Summer is right at the corner, and it is the time to gather and meet up. It is purely a time of spending some quality time with your loved ones and relaxation. And with summer comes the overflowing platters of juicy meat burgers of pork, chicken, beef, turkey, and whatever you like at the next big family cookout. But not to be spoilsport, with the rise in the temperatures, food safety standards should be taken care of.
It is evaluated that about 48 million people fall sick because of food poisoning each year. And it does not matter if you are having your food at a restaurant or home. Although the exact number of home-cooked food poisoning cases can not be listed, the researchers state that it could be anywhere as low as 12 percent to as high as 80 percent. But do not go for the stats and take care of yourself and your loved ones by safely storing and handling your food at home.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Guidelines
The U.S.D.A has some guidelines for food safety and refrigeration by defining two kinds of bacteria that can develop on food:
- Spoilage bacteria: Spoilage bacteria leads to food spoils. The development of these bacteria changes the food’s smell, look, and taste. Nevertheless, they do not hold much potency to make someone sick.
- Pathogenic bacteria: These kinds of bacteria can posses a threat as they are likely to cause foodborne illness. They proliferate in unstored or unrefrigerated foods and can not be detected by merely noticing the food’s taste, smell, or looks.
Anyhow, it does not matter what kind of bacteria is going to develop over your food. The only thing that matters is to take food safety measures. Therefore, if you have been holding to a thought of how long does cooked pork last in the fridge, we have got it covered in this blog. From fridge to freezer to canned pork foods and other dishes, we will outline the rules for every storage type.
Best Practices for Storing Pork
No question arises if you ask what storage is best for keeping your cooked pork. It is the freezer. The freezer helps you store your food the longest.
USDA guidelines on freezing and food safety state that if one freezes the foods to 0°F (-18°C), it inactivates the microbes such as mold, yeasts, bacteria, etc., and even slows enzyme activity.
Another good thing about the freezer is that you do not need any fancy vacuum sealer. Still, if you have one, it will be a win-win situation as sealing out moisture helps keep food taste fresh for longer when defrosted and cooked.
Moreover, for your safety, USDA recommends that you use another layer of foil or plastic wrap before storing your cooked pork into the frozen abyss. The extra layer will keep the moisture out of the dish, thus keeping it fresh and nutrition stuffed when used later.
How to Store Cooked Pork?
Well, let’s finally answer the question of how long does cooked pork last in the fridge and in which way to store it so it lasts that long. You can store your cooked pork in two ways – in the fridge or the freezer. Let us see how both work.
Here we will see how you can store your fresh and leftover pork and for how long.
For How Long Can You Store Your Fresh Pork in the Refrigerator?
You can keep the pre-packed sealed, fresh pork cuts for around 2 to 4 days in the refrigerator. If we talk about the sealed ground pork, you can keep them for at least 1 to 2 days in the fridge. If you have another plan for your outings and do not want to cook the pork instantly, then you can keep your raw, fresh pork longer than 2 to 3 days by storing it in the freezer, well-wrapped.
For How Long Can You Store Ham or Smoked Items in the Fridge?
If you are a smoked ham lover and want to keep it for yourself for the other day, then you surely are at a treat. You can save the steamed pork for yourself for about 3-4 days. Moreover, if you want to store smoked pork hot dogs, pork bacon, or pork sausages, you can do that for almost seven days.
How Long Can You Keep Leftovers Pig Roast in the Refrigerator?
With the full-on feasting over pork dishes, if you are left with the leftover big pig roast, you should refrigerate it within 1 to 2 hours of serving. Furthermore, you can store it for around 4-5 days. And if you well-wrap leftovers, it can last up to three months in the freezer.
Here we will see how you can properly wrap the fresh pork and for how long you can store it.
How to Properly Wrap the Fresh Pork for Storing It in the Freezer?
To keep your pork fresh in the freezer, you should follow these steps:
- Wrapping material – You can use freezer wrap materials such as heavy-duty plastic bags, heavy-duty polyethylene film, heavy-duty aluminum foil, specially-coated freezer paper, etc.
- Re-wrapping pork – As per your convenience, re-wrap the pork. You can leave roasts as a whole, or shape ground pork into patties, or place chops in meal-size packages, etc., anything you like. While making patties, do not forget to put a double layer of waxed paper between them.
- Covering up the sharp bones – Remember to cover up the sharp bones with extra paper to avoid any bones from poking out and piercing the wrapping, ultimately leading to spoilage of food or losing its fresh taste.
- Pressing out the air – Always wrap the pork tightly by pressing out air as much as possible to prevent any bacteria from thriving over it. Labeling – Do not forget to label your food with dates. This will help you in remembering and keeping a check on your storage. And you will also know what food is stored in the package, thus avoiding unnecessary opening.
- Freezing point – Freezing pork at 0° F or lower will work perfectly.
For How Long Can You Keep Pork in the Freezer?
Any kind of fresh pork cuts such as tenderloin, chops, or roasts that are well-wrapped can be in the freezer for as long as six months. And for the well-wrapped ground pork, the storing time can last up to three months.
Can you Freeze Ham?
According to National Pork Board, you should not freeze cooked ham as it affects the pork’s texture and quality. We hope that this blog has furnished you with insight into storing the cooked pork while maintaining its taste and texture. Always remember to label and check your storage for any spoilt food. Or else it can become a prolific bed for bacteria.