast beef last, and does it go bad?

Sliced roast beef lasts for two weeks if unopened and correctly stored in the refrigerator. Once opened, slice roast beef can last up to 5 days and stored in the fridge. Look out for signs of spoilage like a foul smell, discoloration, and sliminess to know when your sliced roast beef has gone bad. Store opened roast beef in airtight containers in the fridge to extend its lifespan.

What is Sliced Roast Beef?

Sliced roast beef is a cooked beef that has been pre-sliced into thin pieces making it perfect for sandwiches and salads.

The beef is typically roasted or slow-cooked to make it tender and can be seasoned with a wide variety of spices and herbs to give it flavor.

How Long Does Sliced Roast Beef Last?

The shelf life of sliced roast beef depends primarily on three main factors: the storage conditions, packaging material, and the date of preparation. If the beef is appropriately stored and packaged, it can last for a reasonable amount of time before going bad.

Unopened Sliced Roast Beef

Unopened sliced roast beef can last up to two weeks in the refrigerator, starting from the purchase or preparation date. If you plan to store it for a more extended period, freezing is an option; however, the meat’s quality will be compromised after thawing.

Opened Sliced Roast Beef

Once the package is opened, the beef’s shelf life reduces significantly. You can store it in the fridge for three to five days depending on the storage conditions. The meat should stay fresh and safe to eat within this time frame if stored correctly.

Storage Conditions

Proper storage plays a crucial role in determining how long your sliced roast beef will last. Below are tips on how to store your sliced roast beef to extend its lifespan:

Store in the Fridge

Sliced roast beef should always be stored in the fridge after opening it if it’s not intended for immediate consumption. The optimal temperature for storing roast beef is between 36-40°F. At this temperature, the beef can last for up to five days or longer if appropriately stored.

Avoid Exposure to Air

Air exposure can cause the beef to spoil or discolor faster, and it’s therefore essential to store it in an airtight container or wrap it in airtight plastic wrap. This prevents air from getting to the beef and prolongs its shelf life.

Freeze the Beef

If you’d like to store sliced roast beef for a more extended period, consider freezing it. Freezing the beef halts bacterial growth, meaning that it can last much longer than storing it in the fridge. However, the meat can lose its flavor and quality after thawing. It’s important to ensure that you wrap the roast beef tightly to prevent air exposure and freezer burn.

How to Tell If Sliced Roast Beef Has Gone Bad?

Sliced roast beef can go bad due to several factors, including storage conditions and packaging. Below are some tell-tale signs that your sliced roast beef has gone bad:

Foul Smell

Spoiled roast beef gives off an unpleasant odor. If you notice a sour or rancid smell on your sliced roast beef, it’s time to throw it out.


Roast beef that has gone bad will change color from a bright red or pink to brown or gray. This discoloration is caused by bacterial growth and can indicate that it’s time to toss the beef.


If your roast beef feels slimy, it’s a clear indication that it has gone bad. Bacterial growth in the meat can cause a slimy texture and is a clear sign that the roast beef is no longer safe to eat.


Mold growth on sliced roast beef is a sure indication that it has gone bad. If you notice mold growing on your beef, it’s best to discard it immediately.


In conclusion, sliced roast beef has a relatively short shelf life, mainly due to the potential for bacterial growth and discoloration. Sliced roast beef lasts for up to two weeks if unopened and stored correctly in the refrigerator.

Once opened, it can last between three to five days if stored correctly. It’s essential to store sliced roast beef in an airtight container and in the fridge to extend its lifespan and prevent bacterial growth.

When it comes to consuming roast beef, it’s critical to keep an eye out for potential spoilage signs such as a foul smell, sliminess, mold, and discoloration.

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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.