Shelf Life of
Hamburgers

How Long Do Hamburgers Last?

How Long Does Hamburger Last?

Shelf Life of Beef

How long do hamburgers last? The shelf life of hamburgers (hamburg) depends on a variety of factors, such as the sell by date, the preparation method and how the hamburger was stored. Hamburger is the culinary name for meat from domestic cattle where the scrap meat is ground and then packaged as ground beef. When the ground beef is formed into round (or square) patties, they become hamburgers. So, how long does hamburger last? When properly stored, the shelf life of hamburger past its sell by date is approximately …

(Unopened/Uncooked) Refrigerator Freezer
Past Printed Date Past Printed Date
Fresh Hamburgers last for 1-2 Days 6-8 Months
Fresh Ground Turkey lasts for 1 Day 6-8 Months
(Opened/Cooked) Refrigerator Freezer
Hamburgers last for 5-6 Days 4-6 Months




Of course, all foods last for a shorter period of time if they are not stored properly. But remember, hamburger, like a lot of other proteins, usually have a sell by date and not an expiration date. So, you may safely use ground meats to compliment your favorite meals even after the sell by date has lapsed but please enjoy before the eat by date.

How to tell if hamburger is bad, rotten or spoiled?

Practicing proper hygiene and food safety discipline will help prevent food borne illness. Although not a perfect test, your senses are usually the most reliable instruments to tell if your hamburger has gone bad. Some common traits of bad hamburger is a change in color from a bright red to a dull brown (or grey) color. The hamburger will change color from the inside out, so if it is brown inside it is still safe to cook – but should be cooked thoroughly. If it is brown everywhere, it will soon be nasty and begin to also smell sour and be unhealthy to consume.
To tell if hamburger in your freezer has been there too long, you will see freezer burn starting to appear on the hamburger. Freezer burn appears in dull white patches (slightly different looking than regular ice) which are in the actual hamburger. If you see a few of these spots, they can be cut off the hamburger plus about an inch of the surrounding area. These usually happen if there was a cut in your plastic wrap. But if you see more than a few spots, it is best to throw out the hamburger. There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled hamburger, so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy prior to the eat by date.

How to store hamburger to extend its shelf life?

Proper food storage is the key to extending the expiration date of food. You can help hamburger keep fresh longer by storing it in your refrigerator immediately after use. Once prepared, hamburger should be stored in a tightly closed container to keep out moisture and other contaminants. For a long-term option, you can freeze your hamburger while preserving its taste if you use a freezer safe container. Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

Interesting Facts about Hamburger:

  • According to U.S. regulations:
    Ground Beef is composed of 30% fat,
    Ground Chuck is composed of 15-20% fat,
    Ground Round is composed of 10-15% fat, and
    Ground Sirloin is composed of 8-10% fat.

  • How long is hamburger good for when prepared in a dish?

    How long does hamburger last? That depends. How long does bread last? How long do pickles last? In general, hamburger lasts only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the recipe. To find out how long those other ingredients are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search below!

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    What are our shelf life resources?

    Our content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of hamburger.

    *An important note about expiration dates …

    Although the shelf life information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and that our advice should only be taken as an opinion. So, how long will food last? Let’s find out!