Beyond Meat products look, cook, and taste like meat.
But does Beyond Meat go bad like meat? You might have wondered if it also needs to be stored and preserved like meat.
To answer the question, Beyond Meat does go bad. Like most food products, it has a best-buy date and recommended storage instructions.
While it may be possible to eat Beyond Meat products past the expiration date, Beyond Meat does spoil and should be stored correctly and checked carefully before eating.
Read on to learn more.
Does Beyond Meat Expire?
Yes, Beyond Meat does expire.
Beyond Meat has a wide range of individual products, but their products are made from pea and other plant proteins, coconut and other oils, and some starches and binders.
While these ingredients will not expire as quickly as animal-based meats, they will go bad.
When stored incorrectly, oils can go rancid, and proteins and starches can harbor food-borne bacteria that can harm people.
Beyond Meat products have clear storage and preparation recommendations, and they also have expiration dates.
However, eating Beyond Meat past its expiration date may be possible, and improperly stored Beyond Meat products may also go bad before that date.
Therefore, it is always best to check Beyond Meat products before using them.
How to Tell if Beyond Meat is Bad
There are several signs that your Beyond Meat products may have gone bad.
Here are the main things to check:
When Beyond Meat is unopened, the packaging should be smooth, tight, and intact, and the expiration date should be clearly visible.
In addition, the packaging should remain tightly sealed until you open it, and it should not be puffy or distorted in shape.
Like animal-based meats, the smell is a great way to tell if Beyond Meat has gone bad.
Spoiled Beyond Meat will have a pungent, sour, or unpleasant smell.
Different Beyond Meat products have a different texture and appearance, but the product should always resemble the appearance on the package.
If it has changed color or texture, gotten dry and crumbly or wet and slimy, or doesn’t look right, it has probably gone bad.
How Long Can Beyond Meat Sit Out?
Before I get into how long Beyond Meat can sit out, let me make clear Beyond Meat’s official recommendations for when to use their products by.
If you’ve bought a refrigerated product, it should be consumed by the “use by” date on the packaging.
Frozen products will also have a “use by” date on its packaging to follow.
Once thawed, frozen products should be consumed within ten days.
So overall, you really shouldn’t leave Beyond Meat products sitting outside of the fridge at all.
However, what happens if your Beyond Meat isn’t in the fridge?
If your Beyond Meat is outside of the fridge and sitting at room temperature—if it’s thawed, it should be left out for no more than two hours before you cook it.
If you leave it out at room temperature for longer than two hours when thawed, it might start developing harmful bacteria.
If the Beyond Meat is still frozen, you can let it sit out for anywhere between four to eight hours.
In other words, you can let it thaw completely, which will take between four and six hours, depending on ambient temperatures, and then for another two hours once it has been fully thawed.
If your Beyond Meat product was left out, consider the following:
Unopened Beyond Meat Has Been Left Out But is Still Cool
If your Beyond Meat is still cool to the touch, test it for smell and appearance. If it still seems okay, cook it immediately.
Unopened Beyond Meat Has Been Left Out and Has Gotten Warm
Beyond Meat products that have been left out, thawed completely, and gotten warm, should be discarded.
Opened Beyond Meat Has Been Sitting Out
If an opened package of a Beyond Meat product has been sitting out long enough to reach room temperature, it should be discarded
How Long Does Beyond Meat Last in the Fridge?
How long Beyond Meat products last in the fridge depends on whether they are cooked or uncooked.
Most Beyond Meat products should be cooked from frozen, so the uncooked product should not be stored in the refrigerator at all.
However, the uncooked, unopened package will last in the fridge for up to 10 days after being moved from the freezer.
Beyond Meat products that have been cooked can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days
How Long Does Beyond Meat Last in the Freezer?
Almost all Beyond Meat products are sold frozen and designed to stay frozen until just before cooking.
Here’s how long Beyond Meat products last in the freezer:
Uncooked and Unopened
Beyond Meat products will last in the freezer until the expiration date listed on the package.
However, some people claim that they can still be eaten for up to 6 months past that date if they have been stored properly.
Beyond Meat products should not be frozen after cooking.
Instead, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use them within 3 days.
If Your Beyond Meat Package Puffed Up
If your Beyond Meat package has been tightly vacuum-sealed and puffed up, the product has probably gone bad.
Beyond Meat products should be packaged with an airtight seal that does not allow puffing, and puffing is usually a sign that bacteria are in the food and producing gases as they grow.
The food should be discarded if your Beyond Meat package (or any other vacuum-sealed package) has puffed up.
Tips for Storing Beyond Meat and Beyond Burgers
For the most delicious Beyond Meat and Beyond Burgers, pay attention to these storage tips:
Keep Beyond Burgers Cold
Beyond Burgers should go from the freezer to the fridge for 8-24 hours to thaw, directly to the grill or the pan.
The white “marbling” in Beyond Burgers that creates a juicy texture is created with coconut oil and cocoa butter, which soften and melt at warm temperatures.
Allowing a Beyond Burger to sit at room temperature before cooking may cause these oils to melt away before the burger cooks, making it less juicy and flavorful.
Microwave on Low Power
If you’re meal prepping with Beyond Meat, you may rely on the microwave to reheat your food.
Unfortunately, most Beyond Meats are not very microwave-friendly because they quickly dry out when reheated.
To preserve the juiciness of a Beyond Burger in the microwave, reduce power to 70%, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave for 1 minute at a time, checking every minute to see if it’s heated through.
The bottom line here is that Beyond Meat will go bad eventually.
However, if you store it properly, particularly in the freezer, it can last for months, and if you have it in the fridge, you’ll get nearly three weeks out of it.
Like actual meat, Beyond Meat can spoil but will stay good for just as long as regular meat.
Therefore, be sure to follow the storage recommendations I’ve outlined here.