How long does impossible meat last?

Quick answer

Impossible meat will last 4-5 days refrigerated in its unopened package and 1-2 days after opening. The shelf life depends on the sell-by date and proper storage. Impossible meat lasts longer than traditional ground meat.

How long does unopened impossible meat last when properly stored?

Unopened impossible meat that has been continuously refrigerated will typically last 4 to 5 days past the printed sell-by date on the package.

Properly stored, unopened impossible meat will maintain best quality for about 4 to 5 days after the sell-by date, but it will remain safe to eat for up to 7 days past the sell-by date. After opening, it will last for 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator.

Sell-by date

The sell-by date printed on impossible meat packages is the manufacturer’s estimate for when the unopened product will reach peak freshness.

It will maintain good quality after the sell-by date, so you still have some time to use it after this date. However, it’s best to use unopened impossible meat within 5 days of the sell-by date for peak flavor and texture.

Does improper storage affect shelf life?

Yes, improper storage can shorten the shelf life. Unopened impossible meat should be refrigerated at 40°F or below and kept away from sources of heat to maintain quality and maximize shelf life.

Higher refrigerator temperatures around 45°F will shorten the shelf life by 1-2 days. Freezing can extend the shelf life up to 2-3 months past the sell-by date.

How long is impossible meat good after opening?

After opening the package, impossible meat will last for 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator. To maximize freshness and shelf life after opening, store impossible meat in a sealed container or resealable plastic bag to keep out excess air and prevent drying out.

Does cooking affect leftover shelf life?

Yes, cooking impossible meat will extend the leftovers’ shelf life. Cooked impossible meat stored properly in the refrigerator will last for 3 to 5 days.

Freezing cooked impossible meat will further extend the shelf life, for 2-3 months. Reheat cooked impossible meat to 165°F until hot before serving again. Discard if you notice any changes in color, texture, or smell.

How to tell if impossible meat is bad?

Here are some signs that indicate your impossible meat has gone bad and should be discarded:


Fresh impossible meat has a meaty umami aroma. If it develops an off-putting or rancid smell, it has spoiled and should be discarded.


Uncooked impossible meat is a pinkish red color when fresh. It will turn brownish red when spoiled due to oxidation. Cooked impossible meat that is pink when reheated has also gone bad.


A slimy texture or appearance is a clear sign of spoilage. Fresh impossible meat has a smooth, moist texture.


If you notice mold growing on the impossible meat, do not attempt to salvage unaffected parts. Discard the entire package or cooked batch, as the mold’s roots can spread deep.

How Long Impossible Meat Lasts Refrigerated
Product Refrigerator (40°F)
Unopened package (sell-by date) 4 to 5 days
Unopened package (past sell-by date) 7 days maximum
Opened package 1 to 2 days
Cooked impossible meat 3 to 5 days

How to maximize fridge life of impossible meat

Here are some tips for getting the most shelf life out of your impossible meat after opening:

  • Ensure your refrigerator temperature is set to 40°F or below.
  • Seal opened packages in airtight containers or plastic bags, pressing out excess air.
  • Use opened packages within 1 to 2 days for peak freshness.
  • Cook impossible meat within 2 days, ideally the same or next day after opening.
  • Let cooked impossible meat cool before refrigerating in airtight containers.
  • Use cooked impossible meat within 3 to 5 days.
  • Don’t refreeze thawed impossible meat; cook within 1-2 days.

How long can you freeze impossible meat?


Properly frozen unopened impossible meat will maintain best quality for 2 to 3 months past the printed sell-by date, but will remain safe indefinitely when frozen continuously at 0°F.

Open packages can be tightly wrapped and frozen for up to 2 months. Portion into recipe-ready amounts before freezing if you don’t plan to use the full package.


For best quality, freeze cooked impossible meat within 3 to 5 days. Portion into shallow, covered freezer-safe containers.

Cooked impossible meat that has been continuously frozen at 0°F can be stored safely for 2 to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

How long is frozen impossible meat good for?

Frozen impossible meat remains safe to eat indefinitely, but the quality slowly deteriorates over longer storage times.

For best quality, follow these frozen storage times:

  • Unopened impossible meat: 2 to 3 months past the sell-by date
  • Opened raw impossible meat: 2 months
  • Cooked impossible meat: 2 to 3 months

Portioning into smaller amounts before freezing will help prevent waste since you can thaw only what you’ll use.

Does impossible meat expire?

Impossible meat does not technically expire, but it does have a sell-by date for peak freshness. The sell-by date is the manufacturer’s estimate for when unopened impossible meat will reach peak quality when properly stored.

You can still safely consume impossible meat up to a week past the printed sell-by date, but it will start declining in freshness and flavor. For optimal taste and texture, cook or freeze impossible meat by the use-by date.

If continuously frozen, impossible meat will be safe beyond the sell-by date, but the quality will slowly diminish over longer frozen storage. Follow the shelf life guidelines for freezing.

How to store impossible meat

Impossible meat should always be refrigerated at 40°F or below for safety. Here are some storage tips:

Short-term raw storage

Keep impossible meat in its original packaging until ready to use. Once opened, wrap tightly in plastic wrap or transfer to an airtight container. Use opened raw impossible meat within 1 to 2 days.

Long-term raw storage

For longer freezer storage, overwrap packages or portion into freezer bags, removing excess air. Place in a consistent 0°F freezer. Follow recommended freezer times for best quality.


Refrigerate cooked impossible meat in airtight, shallow containers within 2 hours of cooking. Use within 3 to 5 days.

You can also portion cooked impossible meat into freezer bags or containers, allowing headspace. Freeze for up to 2-3 months.

What are some substitutes for impossible meat?

Some suitable substitutes for impossible meat include:

  • Beyond Meat – Similar plant-based meat alternative.
  • Seitan – Wheat-based meat substitute with chewy texture.
  • Tofu – Versatile soy-based protein, can be crumbled.
  • Tempeh – Fermented soybean cake with meaty texture.
  • Lentils – When cooked, offer a ground meat-like texture.
  • Mushrooms – Finely chopped mushrooms mimic meaty flavor and texture.
  • Jackfruit – Young, unripe jackfruit substitutes for shredded meat.

These products can be seasoned similarly to impossible meat for burgers, tacos, chili, etc. Check labels for proper storage times.


Impossible meat’s shelf life depends on proper storage, both before and after opening the package. Unopened, it will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 4 to 7 days past the sell-by date on the label. After opening, rewrap tightly and use within 1 to 2 days.

For maximum shelf life, freeze impossible meat if you can’t use it within recommended times. Portion into recipe-ready amounts and freeze in a 0°F freezer for 2 to 3 months. Thaw frozen impossible meat overnight in the fridge before using.

Look for signs of spoilage like off-smells, color changes, sliminess, or mold growth if you are uncertain about an package of impossible meat’s safety or quality. When stored properly, impossible meat can last 4-7 days refrigerated and 2-3 months frozen.

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