how do you know if beef is spoiled

Look for any signs of discoloration, such as gray or brown patches, which may indicate spoilage. Check for any unusual odors, as spoiled steak can have a sour or ammonia-like smell. Lastly, use your sense of touch to feel for any sliminess or stickiness on the surface of the steak.

Youve got a nice piece of raw steak in your fridge, but youre not sure if its gone bad or not. It can be tough to tell sometimes whether meat has gone bad or not. Sometimes the signs are apparent, but other times they can be tricky to spot.

With this guide, youll be able to tell for sure whether your raw steak is safe to eat or not. Just follow the simple steps listed below, and youll know what to do.

It’s Slimy in Appearance or to the Touch

If you have bad meat or spoilage, a slimy surface film that you can see or feel on a piece of steak is a tell-tale sign. It’ll be clear or yellowish in color but will make the steak appear shinier than usual. It will also have a slippery or sticky feel when you run your fingers over it. Bad steak will usually get this slimy film on it a couple of days before it begins to mold. Mold, of course, is a definite sign that your once fresh steak is now loaded with harmful bacteria, and its quality is no longer safe to eat.

If you don’t yet see film on your steak, but it has a strange color, like more brown, yellow, or green than the bright, purplish red meat color it should have, you might also have spoiled beef. You might see just a few patches of discoloration rather than the whole steak slab, but spots of odd color are still a sign that you should avoid eating it. A rancid cut of steak will start to resemble more of a tuna steak, which is not quite the meal you’re going for.

It Has an Off-Putting Smell

Raw steak doesn’t necessarily smell the greatest, but you’ll usually be able to tell a distinct difference between a good, fresh steak and a spoiled steak just by using your nose. A spoiled steak will have a potent odor that no longer smells like raw steak but instead has an ammonia-clad aroma. You’ll definitely know the odor when you smell it, and it’s a sure-fire sign that you should not plan to eat it!

It’s important to note that your nose may not also be the best thing to use. Dry aged steak sometimes have a similar odor naturally because the dry aging process releases lactic acid that is stinky in itself. If you’re wondering if your nose is playing tricks on you, you should use a couple of our other “how to tell if a steak is bad” tips to be sure.

How to tell if steak is bad:

This seems pretty obvious, but a lot of people don’t know that there’s a difference between a sell-by and use-by date. Plus, what if you put your steak in the freezer? Those dates no longer apply.

The sell-by date is what the grocery store or local butcher must go by. If a steak has a sell-by date of May 13th, the store must sell it by that time to give the purchaser ample time to use it. The steak should still be okay to eat for a few days after that date. Now, if the use-by date on that steak is May 16th, you’ll need to cook or freeze it by that date. After that date, there’s a good chance it may spoil.

If you want to freeze your steak before its use-by date, be sure you’re giving yourself plenty of time for it to thaw and still be safe to eat. With a use-by date of May 16th, you should get your steak in the freezer by May 14th. This will give you a two-day window to get the steak thawed (most only take about 24 hours, but some thick cuts may need closer to 48 hours) before it could spoil according to its original use-by date.

Look for any signs of discoloration, such as gray or brown patches, which may indicate spoilage. Check for any unusual odors, as spoiled steak can have a sour or ammonia-like smell. Lastly, use your sense of touch to feel for any sliminess or stickiness on the surface of the steak.

FAQ

What happens if you eat slightly spoiled beef?

Side effects of eating bad beef Symptoms include fever, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea — which may be bloody. Disease-causing microorganisms grow rapidly in food that’s been left at room temperature and are more likely to occur in spoiled food.

What color is spoiled beef?

Beef that has turned brown during extended storage may be spoiled, have an off-odor, and be tacky to the touch and should not be used.

What does rancid beef look like?

If you don’t yet see film on your steak, but it has a strange color, like more brown, yellow, or green than the bright, purplish red meat color it should have, you might also have spoiled beef.

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