How To Tell If Meat Is Bad?

If you want to know how to tell if meat is bad, you have come to the right site. There are many different ways to tell if a piece of meat is bad, but the smell is the most reliable. While there is nothing wrong with a rotten smell, the meat may contain bacteria. The texture of the meat is another vital sign. If the meat has a slimy film, discard it. Moldy meat should be removed from the cooking pan. If the product is smelly, discard it.

Meat Nutrition Facts

nutrition facts meat

How To Tell If Meat Is Bad?

When purchasing meat, it’s essential to check the color to ensure it’s safe. Beef should be a dark gray color, while pork should be a light pink-gray-red color. If you’re unsure of the coloring of the meat, you can also check its shape. This will tell you if the meat is spoiled or not. This is the most crucial step in ensuring the safety of your meat.

Here are some simple signs by which we can easily recognize rotten meat:

  • Color is a common way to determine if a piece of meat is bad, and the red color is not natural and is a sign of air exposure. Pork and poultry meat should be pink-gray-white.
  • You can also smell the meat’s odor, which should be accompanied by sliminess. The USDA recommends using a food safety inspector when you’re unsure.
  • The USDA says that beef should be used within a week of purchase. Fresh ground meat should be used within one to two days, and cuts of beef should be used for three to five days.
  •  If the meat is gray, call the USDA’s hotline. If the smell is not unpleasant, it’s probably safe to eat. If the meat is brown, it’s still okay. If the color is deep red, it isn’t good.
  • While color change is a good indication of rottenness, it’s not a reliable indicator of deterioration. The gray color on a piece of beef doesn’t necessarily mean it’s spoiled.
  • The USDA’s hotline will also provide you with a list of bad meat and warn you about the dangers of contaminated meat.
  • If the meat is in a good state, it’s not spoiled. But if it looks and feels gray, it’s probably rotten. The rotten look and smell are just two other signs. If the meat is gray or slimy, it’s likely gone off.

How Long Does Raw Meat Last?

Raw beef will survive 2 hours on the counter if left out at room temperature, 1-3 days in its original packaging in the fridge, and 6-9 months in a freezer bag or food storage container. Though this applies to all types of meat, you should always double-check the expiration date, smell the thawed meat, and look for a grey to green color on the surface since these are all telltale symptoms of decomposition.

Remember that freezing germs in meat only inactivates them, not kills them. As soon as you defrost the meat, the bacterial decomposition will continue at full speed, so you should cook it right away. Thaw meats overnight in the fridge and never keep them out on the counter for more than an hour or two for the same reasons.

How To Store Meat?

meat storing

Always store meat in the refrigerator’s coldest section – in most refrigerators, this is the deepest section, where the cold lasts even when the door is opened and closed. The cooled air – about two °C – is evenly distributed by fans in restaurant refrigerators:

Getting the Temperature Right

  • Hot food should be kept hot, while cold food should be kept cold.
  • Within the risk range of 5°C to 57°C, meat, and other foodstuffs should be kept for as little time as possible.
  • Food that has been reheated should maintain a temperature of at least 74°C for at least 15 seconds.
  • The cuisine can be reheated and chilled multiple times if you follow the directions above.
  • Refrigerate the meat to allow it to defrost slowly.

Storing Beef

The most prevalent bacteria is found only on the surface of complete pieces and dies at 64 degrees Celsius. Frying the meat all over adds flavor and destroys microorganisms on the surface. The germs that typically linger on the surface of minced meat are ground down inside the meat, making it more sensitive than ordinary meat.

Storing Veal

Veal meat is more delicate than beef due to its low-fat content, and veal should be stored with the same care as pork and chicken.

Storing Lamb

Lamb comes from young animals and is typically not tenderized. Thus it should be eaten right away.

Storing Pork

Pork flesh is a perishable item consumed as soon as possible. The low-fat content of pig makes it more sensitive than other red meats.

Storing Minced Meat

Minced meat should be cooked as soon as possible after ground. To maintain more flavor and texture, fry the mince before freezing it. Roll it up in plastic foil when freezing meat and squeeze out as much air as possible (oxygen is the issue). At temperatures around 0°C, ice crystals are at their largest and cause the most significant damage.

Thus the process should take as little time as possible. Instead of freezing one huge item, spread out and freeze several smaller ones to expedite the process. Checking the use-by date is a crucial step in storing and preparing meat.

It’s not a simple task, but it’s worth it in the long run. If you’re unsure, keep your freezer lists and use-by dates handy. You’ll never have to wonder whether your meat is spoiled. In addition, using a checklist will make it easier for you to check for any potential signs of spoilage.


It’s essential to check the color of meat if it’s spoiled. It can be a sign that the meat has gone wrong. This can cause stomach aches, as well as food poisoning. The best way to prevent food waste is to store your meat in an airtight container or vacuum-sealed bag. It’s also important to check the color of the meat. If it’s a dark red color, then the steak is spoiled.