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MilitantSquatter 08-13-2006 09:54 AM

Shelf life of refrigerated cryovac meats
Just a general question....

When I buy meats in cryovac at a Costco or Restaurant Depot they generally do not have the typical "sell by date" seen on packaged meats that you would see at a grocery store... My limited knowledge tells me that meat in cryovac can stay fresher longer...

How many days in advance would you feel comfortable storing cryovac packaged meat in a cold refrigerator before opening up to use it hoping that it will be fresh when opened ?

Kevin 08-13-2006 10:10 AM

Here's some info on aging brisket:

MilitantSquatter 08-13-2006 10:31 AM

Thanks Kevin... I recall that... but I'm not looking to age the meat...

Just looking to get a rough estimate on how long it can stay in the fridge from the date I buy it to the date I use it as is,out of the package.

BrooklynQ 08-13-2006 11:27 AM

According to Servsafe rules, 7 days for cooked food if the food is kept at the proper temp. Nothing in the rules that I remember for uncooked. BBQJoe?

timzcardz 08-13-2006 11:46 AM


I asked that same question a while back, and there was limited discussion/knwledge of it at the time, but FWIW here is the link to it (specific question and discussion beginning with post #16):

bbqjoe 08-13-2006 12:03 PM

As far as I can recall there is no rule on how long fresh meat can be refrigerated before it must be tossed.

This is probably due to all the different types of processing and packaging methods.

Some meats are aged so long, that mold actually grows on it, and it is cut off just like they do with cheese.

Bacon and corned beef might last forever.

Cryovaced (Sic) meat is supposed to be free of oxygen, therefore it is harder for the meat to oxidize and break down, and it is also hard for bacteria to grow.

I know that a week in the fridge is generally no problem with cryo'd brisket.

The best advice would be to use your senses. Smell, and sight.

Rockaway BeachBQ 08-13-2006 07:39 PM


"By selling products in low-oxygen packages — which often have a shelf life of between 21 to 30 days, depending on the product—and high-oxygen packages—with a typical shelf life of between 10 and 15 days—retailers can display meat and poultry longer and thus reduce shrinkage.Store-cut meat typically has a three-day shelf life."

Kevin 08-13-2006 08:44 PM


Originally Posted by Rockaway BeachBQ

"By selling products in low-oxygen packages ó which often have a shelf life of between 21 to 30 days, depending on the productóand high-oxygen packagesówith a typical shelf life of between 10 and 15 daysóretailers can display meat and poultry longer and thus reduce shrinkage.Store-cut meat typically has a three-day shelf life."

Now that is an interesting statement. And I agree with it. We've used nitrogen (as it displaces oxygen, thus retarding oxydation) in the electronics industry for many years. If it's good enough to keep my gold wire from rusting, it's good enough for me to eat. Yes, fresh is better but, reality dictates some common sense.

bbqjoe 08-13-2006 08:58 PM

I don't know if this information is 100% correct, but the health inspector told me the other day that the environmental packaging ( Nitrogen or co2) Was going to be outlawed. Like what they do at wallies.

MilitantSquatter 08-13-2006 09:06 PM

thanks for all the info..

Still not sure why there's no law requiring the packaged on date to be labeled on the cryo'd meats...

BrooklynQ 08-14-2006 10:28 PM

In NY, if you buy meat from a retail establishment, they are required to date cyrovaced meat. The retail store, Stop and Shop, your butcher etc, is required to date it based upon when they purchased it.

If you bought your meat from say Restaurant Depot, it is considered a wholesale establishment and they are not required.

Here's some of the rules about pork....


Section 240. Length of storage period

1. No person or corporation shall keep or permit to remain in any refrigerated warehouse or locker plant any article of food beyond the time when it is sound and wholesome and fit to remain in storage. If any article of food is found to be fit for immediate consumption, but unfit for further storage, such article of food shall at once be re-moved from storage and not again stored. No article of food shall be kept or permitted to remain in any refrigerated warehouse for a longer aggregate period than twenty-four calendar months, except by order of the Commissioner. Upon evidence satisfactory to him that the food is sound and wholesome and fit for further storage, the Commissioner may, in his discretion, grant an extension of the storage period. He may, in his discretion, cause any articles of food to be examined to ascertain if the food is sound and wholesome and fit for further storage.

bbqjoe 08-15-2006 10:41 AM

Some very good info there, Thanks Robert!

Pig Headed 08-15-2006 04:32 PM


Before I went on vacation on 8/5, I picked up a cryo-vac 3 pak of ribs at Costco. I asked the guy behind the glass if it had been frozen and thawed when placed out. He said that they had not been frozen and they would keep for a month is refrigerated. Being the sceptic I am, I placed them in the freezer 'till I get to them. Yea I know, I don't know why I bought them then...

bbqjoe 08-15-2006 04:57 PM

I'd trust beef to last awhile. But never pork. I don't care how well it's packaged it doesn't last long in the fridge.

MilitantSquatter 08-15-2006 08:24 PM

Thanks for the info BQ - I'm hoping they are referring to frozen meat in that excerpt when it mentions being stored in a refrigerated warehouse up to 24 months !!

Ever since my "fishy ribs" last month at Grill Kings that I'm chalking up to a bad batch.... it's been screwing with my head...

I'll be off to Restaurant Depot & Costco tomorrow evening to pick up my contest meats for this weekend... I'm keeping em in the back of my fridge with the temps lowered with my fingers are crossed that everything is fresh come prep time when they come out of the coolers....

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