How to Identify Spoiled Beef, Chicken and Pork Meat: The Main Signs

Fresh meat is a versatile product that can be used to prepare various dishes. However, it is not always possible to determine the degree of its freshness in the store, in addition, even if you bought a quality piece, then, forgetting it in the fridge, after a while you can find an unpleasant smell.

How to identify spoiled chicken meat – tips

Fresh poultry pleases the eye with an even, pleasant light pink hue, does not smell in any way or smells neutral, and when pressed has a firm structure. Spoiled chicken can be identified by several signs:

  • Mucus – the meat is covered with an even layer of viscous mucus;
  • odor – sharp and unpleasant, but, unfortunately, it can be masked by cooking;
  • color – spots of green and darkened areas appear.

The flesh of the chicken loses its elasticity – when pressed, it does not return to its former shape. Unscrupulous sellers often wash chicken with detergents and then marinate it in vinegar and spices to hide the bad smell. That is why it is not recommended to buy ready-marinated meat in stores.

How to identify spoiled beef – recommendations

Beef – a product that spoils quickly, so it can not lie on the counter for a long time. For steaks, for example, meat is specially aged and fermented, but it is not the same as if beef “dies” naturally. Meat is definitely not worth buying if you notice the following signs:

  • pungent odor – beef, like any other meat, should smell neutral;
  • Stains – darkening of meat to gray, yellow stains or sourness indicates poor quality product;
  • loose texture – the meat should be firm when pressed without giving off the juice.

An ideal piece of beef has a scarlet or dark red color, with veins and fat. If you put pressure on it, the meat will quickly return to its former shape. Any flavor, especially sour, as you have already realized, is absent.

How to identify spoiled pork meat – signs

Pork meat is quite dangerous – it is in it live harmful microorganisms, bacteria, and worms, which must be eliminated by giving the meat a thorough heat treatment. However, if you bought a stale piece of meat, cooking will not help, so pay attention to the following nuances:

  • color – if the flesh has a light pink hue, it means that the pig has been overfed with growth hormones, and this is not safe;
  • marks – try holding the meat through a napkin, if pink spots remain there, it means the meat has been trimmed to hide the missing parts;
  • smell and appearance – fresh pork smells neutral, and feels soft and firm to the touch, any other parameters are a deviation from the norm.

The same goes for frozen pork. Pay attention to the color of the ice – if it is white, then the meat was frozen for the first time, and if it is pink, then it is definitely not the first freezing, as it had time to release blood and juice.

Is it possible to eat meat with a sour smell and what to do with mucus

Even if you bought a low-quality piece of meat or saw that it spoiled in your fridge, in some cases it is still possible to save it:

  • Darkening of the carcass – cut off the flesh with dark spots and heat treat the “healthy” piece;
    mucus – wash under running water and leave in cold water for 15-20 minutes.
  • There are situations when the meat categorically cannot be used and it is better to throw it away – if it shows signs of rot or mold. In this case, meat is definitely dangerous for humans, no matter how you cook it.

Marinate the meat that you managed to save, you can in spices for kebabs, soy sauce, mustard, and vinegar with the addition of onions and garlic. Take into account that if after all the measures taken the meat still exudes an unpleasant smell, throw it away and do not expose yourself to danger.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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