If a pork shoulder is sold from a butcher on Wednesday will it still be good to eat on Sunday? the butcher selling it says it will be but I've heard pork should be consumed with 1-2 days of purchase

Any food safety / quality experts have thoughts on this?

  • It's not quite the same, it's pork not chicken and it's not supplied with a use by date. Aug 2, 2017 at 21:22
  • The question is "meat/poultry" and the answer directly addresses what you're asking. Your butcher gave you a use by date, even if it's not stamped on the packaging.
    – Catija
    Aug 2, 2017 at 21:23
  • He didn't give me a use by date and different meats have different fridge lives Aug 2, 2017 at 21:25
  • He told you that it would be good until Sunday. That means your use by date is later than Sunday, right? If you're that concerned, you can freeze it and then thaw it safely the day before.
    – Catija
    Aug 2, 2017 at 21:28
  • When I say use by date I mean the type you get in a supermarket that is system generated. I don't fully trust what this butcher is saying. I don't think he'd poison me but I'm concerned about quality (and in case you are wondering why I'd use a butcher I don't trust; a family member is arranging the purchase) Aug 2, 2017 at 21:35

3 Answers 3


I'd trust the butcher if he is recommended; perhaps check on him by asking safe cooking temperature? 145°F by the way, it's been revised since old days 160°F. He isn't talking about all pork, he's talking about the specific cut from a specific source, that's been handled in a specific way.

Even if meat gets a smell, there are different smells and if it isn't sort of a fermented sour smell, it's good. Same for color.
Easiest way to deal with the situation is to marinate it wet or with a dry rub. I usually do this with most of my meats the day I purchase. Some thicker cuts, especially pork, can take 4-5 days to take the flavor. Salt, pepper, chilés, mustard and a host of other spices help as preservatives.


Single food categories associated with the most outbreaks:

Fish (34 outbreaks) Chicken (22 outbreaks) Pork (19 outbreaks)

Restaurants (469 outbreaks, 60% of outbreaks reporting a single location of preparation), specifically restaurants with sit-down dining (373, 48%), were the most commonly reported locations of food preparation.

There were 30 multistate outbreaks, including the following types of foods linked to them: Vegetable row crops (4 outbreaks) Seeded vegetables (3 outbreaks) Grains, such as flour (2 outbreaks) Herbs (2 outbreaks) Mollusks (2 outbreaks) What, no pork?

CDC reports salmonella in local sources as leading reason for illness from pork, but it's half as likely as getting it from vegetables.

  • 1
    A rub isn't going to fix spoiled meat. The contrast of time for a rub to work with recommendations for use by times for meat is good, but you can't necessarily extend the fridge life of meat that way.
    – Wolfgang
    Aug 2, 2017 at 23:56
  • You're right. And nothing fixes spoiled meat. My point in the rub is two-fold: first to get it working, flavoring the meat so that it is ready to go (and if later pressed for time won't leave it for another day, and another...); also to deal with smell as novice cooks often don't know the difference between a good aged smell and thinking something is bad.
    – Hebekiah
    Aug 23, 2017 at 16:05

For all pork from all butchers or supermarket fresh meats counters, unless you will cook it within two (2) days, wrap it in freezer bag/plastic wrap and freeze until the day before you plan to cook it. Allow the pork to thaw in the fridge for the day before cooking it that evening or the following day. If you choose the following day, remove pork still wrapped from the fridge and rest at room temperature until you are ready to prepare for cooking. Always best to be safe with pork.

  • Welcome! Can you cite any sources for this information?
    – Catija
    Aug 3, 2017 at 3:52

So I spoke to my usual trusted butcher (the butcher with the pork is located at our holiday destination). He says 5 days would be quite a long time but it should be fine as a butchers fridge is much colder than a domestic fridge (1 degree v 4 degrees). Pork in a domestic fridge is good for about 2 days

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