Have you ever cooked a pork roast and then realized that you have no idea how long your leftover cooked pork will last in the fridge?
According to the USDA, cooked pork can last in the fridge for up to three to four days when kept at 40°F or below. It also notes that spoilage bacteria growth is only slowed in colder temperatures and not completely stopped.
It’s definitely important to know how long pork loin, chops, and roasts last in the fridge, so you can keep yourself and your family safe. Lets dig into more about the shelf life of cooked pork.
How Long Is Cooked Pork Good In The Fridge?
You should use up cooked pork from the fridge within 4 days. If it is stored with sauces or other leftovers, then it may only last for 3 days. If you keep cooked pork in the freezer, it can be eaten within 4-6 months.
Cooked pork roast and whole pork loins last the longest in the fridge because they are a larger cut of meat with less surface area for bacteria to grow.
Whereas smaller, thinner cuts, like pork chops, ground pork and shredded or pulled pork will only last up to 3 days.
It’s important to pay attention to the signs of spoilage when it comes to cooked pork. Spoilage bacteria will cause the meat to develop a slimy texture, change colors, and give off a bad odor. If you see any of these signs, then it is time to toss the pork out.
How Long Can Cooked Pork Sit Out?
Cooked pork can sit out for up to 2 hours per the USDA’s advice and the “2-Hour Rule” before it goes bad or is unsafe to eat. As a general rule, if possible, pack up any leftovers before that time.
When cooked pork sits at room temperature above 40°F, bacteria grow quickly and can cause foodborne illness if consumed.
There’s no definitive time when it may cause you to be sick because of various factors, such as how hot the room is or if you are eating outside and it’s sitting under the sun, for example. So again, my best advice is to pack it up as soon as possible and store it in the refrigerator.
Can Cooked Pork Be Left Out Overnight?
No, you should never eat leftover pork that has been sitting out all night.
You might be thinking, “if I reheat leftover pork that has been sitting out, it will kill the bacteria,” but this is not necessarily true. Some types of bacteria can leave heat-resistant toxins and still cause you to become sick.
And while reheating meat does kill some bacteria, it can only happen if it is brought back up to 165°F internally. If the pork hasn’t reached this temperature throughout, then bacteria can still survive and cause food poisoning.
To be on the safe side, you should always refrigerate your cooked pork within 2 hours and toss out anything questionable or left sitting out too long.
When To Put Cooked Pork In The Fridge
You should put your cooked pork in the fridge as soon as you’re finished serving it. A good time is after you’ve finished asking if anyone would like seconds.
Have some containers or wrap prepared ahead of time so that once everyone has had their fill, you can remove it from the table or from on top of the stove.
You may need to give it some time to cool down if it’s been sitting on something warm like the stove, but often it’s already cool enough to store in the fridge by the time you’re finished with it.
Best Way To Refrigerate Cooked Pork
The best way to store cooked pork is plain without any sauces or gravy on it to maximize its shelf life. You can store it in a covered dish or wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil when cooled.
It’s also important to ensure that there is no air getting in to your pork, as this can help bacteria grow. So, if you’re using Tupperware or another type of container, press down on the lid firmly so it’s airtight.
When you’re ready to eat it, you can reheat it in the oven or in a gravy bath on the stovetop. I don’t recommend microwaving it as it will certainly cause the proteins to harden and cause your pork to become dry and chewy.
Leftover Cooked Pork FAQs
Can I Eat Cooked Pork After 5 Days?
No, you should not eat cooked pork after 5 days as it will most likely be spoiled by then. Bacteria can grow very quickly on cooked pork, especially if it’s not been stored properly.
Can Cooked Pork Be Reheated?
Yes, cooked pork can be reheated, but it’s important to make sure that it’s heated all the way through to 165°F to help get rid of bacteria that might be present. Reheating cook pork that has past 4 days is not recommended.
Can I Get Sick From Eating Cooked Pork That Was Left Out Overnight?
Yes, you can get sick from eating cooked pork that was left out overnight. Pork that has been left out for more than two hours may contain bacteria that can cause food poisoning. This could require you to get emergency treatment immediately.