Those of us on the USDA’s Meat and also Poultry Hotline can always tell as soon as St. Patrick’s job approaches. Starting in beforehand March, we begin to receive numerous questions around corned beef: how do friend prepare it? How can you tell once it’s for sure cooked? exactly how long have the right to you keep it?


While a timeless dinner of corned beef and also cabbage may bring you the “luck the the Irish,” you can’t depend on great luck to ensure that your enjoy the meal is food safe. Instead, follow these tips to make certain that you and also your guests don’t turn green (with food poisoning!).

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Package Dating and also Storage Times

If friend buy uncooked corned beef in a pouch with pickling juices, which has actually a “sell-by” day or no date, it can be stored because that 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator, unopened. If you buy commodities with a “use-by” date, you might store it unopened in the refrigerator until that date.

An uncooked corned beef brisket might be frozen for 1 month for best quality if girlfriend drain and re-wrap it. We recommended draining the brine because salt motivates rancidity and also texture changes. The flavor and also texture will diminish with an extensive freezing, however the product is quiet safe.


Corned beef is made from one of several much less tender cuts of beef choose the brisket, rump or round. Therefore, it calls for long, moist cooking. It can be cook on height of the oven or in the oven, microwave, or slow-moving cooker. The USDA does no recommend one details cooking technique as best, however we do provide cooking directions in our reality sheet, Corned Beef and Food Safety. Whatever method you use, make sure that the corned beef reaches a safe minimum inner temperature of 160 °F or above.

Cooking Ahead

It’s for sure to cook corned beef front of time. ~ cooking, reduced it into several pieces for faster cooling–or slice it, if friend like. Ar the beef in, shallow containers and also cool it in the frozen refrigerator quickly.


Leftover corned beef should be sliced and refrigerated promptly–within 2 hours of cooking or reheating. Usage cooked-ahead or leftover corned beef within 3 come 4 days or freeze 2 to 3 months.

If you have any kind of other questions, feel totally free to call us at the Hotline (1-888-674-6854 toll-free) or online at (English and also Spanish).

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Written by Diane Van, manager, USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline, this article was at first posted top top the website march 15.