How Long is Cooked Ground Turkey Good in the Refrigerator?

Items in the refrigerator should be thrown out when they begin to mold, ooze, or smell. But how do you avoid getting to that point?.

Key Takeaways:

  • Refrigeration: Cooked ground turkey lasts 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
  • Freezing: Cooked ground turkey can be frozen for 3-4 months for longer storage.
  • Spoilage Signs: Discard cooked ground turkey if it has a foul odor, slimy texture, or off taste.
  • Food Safety: Always follow proper food handling practices to prevent foodborne illness.

Cooked Ground Turkey Shelf Life:

According to Chef’s Resource, cooked ground turkey has a safe shelf life of 3-4 days when stored properly in the refrigerator. This aligns with the USDA’s recommendation for cooked turkey, which also suggests using it within 3-4 days of refrigeration.

Important Note: Refrigeration slows down bacterial growth but doesn’t stop it completely. Therefore, it’s crucial to consume cooked ground turkey within the recommended timeframe to ensure safety and quality.

Can You Eat Cooked Ground Turkey After 5 Days?

Based on the information from Chef’s Resource and the USDA, it’s not recommended to eat cooked ground turkey after 5 days. While it might not be harmful in every case the risk of bacterial growth and potential foodborne illness increases significantly after this period.

Additional Tips:

  • Storage: Store cooked ground turkey in an airtight container or tightly wrapped in aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
  • Temperature: Keep your refrigerator temperature below 40°F (4°C) for optimal preservation.
  • Reheating: Reheat cooked ground turkey to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to kill any bacteria.
  • Freezing: Freeze cooked ground turkey if you won’t use it within 3-4 days. Thaw it in the refrigerator before using.
  • Spoilage: Discard cooked ground turkey if it shows signs of spoilage, such as a foul odor, slimy texture, or off taste.

For optimal safety and quality, consume cooked ground turkey within 3-4 days of refrigeration. If you need to store it longer, freeze it for up to 3-4 months. Always follow proper food handling practices to prevent foodborne illness.

How long do leftovers last?

According to the FDA Food Code, all perishable foods that are opened or prepared should be thrown out after 7 days, maximum. No leftovers should survive in your fridge for longer than that. Some foods should be even be thrown away before the 7 day mark. Refer to expiration dates and food safety guidelines to know how to handle specific foods. The chart below from is a useful guide for food in the fridge.

How to make leftover food last longer

If you want your leftovers to last longer, freeze them. Just remember to record the amount of time you spent refrigerating it before freezing it. Freezing stops bacterial growth in its tracks like a car at a red light. But when your food thaws, the light turns green and the bacteria continue to grow where they left off. Therefore, the following chart indicates that steak that was refrigerated for three days prior to freezing will keep for one to two days after thawing. The following freezer food guidelines pertain to food quality rather than safety, as frozen foods are safe for an extended period of time.

See if any food in your freezer or refrigerator needs to be thrown out by looking at our chart.

Category Food Refrigerator (40 °F or below) Freezer (0 °F or below)
Salads Egg, chicken, ham, tuna, & macaroni salads 3 to 5 days Does not freeze well
Hot dogs Opened package 1 week 1 to 2 months
Unopened package 2 weeks 1 to 2 months
Lunch meat Opened package or deli sliced 3 to 5 days 1 to 2 months
Unopened package 2 weeks 1 to 2 months
Bacon & sausage Raw bacon 7 days 1 month
Raw sausage made from chicken, turkey, pork, or beef 1 to 2 days 1 to 2 months
Hamburger & other ground meats Raw hamburger, ground beef, turkey, veal, pork, lamb, & mixtures of them 1 to 2 days 3 to 4 months
Raw beef, veal, lamb, & pork Steaks 3 to 5 days 6 to 12 months
Chops 3 to 5 days 4 to 6 months
Roasts 3 to 5 days 4 to 12 months
Raw poultry Chicken or turkey, whole 1 to 2 days 1 year
Chicken or turkey, pieces 1 to 2 days 9 months
Soups & Stews Vegetable or meat added 3 to 4 days 2 to 3 months
Leftovers Cooked meat or poultry 3 to 4 days 2 to 6 months
Chicken nuggets or patties 3 to 4 days 1 to 3 months
Pizza 3 to 4 days 1 to 2 months

How long is raw ground turkey good for in the fridge?


Can you eat cooked ground turkey after 5 days?

It is generally recommended to consume cooked ground turkey within 3-4 days if stored properly in the refrigerator. After 5 days, there is an increased risk of bacterial growth and potential foodborne illness.

Is ground turkey good after 7 days?

You may store uncooked ground poultry in the refrigerator 1 to 2 days. After cooking, you may keep it 3 to 4 days. Frozen raw poultry is best used in 3 to 4 months; cooked ground poultry, 2 to 3 months.

Can you eat cooked meat after 5 days?

USDA recommends using cooked leftovers within 3 to 4 days. There are two different families of bacteria: pathogenic bacteria, the kind that cause foodborne illness, and spoilage bacteria, the kind of bacteria that cause foods to deteriorate and develop unpleasant odors, tastes, and textures.

Is ground turkey OK 4 days after use by date?

The USDA recommends cooking (or freezing) raw, ground turkey within one or two days after purchasing or the “sell by” date printed on the package. So if your best-laid plans for Tuesday night turkey burgers were forgotten until Saturday, it’s unfortunately time to say goodbye.

How long does ground turkey last in the fridge?

However, ground turkey can only be frozen within 2 days after it was bought. Nevertheless, it’s the best long-term storage option if you do not intend to cook it right away. Even though ground turkey will last indefinitely in the fridge, its quality will diminish over time. Therefore, you should use ground turkey within 3-4 months.

Does ground turkey need to be refrigerated?

Keeping ground turkey in the fridge in an airtight container is important to prevent bacteria from growing. If you have leftovers, store them in the fridge within 2 hours of cooking to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. In summary, ground turkey has a relatively short shelf life and should be stored properly to extend its freshness.

Where should ground turkey be stored?

Ground turkey should be stored in the back section of your fridge, as far from the door as possible. After turkey has been cooked, it is still essential to store it in an airtight container, however the placement in the fridge is less important as cooked turkey is more stable than raw turkey.

How long can you keep cooked ground turkey thawed?

Cooked ground turkey that has been thawed in the fridge can be kept for an additional 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator before cooking; ground turkey that was thawed in the microwave or in cold water should be eaten immediately. How long does cooked ground turkey last at room temperature?

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