Does Impossible Meat Go Bad?

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I got on the Impossible Meat food trend a couple of years ago and I must say it didn’t disappoint. With more people going vegan and vegetarian, various brands have jumped on the vegan meat bandwagon and now the market is flooded with plenty of options to choose from. A number of restaurants and fast-food chains have also opened their menus to vegan options, and many of the big names use Impossible Meat.

Impossible is the name of the brand that makes and manufactures meatless meat, and they provide a whole range of options, like patties, burgers, nuggets, sausages, and so on. Impossible Meat is basically plant-based meat as an alternative to animal meat in an effort to reduce the carbon footprint, conserve more water and make a positive impact on climate change.

Impossible Meat is usually found in either the refrigerated section or in the frozen foods aisle of grocery stores.

Despite having an impressive shelf life, Impossible Meat does go bad.

How Long Does Impossible Meat Last?

  • Depending on the type of Impossible Meat you have purchased, frozen or not, you will be able to figure out how long the meat will last.
  • An unopened bag of Impossible Meat will stay good in your fridge for about 10 days.
  • The bag you have purchased will come with either an expiry date or a best-by date or both. The expiry date is the date when the Impossible Meat is expected to go bad and the best-by or sell-by date is the date when the product reached peak quality. The Impossible Meat can still be consumed even after the best-by date as long as it has been stored properly. The best-by date does not indicate spoilage.
  • If you have an open bag of Impossible Meat, it will keep in the fridge and still be edible for about 3 days. Again, this is provided that the Impossible Meat is stored and preserved properly. You have to make sure that the Impossible Meat is stored in an airtight container.
  • A frozen bag of Impossible Meat, on the other hand, has a significantly longer shelf life. A frozen bag of Impossible Meat can last in the freezer for about 6 to 12 months.
  • Once you have thawed and cooked a frozen Impossible Meat it will last in the fridge for about 2-3 days.
  • While frozen Impossible Meat doesn’t spoil as easily, if you leave it out, it will start thawing and eventually will go bad.
Type of Impossible MeatFridgeFreezer
Unopened Bag10 days6 – 12 months
Opened Bag3 days6 – 12 months
Frozen Impossible Meat
6 – 12 months
Cooked Frozen Impossible Meat2 – 3 days

The above table is just an estimate of what to expect with your Impossible Meat. Impossible Meat lasts as long as it does because it is loaded with preservatives, additives, and emulsifiers that keep it going for longer than the regular type of meat. But this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need extra care and precaution. Its long shelf life is also a result of proper storage techniques. If you want your vegan meat to last long, you have to take the extra time and effort to store it properly.

How Best to Store Impossible Meat?

  • Impossible Meat doesn’t require a ton of work or prep for proper storage, but you need to take some basic precautions.
  • An unopened bag of Impossible Meat should always be refrigerated. As soon as you get your Impossible Meat store it in the bag, pouch, or container it comes in. If you need to transfer it, then store the vegan meat in an airtight container. It will stay good in the fridge for close to 10 days. After 10 days, the Impossible Meat will not necessarily be bad. It can still be consumable, but the quality would have gone down.
  • For Impossible Meats like the Impossible Burger or other uncooked vegan meat, use parchment paper or wax paper between each patty or burger so that it doesn’t stick together. Then store it in an airtight container or Ziplock bag.
  • Once the Impossible Meat has been opened, it is susceptible to bacteria, mold, and other contaminants. This is why it is essential that as soon as the Impossible Meat package has been opened it should be kept in an airtight container. You can wrap each patty in parchment paper or saran wrap to keep it fresh and free from spoilage even longer.
  • Make sure the Impossible Meat is not exposed to air as this will not only dry it out and harden it, but also accelerates decay.
  • If you have left the Impossible Meat that requires refrigeration out for an extended period of time, the meat will start softening and turn mushy. Once the patty or burger loses its shape, it is hard to cook it as the whole meat will be misshapen.
  • If you have left your meat out, then immediately pat it back into shape, cover with saran wrap and freeze. Once it regains its form, then you can cook it.
  • Frozen Impossible Meat can be left in the bag it comes in in the freezer.
  • The Meat lasts for 6 to 12 months whether opened or unopened.
  • Just ensure that the meat is always kept sealed or closed in an airtight container.
  • If Impossible Meat is left out it starts to dry out. It won’t be spoiled, but it might get a bit chewy.
  • Once you thaw or cook the frozen Impossible Meat, do not refreeze. The texture and taste will change once it has been thawed and cooked and the more times it has been thawed and frozen the more unappetizing it gets.
  • Thawed and cooked Impossible Meat will stay good in the fridge for about 3 days.

How To Tell If Your Impossible Meat Has Spoiled?

The Impossible Meat has a strong shelf life and with the inclusion of preservatives and other additives, it is likely to last a long time. But Impossible Meat does go bad. Even if you take all the precautions to store it, eventually it will start decaying. So, here is what you have to watch out for.

  • Smell: If the Impossible Meat starts smelling off or sour then it has most likely turned rancid.
  • If the package the Impossible Meat is stored in is puffy or bloated, then it has spoiled.
  • Taste: The Impossible Meat is supposed to taste similar to meat, especially beef. If it tastes bitter or sour instead, then it has gone bad and should not be eaten.
  • Mold: If there is mold or any other discoloration on the meat, then it has to be thrown out as it has spoiled.
  • Texture: The texture will change slightly when thawed and cooked but if the meat is very tough, rubbery, or chewy it is possibly past its prime and needs to be discarded.

It is not recommended to consume spoiled Impossible Meat as it will lead to a host of health and gut issues ranging from nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. If you ever think your Impossible Meat has gone bad, even if you have stored it well, it is safer to throw it out and buy fresh ones.

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