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Food Safety Issues/beef chuck roast sell by 2/12 still good today?


Hi, I bought a beef chuck roast last Wednesday and I put it in the crockpot this morning. It has a 2/12 sell by date. It had a little bit of an odor but I'm not sure if that is a normal meat smell or not. Is it OK to eat this after cooking it in the crockpot for the day?

Hi Anita,

I'm sorry I wasn't able to answer your question on the day that you sent this to me.  I assume by now that you have consumed the chuck roast and that it was both delicious and caused no concerns.

The general recommendation for beef roasts is that they should be refrigerated and cooked within 3-4 days of the sell-by date.  If you can not use the meat in that time frame, you should freeze it for future use.  For best quality, frozen beef roasts should be used within a year, though as long as the roast remains frozen it is safe to use.  Quality goes down the longer it is in the freezer but the roast is still safe to consume.

Beef normally does not have an odor so what you were smelling might have been the beginnings of food spoilage.  Food Spoilage organisms are not harmful to consume but do affect the flavor, texture, and color of meat.  Hopefully you did not notice any of these in your cooked beef roast.

If you have further questions, please let me know.


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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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