Have you ever had a bad food poisoning and the only thing you can remember it being from is probably meat that you’ve had the previous day?

So, what could have gone wrong and does meat really cause food poisoning that easy? Well, if cooked meat isn’t stored in the right way in the refrigerator, then yes, it can definitely cause food poisoning. Different meats last for a certain number of days, weeks or months, in the refrigerator and in the freezer, but it is essential it has been stored in the right way.

How Long Can Cooked Meat Stay in the fridge ?

In this article, let us talk about how long does cooked meat stay in the refrigerator and in the freezer.

How Long Does Cooked Meat Stay in the Refrigerator?

Pork: Cooked pork can remain in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, before it needs to be frozen.

Beef: Beef will last in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days and then it needs to be frozen.

Poultry: All types of poultry will last about 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator before it can be frozen.

Seafood: Seafood will last in the 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator and it then needs to be frozen.

How Long Does Cooked Meat Stay in the Freezer?


Cooked pork can remain in the freezer for two to a maximum of three months and uncooked pork can be for around 2 months. As for pork chops, you can store them in the freezer for around 4 to 6 months. Pork roast will last for 4 to 12 months.

Processed and smoked pork items like bacon, luncheon meat, ham etc., will last for 1 to 2 months.


Beef when cooked, will last 2 to 3 months. When uncooked, beef steaks can last 6 to 12 months and beef for roasting will last 4 to 12 months.


Poultry like chicken, quail, turkey etc., can be kept frozen for even up to 1 year, when uncooked. Once cooked, you can store poultry for 3 to 5 months.


Uncooked, lean fish can be kept in the freezer for 6 to 8 months, while fatty fish can be kept in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. Shellfish can be kept for 3 to 6 months.

Once cooked, fish shouldn’t be kept in the freezer for longer than 4 to 6 months. If your fish is smoked, then keep it frozen for a maximum of 2 months.

How Long Can You Store Canned Foods?

Canned food will last between 2 to 5 years, when it is unopened. But once it has been opened, you will need to refrigerate once opened (the leftovers) and thereafter, it will last about 5 to 7 days.

Remember to check your can for any bulges and smells, before and after opening it. Bulges in the can and any putrid smell upon opening the can, can mean it is spoilt and there is bacteria.

Always store canned foods (unopened), in a cool and dark place.

How to Thaw Frozen Meats the Right Way?

Whenever you require to use your frozen meats, remember that it is very essential that you thaw it the right way.

The best way to thaw it is by transferring the meat from the freezer to the refrigerator, first, instead of directly at room temperature. This will allow it to thaw slowly and can help prevent the growth of bacteria rapidly.

If you require to cook the frozen meat quickly, then you can use the defrost option in your microwave or thaw it using a water bath (placing the frozen meat in a bowl of water and let it remain submerged until thawed).