How to Tell if Meat Has Gone Bad

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How to Tell if Meat Has Gone Bad

You find a chunk of raw meat inside your fridge that you want to use for cooking. Since it’s been there for a few days, you’re a little hesitant: how will you know if it has gone spoiled? If you’re not very experienced, don’t fret. Here are some ways to tell if meat has gone bad.

Check The Expiration Date

When you buy frozen meat (such as chicken) from the supermarket, it’s likely that it’s wrapped in a tight plastic container. Somewhere on the package, there’s an expiration date that states when the meat isn’t advisable to eat anymore. Be very careful when buying frozen meat.

Sometimes, some groceries sell meat even after the sell-by date, at a discounted price. Always check and make sure the one you buy isn’t past its sell-by date, so you’ll always get quality, fresh meat.

Use Your Sense Of Smell

This is the simplest way to tell if the meat has gone bad. If there’s a rancid and unpleasant smell coming from the meat, whatever kind it might be, it’s definitely spoiled. Poultry usually has a more distinct and putrid smell. Sometimes, meat that looks fresh will also emit an unpleasant smell. This means it’s just starting to go back.

Look At The Color

This is tricky, but effective, if you know the correct colors for the type of meat. Some tips to remember:

  • Poultry – It can look bluish-white to yellow.
  • Raw pork - Fresh looks grayish-pink.
  • Ground beef – Fresh ground beef is usually reddish, but if it’s packed and kept away from oxygen exposure, it can look purplish-red.

Touch The Meat

Even the texture of the meat changes when it becomes spoiled. For example, bad poultry develops a sticky or tacky feel to it. Spoiled pork or beef becomes slimy, meaning bacterial growth is already present. If it has spots that turn black or green, mold has already formed.

Taste It

If you accidentally cook spoiled meat, you’ll be able to taste the difference. Meat that has gone bad has a fishy, unpleasant taste. Hopefully, if you tried the tips above, you won’t have to resort to this method. If you have, then spit it out immediately!

The best thing to do with spoiled meat is to throw it out. Don’t risk your family and your own health by cooking and eating spoiled meat. Just head to the grocery store and buy yourself a fresh and healthy pack.

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