How to Tell If Ground Beef Is Bad: 4 Simple Ways to Check

Knowing when a steak is no longer safe to cook is important because nothing is more disappointing than opening your fridge to find that it has gone bad. You’ll be inspecting the meat itself, the sell-by date on the packaging, the smell for sourness, and even how it feels.

As soon as you take your steak out of the refrigerator, you might notice a problem based on the way it appears. But keep in mind that just because your steak is a little bit brown or even gray doesn’t mean it’s ruined; you should still look into it further.

Continue reading to learn how to spot bad steak if you want to avoid serving it.

Rotten meat will be discolored and might have a greenish or brownish tint. You can also check for slime on the surface of the steak. If the texture is slimy, it is most likely foul. Another sign that the steak might be spoiled is its foul odor.

How to tell if steak is bad:

Although it seems fairly obvious, many people are unaware of the distinction between a sell-by and use-by date. Also, those dates no longer hold true if you freeze your steak.

The grocery store or local butcher must adhere to the sell-by date. In order to give the buyer enough time to use a steak that has a sell-by date of May 13th, the store must sell it by that date. After that date, the steak should still be safe to consume for a few days. Now, if that steak’s “use-by” date is May 16, you must cook or freeze it by that day. After that date, there’s a good chance it may spoil.

Make sure you allow enough time for the steak to defrost and become safe to eat if you want to freeze it before its expiration date. Your steak should be placed in the freezer by May 14th because it has a use-by date of May 16. This will give you a two-day window to get the steak defrosted before it spoils in accordance with its original use-by date (most only take about 24 hours, but some thick cuts may need closer to 48 hours).

How Long Can Steak Stay in The Fridge?

For three to five days, most steaks are safe to keep in the refrigerator. Writing a date on the steak when you thaw it or put it in the fridge is best practice so that you don’t forget about it and store it for too long. If you can’t remember how long it’s been there, it’s probably been in the fridge for too long. If the shop or butcher didn’t include a use-by date for you, develop the habit of adding one.

According to the USDA, cooked steak has a similar expiration date and shouldn’t be kept in the refrigerator for longer than 3–4 days. Your risk of contracting a foodborne illness due to bacterial growth increases after 4 days.

It’s Slimy in Appearance or to the Touch

A slimy surface film that you can see or feel on a piece of steak is a dead giveaway that the meat is bad or spoiled. It will be clear or yellowish in color and give the steak a glossier appearance than usual. Your fingers will also feel slippery or sticky when they touch it. Before it starts to mold, bad steak typically gets this slimy film on it for a couple of days. Mold, of course, is a telltale sign that your once-fresh steak has become contaminated with dangerous bacteria and is no longer fit for consumption.

You may also have spoiled beef if your steak has an odd color, such as more brown, yellow, or green than the bright, purplish red meat color it should have, but you haven’t yet noticed film on it. Even if you only notice a few patches of discoloration rather than the entire steak slab, spots of unusual color are still cause for concern. A stale piece of steak will start to resemble a tuna steak, which is not really the type of meal you want.

It Has an Off-Putting Smell

Even though raw steak doesn’t always smell the best, your nose can usually distinguish clearly between a good, fresh steak and one that has gone bad. A spoiled steak will have a strong odor that is no longer that of raw steak but rather one that is dominated by ammonia. When you smell it, you’ll be able to tell for sure that it’s not something you should eat.

It’s crucial to remember that using your nose might not be the best option. Due to the release of lactic acid during the dry aging process, which is unpleasant by nature, dry aged steak occasionally have a similar odor. Use a few of our other “how to tell if a steak is bad” suggestions if you’re unsure whether your nose is deceiving you.

It’s Dry and Juice-Less

Examining a steak’s general appearance is another way to determine whether it is good or bad. Although a dry, juiceless texture doesn’t always mean your steaks are bad, it can definitely affect the flavor and texture of the cooked product. Does it look or feel dry to the touch? Did you take your frozen meat out of the freezer to thaw, and all their juices ran out into the bag? If your steak doesn’t have a lot of marbling, which provides it with tenderizing fat and moisture content, you’ll likely get a steak that resembles a hockey puck.

To prevent this, be sure to seal your frozen steaks in a vacuum-sealed package before putting them in the freezer. You can even keep them from being exposed to bacteria that could cause mold, premature spoilage, and unpleasant tastes and odors by sealing in the juices necessary to maintain their natural moisture. Overall, just by doing this simple thing, you’ll get a steak meal of higher quality.

Conclusion: How to Check for Spoiled Steak

The advice given above will assist you in determining whether a steak is bad. Purchase from Chicago Steak Company if you want to learn how to avoid dealing with spoiled meat. Our steaks are vacuum-sealed and flash-frozen to preserve every last bit of freshness for as long as possible, keeping the juices in and the bacteria out of your meat.

When you’re ready to eat them, keep them frozen. Thaw the steaks on a plate in the refrigerator by keeping them in their airtight packaging. When you use the right storing, freezing, and thawing techniques, you’ll benefit from fresh steaks delivered right to your door that may last longer than any steak from the grocery store or butcher.

Spoiled meat has a strong odor that still smells like steak but also has ammonia undertones. Some steaks may also have an egg-like smell. If your steak smells unpleasant and has passed its expiration date, it’s probably not safe to eat.

Brown steak isn’t always a sign that it’s bad. Steaks kept in the refrigerator for a few days might oxidize naturally and turn brown. But if the steak also smells unpleasant, is slimy to the touch, and has passed its expiration date, it shouldn’t be consumed.

Store raw steak in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. However, pay attention to sell-by dates and the expiration date. Although steak may stay fresh for a few days after their sell-by dates, if you won’t use it by that time, freeze the steak in advance.

A few days in the fridge can cause steak to naturally turn gray or brown. Gray steak itself isn’t a sign of going bad. To find out if the steak is still safe to eat, examine its expiration date, smell, and feel.

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What does bad beef smell like?

If your beef has gone bad, you might notice this even before opening the refrigerator. Beef that has been spoiled will begin to smell like ammonia or sulfur. In short, it won’t smell good.

Is it OK if beef smells a little?

Use the smell test to determine whether the ground beef is raw or cooked. Fresh ground beef barely has a smell, but rancid meat smells tangy and putrid. Once it goes bad, it’s no longer safe to eat.

What does spoiled beef look like?

A slimy surface film that you can see or feel on a piece of steak is a dead giveaway that the meat is bad or spoiled. It will be clear or yellowish in color and give the steak a glossier appearance than usual. Your fingers will also feel slippery or sticky when they touch it.

How long does it take for beef to spoil?

Fresh beef, veal, lamb, and porkSteaks3 to 5 daysChops3 to 5 daysRoasts3 to 5 daysHamFresh, uncured, uncooked3 to 5 daysCold food storage chartFoodTypeRefrigerator (40 °F or below)

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