How long does vacuum-sealed meat last? Maximizing shelf life.

how long does vacuum-sealed meat last

Table of Contents

Vacuum sealing is a popular way to preserve meat. It removes oxygen from the packaging, which slows down bacteria growth and reduces the risk of oxidation. Many people are curious about how long vacuum-sealed meat last before they spoil. In this article, you will learn:

  • How long does vacuum-sealed meat last?
  • How to tell if vacuum-sealed meat has gone bad?
  • And more!

How long does vacuum-sealed meat last in the freezer?

For an extended shelf life, vacuum-sealing your meat and storing it in the freezer is one of the best ways to go. To ensure quality freshness, make sure that temperatures remain below 0°F at all times. Additionally, a proper seal will keep out any air that can lead to nasty freezer burn – leaving your food dry and potentially damaged.

how long does vacuum sealed meat last

Generally, vacuum-sealed meat can stay viable in a freezer for up to 2-3 years. Keep in mind that the shelf life may vary based on the type of meat and the efficacy of its seal. For instance, ground meats and poultry are more likely to go bad sooner than other red or white cuts like steak or pork chops.

Remember, once vacuum-sealed meat has been thawed, it must be cooked and consumed right away. If you refreeze the meat following its initial thawing, it will not taste or have the same quality of freshness as if consumed straight after being defrosted!

To ensure vacuum-sealed meat in your freezer stays fresh, keep it at the lowest temperature possible and shield it from changes in temperature. Label each package with the date of packaging to easily recognize when something should be consumed or discarded.

Read more >> How long does shrimp last in the fridge?

How long does vacuum-sealed meat last in the refrigerator?

vacuum sealed meat

Vacuum-sealed meat can maintain its freshness for a longer period of time than unsealed meats due to the absence of oxygen which restricts bacterial growth. However, it is essential to remember that vacuum sealing does not make the meat unperishable. Always double-check expiry dates and evaluate quality upon purchasing!

On average, vacuum-sealed meat will remain fresh and edible in the refrigerator for between one to two weeks. Though this timeframe may vary depending on factors such as the type of meat or quality of the seal, generally, ground meats have a shorter shelf life in comparison to cuts of beef or pork.

To maintain optimal food safety and quality, it is essential to store vacuum-sealed meat in the refrigerator at or below 40°F. After opening the package of meat, try to use it as soon as possible. If more than three days have passed since opening, it is recommended to cook the product instead of refreezing; this will help prevent any spoilage from occurring.

As an important note, keep in mind that vacuum sealing will not preserve the freshness of meat indefinitely, nor can it prevent spoilage if the meat has gone bad before being sealed.

Read more >> How long does beef jerky last?

How to tell if vacuum-sealed meat is bad?

To ensure your vacuum-sealed meat is safe to consume, be aware of the following signs that it may have gone bad:


  • Vacuum-sealed meat that has spoiled will not retain its classic vibrant colors of red or pink but rather a duller and unappetizing shade of brown or gray.


  • Vacuum-sealed meat that has spoiled will emit a foul, pungent odor, such as sourness or an ammonia-like stench.

Slimy texture: 

  • If your vacuum-sealed meat has gone bad, you may be able to detect the slimy texture, which is a telltale sign of bacterial growth.

It’s essential to keep in mind that vacuuming the meat can extend its freshness but not ensure it is safe for consumption. If there are any doubts about the edibility of the food, discard it immediately.

It’s best to prepare vacuum-sealed meat directly after the seal has been broken, as bacteria can start multiplying rapidly. If you have stored it in the refrigerator for over three days since opening, then cooking should be your next step without giving a single thought about refreezing!

vacuum sealed meat expiration date

To conclude, when dealing with vacuumed meat, it is essential to be aware of the expiration date, storage environment, and if there are any warning signs indicating spoilage. If you have any doubts regarding its safety for consumption, discarding the food item is preferable.


If you were wondering how long does vacuum-sealed meat last, hopefully, you found all the answers you were looking for. Ultimately, vacuum sealing is a reliable approach to extend the shelf life of your meat selections by removing oxygen from the packaging and inhibiting bacteria growth and oxidation.

If you are a barbecue enthusiast, it is important to know that with this method, you can preserve your meat for longer.

To prevent food wastage, especially when utilizing vacuum-sealed meat for grilling or barbecuing, it is essential to understand the length of time such a product can last in different storage conditions—such as a freezer and refrigerator.

By sustaining an optimal temperature below 0°F in the freezer and 40°F in the refrigerator, you can not only plan your meals better but also be guaranteed that your vacuum-sealed meats will stay fresh longer!

If there is any uncertainty surrounding the safety of your meat, it’s best to discard it. I hope that this article provided you with helpful tips on how to properly store and savor each cut of meat – ensuring an enjoyable experience every time!


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Tom Wilmer

I'm Tom Wilmer, an award-winning pitmaster and BBQ judge. I share my passion for barbecue through my blog, BBQ Soldiers, offering recipes, tips, and smoker reviews. Let's grill together!

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