Packaging for Impossible Foods burger made from plants with raw product on steel background
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Does Impossible Meat Go Bad?

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Impossible Meat is becoming more popular for those who want the taste of real meat, without having to eat real meat. It looks and tastes just like meat, but is made from plants.

As it is not made from real meat, many people have the understanding that it does not go bad like real meat does, but is that true?

So, does Impossible Meat go bad? Impossible Meat can go bad, and it has a short shelf life just like other fresh food items do. Unopened, it can be kept in the fridge for up to 10 days, but after this, there is a chance that it can spoil and be unsafe to eat.

So, to ensure your Impossible Meat keeps its best quality, and to be able to tell when it has gone bad, read on to find out all you need to know!

What Is Impossible Meat?

Impossible Foods is a brand that creates meat substitutes made from plant-based products.

There is a wide range of different products such as beef, chicken, sausage, and other meat substitutes (all of which look and taste like meat without containing any real meat products), plus ready-made meals using them.

These plant-based substitutes for meat can be bought in grocery stores, and they are also served in many restaurants as a vegetarian option.

For many, this is a great way to enjoy a close-as-possible taste, texture, and flavor of meat and chicken, without having to consume any animal products.

Can Impossible Meat Go Bad?

Even though Impossible Meat is not actually made from meat, it can go bad over time. The products are made from plant-based ingredients that do have a shelf-life and thus can spoil if left for too long.

The main ingredients in Impossible Meat are soy protein concentrate, sunflower and coconut oil, and water.

On their own, soy protein and oil have quite a long shelf life, but once they are combined with water, their best-by date does begin to shorten drastically.

The addition of water turns the product into a moist environment in which bacteria can thrive — if left for long enough, this could cause the Impossible Meat to go bad, and be unsafe to eat.

So while Impossible Meat might have a slightly longer shelf-life than actual meat, it cannot be kept forever, and it will go bad if left for long enough.

How Long Does Impossible Meat Last?

Impossible Meat has a longer shelf-life than normal meat products, but you still need to keep a check on the product when left in the fridge to ensure it is not left so long that it goes bad.

Generally, Impossible Meat can be kept in its unopened packing in the fridge for up to 10 days. Once it is opened, it should be cooked and consumed in 3 days.

This is the general rule of thumb, but there are other things to look for when determining how long Impossible Meat lasts. The first thing you should look at is the expiry or best-by date of the product.

The expiry date will indicate when it should be consumed by, and after this date, there is a good chance that the product might spoil.

The best-by date indicates the time period in which the Impossible Meat will be at its best quality. It might still be fine to eat after this date, but the quality will begin to decline.

So not only should you follow the rule of keeping the Impossible Meat in the fridge for only 10 days, you should keep an eye on the expiry date to make sure that it aligns with this.

How Long Does Impossible Meat Last In the Freezer?

If you have bought Impossible Meat in bulk, or if you do not think you would be able to use it within 10 days or before the expiry date, then you can freeze Impossible Meat.

Freezing Impossible Meat extends its shelf-life quite drastically, but it is recommended that you do not freeze it for longer than 6 months.

It will still be fine to eat after 6 months, but it could begin to develop freezer burn, which could cause it to decline in quality and taste.

Make sure to package the Impossible Meat into a freezer-safe sealable bag, even if it is in its original packaging, then label this with the date of freezing so that you can keep track of when you need to eat it.

The extra layer of protection just helps to keep the freezer burn away for longer.

How To Tell If Impossible Meat Has Gone Bad

It helps to know how to tell whether Impossible Meat has gone bad, especially if it has been sitting in your fridge for a few days and you are unsure as to whether or not it is safe to eat.

Here are some things to look out for that indicate that the product has gone bad.

Bad Odor

One of the first signs that Impossible Meat has gone bad is if it has a bad odor. Impossible Meat, being a plant-based product, will have a different smell than normal meat, but this will not smell off or rancid.

If you open the package of Impossible Meat and notice a foul, sour odor, there is a good chance that the plant-based meat has gone off and that you should be safe and rather throw it away.


As the Impossible Meat spoils, it could start to change color. The pinkish-red meat could turn a dull, gray color and it could even begin to grow white or green spots of mold if it has been left for a very long time.

If you do notice some discoloration, do not try to just cut that area away — there is a good chance that the entirety of the product has spoiled.

Change Of Texture

Certain Impossible Meat products might change in texture as they spoil. For example, the beef might grow a slimy film or the outside of the nuggets might become soft and soggy.

If you notice a change of texture in the Impossible Meat product, look for other signs of spoiling, as they are likely to be there.

What Is The Best Way To Store Impossible Meat?

Proper storage allows Impossible Meat to retain its best quality for a longer period of time, and it might even extend how long the product stays fresh.

Ultimately, the best way to store Impossible Meat is to keep it in its original packaging, unopened. This should be placed in the refrigerator and used within 10 days, or before the expiry date.

If the package has been opened, then it is best to store it in a sealable freezer bag (removing as much air as possible before sealing) or in an airtight container, and to keep it in the fridge. This should be used within 3 days.

If you plan on keeping the Impossible Meat for longer than this, then it is best to freeze it.

Can You Eat Impossible Meat After The Expiry Date?

When it comes to expired food, it really is safe to not test the waters, as food-borne illnesses can be serious.

However, if you do not want to waste food, then you can try to look for signs that the Impossible Meat is still okay to eat, even after the expiry date.

If the Impossible Meat is a day or two past the expiry or best-by date yet it doesn’t show any signs of being off, such as having a foul odor, discoloration, or a change in texture, then it should still be okay to eat.

Just make sure to cook it at a high temperature to kill off any potential bacteria, and make sure that it is piping hot all the way through. Eat whatever you have cooked and discard any leftovers.

Final Thoughts

Impossible Meat can go bad if it is left to sit in the refrigerator for too long, and just like meat products, it can make you sick if you eat it once it has spoiled.

The general rule is to keep unopened packages of Impossible Meat in the fridge for up to 10 days, and once opened, only 3 days.

To extend the shelf life of Impossible Meat even further, it can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Be sure to know the signs to look for that Impossible meat has spoiled, just to save yourself from any food-borne illnesses!

Related Questions

Now that we’ve learned all about Impossible Meat products, how long they last, how to know if they’ve gone off, and how to store them, here are some additional questions we thought you might have.

What should Impossible Meat smell like?

Impossible Beef Burger Patties smell very similar to regular beef, just with more of a coconut hint to it thanks to the use of coconut oil.

The patties smell even more similar to regular beef once cooked.

Can you refreeze Impossible Meat?

It is not recommended to refreeze Impossible Meat (or any other food item) as the changes in temperature between freezing, thawing, and refreezing, can cause a spike in bacteria growth.

It will also cause the quality of the product to decline, so it won’t be as enjoyable to eat.

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