When Is Beef Bad?

You have a nice piece of raw steak in your refrigerator, but you’re unsure if it’s still edible. It can be difficult to determine when meat has gone bad. The signs can be difficult to spot sometimes even though they are sometimes obvious.

With the help of this guide, you’ll be able to determine whether or not your raw steak is safe to consume. Simply adhere to the straightforward steps listed below, and you’ll know what to do.

It’s been in your refrigerator too long

The USDA advises using beef cuts within three to five days of purchase and any ground meat within one to two days of purchase.

You shouldn’t wait to throw something away until it smells bad or exhibits signs of spoilage, Magoulas advised. “You want to go by recommended storage times. “.

Meat can be kept in the freezer for an unlimited amount of time because the temperature is too low for bacteria to grow there. But long-term frozen meat has a tendency to become dry. For the best quality, Magoulas advises storing steaks for no more than 6 to 12 months.

The texture and smell seem “off”

If the beef is sticky, slimy, tacky, or smells bad, toss it.

After a certain number of days, ground beef kept in the refrigerator will begin to spoil, according to Magoulas. “Typically, meats will be slimy, sticky, and have a bad smell.” “.

A grayish color doesn’t necessarily mean that beef has gone bad, but it’s worth a second look

Metmyoglobin, a chemical reaction that takes place when the myoglobin in meat is exposed to oxygen, is what causes beef to occasionally turn brown. Freezing meat can also change its appearance. It should be fine as long as the color change isn’t accompanied by other signs of deterioration.

“Its not unusual to see that off color,” Magoulas said. “The color of meat sometimes changes. If the item was purchased by the sell-by date, doesn’t smell, or is sticky, it should be fine. If its smelling and sticky, then you dont want it. “.

If you’re still not sure, better safe than sorry

Concerned carnivores can get more detailed guidance from the USDAs toll-free Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854), available on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. Theres also a wealth of online resources available 24 hours a day.

Magoulas advises people with concerns about their meat to consult the USDA rather than risking food poisoning by tasting something they suspect may be spoiled.

“Never taste to determine safety,” he said. “Call us.”

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FAQ

How can you tell if beef is spoiled?

The chemical changes in myoglobin brought on by the presence of oxygen are what cause this darkening, or oxidation. This is a normal change during refrigerator storage. It is not advisable to use beef that has turned brown due to prolonged storage because it may be spoiled, smell bad, and be tacky to the touch.

Is beef safe to eat if it turns brown?

Bad meat will have a sour aroma that is reminiscent of spoiled milk. Additionally, it will change from being red to a dark brown shade. It’s better to throw away any meat in your refrigerator that has an odd smell or color than to take a chance.

Is it OK to eat meat that smells a little?

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.

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