Refridgerated vacuum sealed food shelf life

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whistlepig

Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Dec 23, 2011
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Preble County, OH
My vacuum sealer has turned out to be a good investment. I using it more and more. Would anyone have a chart or reference on how long vacuum sealed meats, raw and cooked, that are vacuum packed will last in the refrigerator?

I have several grilled chicken breasts left over from the holiday weekend. I want to use them this coming weekend. Vacuum seal and refridgerate or vacuum seal and freeze?
 
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You should stick to USDA guidelines regarding leftovers regardless of vac sealed or Tupperware or Ziploc when it comes to refrigeration. All those methods have the same shelf life. As far as freezing, vac seal is the only way to go
 
I guess I wasn't clear. You can't extend shelf life of cooked food just because you vac sealed it. Prior to vac seal it has been cooked, touched, set out etc. Its been exposed no matter how you store it. That's why the USDA gives times on storing cooked food in refrigerator. However you can freeze and reheat vac sealed food for many months with great results and safety
 
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Just reviewed your post and forgot to mention that's also true for vac sealing raw meat and refrigerating. You can't extend shelf life just because you removed from a styrofoam tray, vac sealed and put in fridge. Stick to the use by date on the original label. You can vac seal and freeze raw meat for well over a year though with great results
 
The question is how long will grilled, fully cooked chicken, last in a refriderator if vacuum sealed? I am not seeing this on the USDA guidelines. I am not asking about removing raw chicken from a Styrofoam tray , vac sealing, and putting it the fridge.
 
USDA doesn't address vacuum sealing here. To say that meats vacuum sealed are the same verses those meats that are not doesn't sound correct to me.
 
USDA doesn't address vacuum sealing here. To say that meats vacuum sealed are the same verses those meats that are not doesn't sound correct to me.
They don't address storing cooked vac sealed meat because all refrigerated meat regardless of storage method is exactly the same. All cooked meat has been exposed to possible pathogens before it is stored. They base their info off the same 40-140 standards that we preach here at smf. So with that said if your cooked meat sat out on a counter below 140 the potential for baddies are there. Regardless how you store it. And let's be honest....nobody puts cooked meat in the fridge when it's 140° not that it would change much anyways because the meat has already been handled etc
 
They don't address storing cooked vac sealed meat because all refrigerated meat regardless of storage method is exactly the same. All cooked meat has been exposed to possible pathogens before it is stored. They base their info off the same 40-140 standards that we preach here at smf. So with that said if your cooked meat sat out on a counter below 140 the potential for baddies are there. Regardless how you store it. And let's be honest....nobody puts cooked meat in the fridge when it's 140° not that it would change much anyways because the meat has already been handled etc
I will give you than answer this weekend.
 
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I would go ahead and freeze it myself for that length of time. I have gone 3 days , but any longer than that I freeze . My fridge is 36 degrees . All that matters . The info above is correct in the fact that vac sealing does not extend storage time in the fridge.
 
Food safety is extremely important and also rather tricky to give advice on. Contamination is a spectrum that is hard to measure at home and subject to a heap of variables. It also implies potentially major consequences.

*Separate from pathogens*, however, vacuum-sealing does help stave off freezer burn, drying out, and a bunch of other issues that might otherwise lead you to throw out safe-but-unappetizing food, from either the fridge or freezer. I don't tend to freeze fully-cooked foods much, just because it is hard to fully reheat without overcooking (sous vide being the exception), but it does keep longer than in the fridge.

It may not be much help but this is a strictly personal decision and judgement call.
 
All good advice here. I do vacuum pack and freeze cooked pulled pork, brisket, hamburgers, and Canadian bacon.

I vacuum pack refridgerate both deli meats and deli cheeses for two weeks +.

On the raw side I vacuum pack and freeze pork chops. And I vacuum pack and keep raw pork chops in the fridge up to 7 days,
 
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