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Just how long can Roast beef "keep" in the refrigerator ? #294957 - Ask Extension

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Just how long can Roast beef "keep" in the refrigerator ? #294957

Asked December 29, 2015, 2:28 PM EST

A friend of mine had an uncooked roast beef (wrapped in paper, NOT vacuum-sealed) in his refrigerator for over 6 weeks. 

He took it out, removed the paper, rinsed it off thoroughly, and then placed it in a Roasting bag with some spices and several "cream of" soups mixed together ... 

He then cooked it in his oven for several hours.

 He says it's still good; but it still seemed quite unappetizing to me.

Am I crazy, or is my friend wrong ?

Middlesex County Massachusetts

Expert Response

There are several concerns in the handling and storage of the raw meat. Raw meat by itself has or may be present with natural bacteria on the surface. Holding the meat for extended period of time could allow for pathogens to grow on the surface even while under refrigeration. Secondly, washing or rinsing the surface of the meat prior to cooking will also alter the pH level increasing the risk for bacterial growth. The practice that your friend is doing is not safe as it allows for the factor of "time" from storage to cooking exceed over 7 days making the meat unsafe. Cooking does not destroy all bacteria especially those that are spore forming.
Richard Kralj Replied January 02, 2016, 8:01 AM EST

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