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I've just bought some fresh rump steak to make beauf bourguignon in 3 days. Can I keep it in a fridge or do I need to put it in a freezer?

  • Update: I kept it refrigerated for 3 days in plastic wrap and it was fine. – Michael Dec 28 '12 at 17:30
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A roast should be fine for 3-4 days, refrigerated see:

Beef board reference

If any of several modern packaging systems are used--most of which are designed to exclude air and pathogens, you can get significantly longer storage, although freezing is probably still not a bad idea:

Beefresearch.org

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Well, what does the best before date say? It depends on when the cattle was slaughtered, how the meat is packaged (vacuum packaging increases shelf life) and at what temperature it has been and is going to be stored at.

Generally speaking: shouldn't be a problem. Smell it before you cook it of course.

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    Expiration dates/sell-by dates are good guidelines but don't necessarily tell you how long it will be safe. – Aaronut Dec 22 '12 at 20:47
  • @Aaronut: Agreed, hence "smell it". However, if the meat expires today, that would of course make it less likely that it will be good after 3 days, but if it expires after 1–2 weeks, it's probably safe (given an unbroken cold chain). – citizen Dec 22 '12 at 20:53
  • Smelling it will only tell you if it's rancid. Bacterial contamination doesn't smell. That's been covered amply on this site already - neither smell nor sell-by dates are useful food safety tests, the best thing to do is just follow the guidelines given by the FDA/USDA/etc. Sell-by dates aren't even great as "minimums" because your fridge may be moister/warmer/etc. than the conditions the sell-by date is based on. – Aaronut Dec 22 '12 at 21:45
  • There's no best before date. I got it from the butcher and should have asked the question there but didn't. Anyhow this is one of the top butchers in the city and there's queues on most days so they couldn't have had the meat there for too long. It's also not vacuum packed but in cling film. – Michael Dec 23 '12 at 16:23

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