Veal Shelf Life: How Long Does Veal Last?

What is the average shelf life of veal? How long does veal last in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer? What is the best way to store veal to increase its  shelf life? Find out the answers to these questions and more below:

Shelf Life of Veal

Steaks3-5 Days6-12 Months
Chops3-5 Days4-6 Months
Roasts3-5 Days4-6 Months

The young animals destined to become veal are carefully selected and monitored for wholesomeness and quality prior to their being processed.  Most of the cuts of veal are the same as other cuts of beef.  Veal is considered red meat, but it’s actual color is not red.  Instead, it has more of a grayish-pinkish tinge to it because it is so lean.  

If a grading inspection was voluntarily paid for by the owner, veal can receive one of five grades.  Prime is the best, then choice, next good.  After that, comes standard.  Lastly, utility.   A purple shield-shaped sticker/stamp will then be seen on the packaging to indicate the meat was graded.  


It is recommended to use the meat you’ve purchased by the “use-by” or “sell-by” date.  Placement of these dates are not federal regulation requirements.  

Purchase the veal last, just before heading to the register to check-out. Place your intended purchases in plastic bags to prevent cross contamination with other food items.  Head home straightaway to get these and other frozen or chilled items into the refrigerator or freezer as soon as possible.  


Leave the meat in the original packaging until you are ready to prepare it. The veal cuts should not be rinsed.  Cooking will destroy all bacteria present.  

Smaller cuts of veal such as ground meat and meat cut into stew cubes will be okay in the refrigerator of a couple of days.  Larger cuts will be refrigerator-safe for a few days longer than that.  


To thaw, it’s best to use one of the three top methods: 1) refrigerator (for as long as it takes), 2) in cold water (in original package, sealed in leakproof container; water changed every 30 minutes to keep it cool as thawing), and 3) in the microwave.  

Make sure any veal that is partially thawed gets fully cooked before eating or storing in the refrigerator or freezer.  

Recommended safe cooking temperature is an internal temp of 160 degrees F.  This primarily applies to ground veal.  All other cuts should have an internal temperature of 145 degrees F as verified with a food thermometer.  

Whether you use dry or moist heat will be determined by the cut of the meat you’ve chosen to cook and its natural tenderness.  

Rest it for at least 3 minutes prior to eating or cutting.  

Leftovers can be frozen, but will lose their flavor after several months.  Any meat left out in the heat 90 degrees F for longer than 2 hours should be discarded.  Otherwise, refrigerate it in a timely manner once the meal is over.