Eating beef tomorrow?

I’m a recent adult convert and this is my first Lent, so sorry if this is a stupid question!

I planned food for the week and remembered Lent, but things got mixed up and basically I have chicken tonight (last date on pack so have to eat it tonight) and took beef out of the freezer to defrost for tomorrow (if I don’t eat it tomorrow I will have to bin it). It’s been a busy week and I mixed the meals up.

If don’t eat the beef tomorrow it will have to be thrown. I don’t even have a dog so it will be completely wasted. I don’t care about beef in general either, it’s just a coincidence, so fasting from it is usually easy for me.

I’m thinking, if fasting from beef doesn’t make a difference to me, and if this food will be binned if I don’t eat it, would it make more sense for me to just eat it and replace the fast with something else? Perhaps I could do a Holy Hour instead (super early at my church, big sacrifice!) or fast from the internet, or something that will be a) more impactful to me b) won’t waste food which seems counterintuitive?

Can you give it to someone in need, like the homeless guy down the block and then make a peanut butter sandwich for yourself? Then you get your fasting and alms giving done in one go!


I’d say since you’re recent convert your priest would tell you to take it easy. If I were your priest I would say eat the beef but pray a whole rosary for this Friday. Just try to remember for next Friday to abstain from warm blooded meat (remember fish is not only okay but delicious as well, especially salmon)

Additionally you could just cook it and give it to somebody in need like what @Stephen_says suggests.

Ultimately I’d ask your priest to see what he says.

Thank you!

I love the idea of giving it to someone else but I’m in a rural area and it would just be a bit odd me walking around with defrosted beef trying to see who I can give it to :grinning: If I was in a city with a soup kitchen etc. I would donate it.

Would me abstaining from meat on another day- Saturday for instance- undo it at all? I’ll ask my priest, but he is a very understanding man and am certain he will tell me to just do something else instead, for instance attend the adoration. I already pray the rosary daily (my personal aim for this year) so I’ll think of a new chaplet to include perhaps.

As a new convert I just want to do things ‘correctly’ if possible!

That’s a question for your Priest to answer.

By the way, you can cook meat that has been defrosted, and then store it cooked in the fridge for at least a couple days before it goes bad. So you still won’t be wasting anything by not eating it on Friday.
Beef also does not typically go bad after just 1 day from being defrosted.


Agreed. In the US the dates mean last day to sell the package. It’s still good for a few days after, especially if frozen.


I genuinely didn’t know that. Looks like I have a non-problem! Thanks all :laughing:


You can definitely keep safely defrosted beef in the refrigerator for few days

Well you can cook the beef, put it in the fridge, and eat it the next day.

Eating or tossing are not the only two choices.


You can even refreeze thawed meat… assuming you thawed it in the fridge.

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Just leave it in your fridge. You can leave thawed meat in your fridge for two or three days with no issue. Have a pb&j tomorrow and make burgers on Saturday.

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Welcome to CAF.

The date on the pack is the latest date the store is allowed to sell it, it’s not a date that you have to throw it out. There is no date by which you should throw it out, you do that when it goes bad.

Same thing for defrosting. As long as the meat stayed cold enough to inhibit bacterial growth it’ll be fine. The problem with defrosting and refreezing (as long as it stayed cold) is with how it affects texture.

You can extend the shelf life of meat somewhat by salting it. I often open up a steak, salt it one or two percent by weight, and let it defrost on a rack in the refrigerator. The salt on the surface greatly inhibits spoilage, it improves the texture as it migrates into the meat, and the dry surface that results helps develop a good sear - all of which make for improved flavor.

If you’re a recent convert, that doesn’t somehow excuse you from the law of abstinence if you were aware of it, which the OP clearly is.

I don’t think praying a whole rosary really makes up for breaking the law, and if you were this person’s priest, you’d be committing the sin of scandal by encouraging them to do so.

It isn’t really that big of a deal to do without meat for a whole day, and as others have pointed out, there are ways to handle this situation without either violating the law or wasting food.



That is exactly what I was thinking.

Our freezer quit.

So I took all of the meat and cooked it.

Depending on the type, we actually door intentionally.

Cooked ground beef, then frozen, is great for an easy meal of tacos or what we call sloppy joes.

Cook it, put it in the fridge for Saturday.

Do simple eggs and toast for supper on Friday.

Hence why I prefaced it with “if I was your priest” which I am not (nor will I ever be) and ended my post with “ultimately talk to your preist”, Father.

And yes, at my NO parish my preists have told the new converts to take it easy and not get all bent out of shape if they forget to abstain from meat on Friday.

There’s a difference between forgetting and “taking it easy” beforehand. The OP hasn’t forgotten about the discipline and is making plans.

Sad that these folks miss out on the spiritual benefit of abstinence.

Cook the beef today and eat it Saturday. It doesn’t go bad that quickly.

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