What Happens When Ground Turkey Expires?

What Happens When Ground Turkey Expires?
Thousands of pounds of ground turkey from North Carolina's Prestage from abc11.com


Ground turkey has become a staple in many households due to its versatility and low-fat content. However, like any other food item, ground turkey has an expiration date. When the expiration date passes, the meat starts to deteriorate, and its color may change. In this article, we will discuss what happens when ground turkey expires and whether it is safe to eat.

What Causes Ground Turkey to Expire?

Ground turkey consists of meat that has been mechanically processed to make it into smaller pieces. During this process, the meat’s surface area increases, making it more vulnerable to bacterial growth. When the meat is exposed to air, moisture, and warmth, bacteria start to multiply, leading to spoilage. The expiration date on the package indicates the date until which the meat is safe to eat.

What Happens When Ground Turkey Expires?

When ground turkey expires, its color may change from pink to grey or brown. This change in color occurs due to the breakdown of the meat’s pigments, which is a sign that the meat is decomposing. The texture of the meat may also change, becoming slimy or sticky.

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Is it Safe to Eat Expired Ground Turkey?

Eating expired ground turkey can pose health risks such as food poisoning. The bacteria that grow on the meat can cause illnesses such as salmonella, E. coli, and listeria. These bacteria can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal pain. Therefore, it is not recommended to consume expired ground turkey.

How to Store Ground Turkey?

To prevent ground turkey from expiring quickly, it is essential to store it properly. The meat should be kept in the refrigerator at a temperature of 40°F or below. If the meat is not going to be used within two days, it should be frozen. When freezing ground turkey, it is best to remove it from the original packaging and store it in an airtight container or freezer bag.

How to Tell If Ground Turkey is Expired?

Apart from the change in color and texture, there are other ways to tell if ground turkey has expired. The meat may have a sour or rancid smell, or it may have a moldy appearance. If the meat appears to be slimy or sticky, it is a sign that it has started to decompose.

What to Do with Expired Ground Turkey?

If you have expired ground turkey, it is best to discard it. Do not attempt to cook or consume the meat, as it can cause food poisoning. It is essential to handle and dispose of expired meat properly to prevent the spread of bacteria.


In conclusion, ground turkey is a healthy and versatile meat that should be consumed before its expiration date. When ground turkey expires, its color may change, and it can pose health risks if consumed. Therefore, it is essential to store ground turkey properly and to discard it when it expires. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you and your family stay safe and healthy.

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