How to Tell if Ribs are Bad?

You may be wondering how to tell if ribs are spoiled. Unfortunately, a power outage can make the ribs spoil before you can even cook them. To save yourself from this situation, learn how to spot a spoiled crock of ribs. After all, a good crock is a guarantee that you will not be disappointed. Here are some tips to ensure the best possible rib-eating experience.


When buying ribs at the grocery store, check the expiration date. It is essential to consume the ribs before they go bad. Twist a rib with a light force to determine whether it is rotten. The rib should bend slightly but smoothly between the bone and flesh. Regardless of the shape, the rib should be tender. If you find that the rib is rigid or has cracks, discard it.

5 Signs to tell if Ribs are Bad

Ribs can degrade if the location where they were stored is a breeding ground for germs. The good news is that you can rapidly identify rotten ribs by running a few tests. Below, I’ve gone over the specifics of the tests.


Smell Test

Ribs that have gone bad emit terrible scents, and the odor reminds me of ammonia or sulfur. If you can’t tell the difference between the two, you may always compare your ribs to vacuum-sealed meat.

Meat that has been preserved in an airtight environment might also have an odd odor. When you wash the meat in cold water, though, it vanishes. On the other hand, Spoiled ribs will continue to stink long after they have been thoroughly cleaned, and this is due to the structural changes that occur when germs attack the ribs.

Color Analysis

It could be a symptom of spoiling if the color of the ribs changes. Fresh meat is pink or red in hue, with white strands, and they may have deteriorated if you detect brown, grey, or green on your ribs. It’s important to remember that a change in hue does not always indicate rotten meat. The outer layer may appear different, but the inner layer may be perfectly safe to eat. If that’s the case, scrape off the top layer and eat what’s left.

Rib fat can be white, grey, or yellowish in appearance. When the ribs are stored for an extended time, the color may fade slightly. That does not, however, imply that the ribs are rotten. If you’re unsure about the color of the meat, it’s best not to take any chances. Similarly, it is preferable not to discard the entire rib before thoroughly inspecting it.

Firmness Test

You’ve checked the meat using two of your senses. Now it’s time to step it up a notch and use your sense of touch to assess the state of your ribs. If the ribs are in good shape, they should feel hard in your hand. Look for any discrepancies. When you’ve stored the beef by yourself, this method works well. It’s possible that the proprietor of the business where you bought the ribs won’t let you do it. However, if he does, I recommend using this procedure to look for anything unusual before making a purchase.

Another thing to remember is that not everyone can tell whether ribs are rotten by their complex taste. Experienced cooks, on the other hand, can tell the difference between fresh and rotten meat by the texture. So, if you’re not sure about this flavor, I recommend inspecting the expiration date, color, and scent.

Mold Examination

Never doubt if you should eat any part of the meat if you find mold on it. Don’t. The problem with mold growth is that it’s impossible to tell how far it’s spread into the meat. As a result, it’s best to avoid eating any meat that has developed mold.

Mold growth can sometimes be visible outside, although the inside can be clean. Even if the mold has spread within, it is impossible to detect with the naked eye. That is why I always advise you to discard any meat that has developed mold. To be safe, you should avoid handling them at all times.

Mold is almost always caused by a damp atmosphere. Avoid storing the ribs for an extended period before using them to avoid mold growth.

Date of Expiration

Store-bought ribs have an expiration date, which many people are unaware of. The manufacturer will give users an expiration date. As a result, it is preferable to eat the ribs before the date. Checking the date is the safest and most straightforward technique to determine if ribs are fresh or not before purchase. Even though it’s doubtful that any supermarket would hold outdated meat, double-check.

Furthermore, you won’t need a prolonged expiry date if you won’t be storing the meat for a long time. On the other hand, if you wish to keep your ribs before eating them, make sure the meat has an extended expiration date.

How to Increase the Shelf Life of Ribs?

Here are some suggestions to help your ribs last longer:

The ribs will stay longer than you imagine if you keep them in the freezer without opening the store-bought container. You can’t freeze ribs twice, which means you can’t refreeze them after you’ve once frozen them and thawed them for cooking. So, when it comes to ribs, plan ahead of time to avoid wasting food.

Don’t put the ribs in the freezer if you think they’ve already gone bad. The ribs will not improve if they are frozen, and instead, they’ll make the freezer smell terrible and hurt the other goods within. Search for the freshest, firmest, vacuum-sealed ribs to ensure optimal shelf life.

Examine the date to see if it’s about to expire. Buy ribs that aren’t near to expiring.
If you want your meat packs to survive longer, avoid ripped, unclean, opened, or unsealed meat packets.

How to Prevent Ribs From Going Bad?

Getting sick from eating rotten meat is never a good thing. Follow these procedures to prevent your ribs from becoming dire.

Keep Them Cool

The ribs must be maintained in a relaxed atmosphere below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. To prevent spoiling, the USDA recommends this temperature. When you reach home, put the meat in the freezer. Allowing the ribs to sit out in the open for an extended period is not recommended.

You won’t be able to ingest ribs that have been left at room temperature for more than two hours, and this is because germs grow most quickly at 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures. Keep the meat in the fridge for short-term storage, and keep the ribs in the freezer for a more extended period.

Inspect the Package

Always purchase packaged meat. Avoid buying a container that has been ripped or shattered in some way. Also, ensure sure the package is dust and dirt-free. Also, make sure the ribs are past their “best before” date. A date will be printed on the package, indicating how long the meat will be fresh.

Keep in the freezer

The fridge will suffice if it’s only for a day or two. Follow the necessary freezing instructions if you wish to keep the ribs in the freezer for an extended period before cooking them. Before keeping them, place them in an airtight container or vacuum-seal them. The germs cannot attack the flesh as a result of this.

Correctly Thaw

You can skip the thawing process by cooking the ribs on the grill, stove, or oven. However, the meat must be thawed if you plan to utilize your slow cooker. The correct thawing procedure is critical in this situation. Many individuals defrost meat on the counter or a heated surface incorrectly. According to the USDA, meat should be thawed in the refrigerator, microwave, or cold water. ​

You can’t refreeze meat after it’s been thawed. So, before you cook the meat, be sure you’re ready to eat it whole. After the ribs have been cooked, you can store them. When thawing the ribs, you can keep them in the fridge for up to five days. You’ll have to cook them immediately away if you defrost them in the oven or with cold water. If the ribs are enormous and you won’t finish them all at once, freeze them as leftovers rather than raw.

How Long do Leftover Ribs Retain Their Quality?

It is dependent on how the ribs are stored. If you store leftover meat in the refrigerator, it will survive up to 4 days. The fourth day is a bit of a gamble, and let’s keep it to three days this time. Consequently, if you plan to eat leftover ribs within three days, you should store them in the refrigerator. However, if you want to preserve food for a more extended period, you should use your freezer.

It is possible to preserve ribs in the freezer for up to three months if they are stored properly, which is an airtight environment. Instead of storing leftover ribs in the freezer, consider eating them right away instead of saving them for later. It is preferable to plan ahead of time before cooking. If you have a massive quantity of ribs in the freezer, wait until you have a special occasion to cook them so that you don’t have to store them again. Alternatively, you can store the dish in the refrigerator and devour it within three days to prevent additional preparation.


Another way to check if ribs are spoiled is by looking for an expiration date. Usually, ribs have an expiration date of a week or two. They should be consumed before the date if they’re to be consumed. Moreover, they should be stored in a cold place to keep them fresh. The ribs should not be refrigerated if they’re still in the refrigerator or freezer. Ideally, a rib’s expiration date should be based on its size and texture. In addition, a rib’s softness can be judged by its elasticity. It should bend quickly and flexibly, and the rib should bend slightly with light force. The spongy rib’s flesh is a sign of a wrong rib.

Its skin must have a moist and succulent texture. When determining if ribs are spoiled, the first step is to taste them. When ribs are cooked, the ribs should sit in your mouth without a membrane that can make them tough and chewy. They should also be dry and not have a strong odor, and this is one of the most critical factors in determining if ribs are rotten.