How to know if the beef is spoiled? (5 easy methods)

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How to know if the beef is spoiled”, discuss the different methods of identifying the beef is spoiled and the potential side effects of eating spoiled beef.

How to know if the beef is spoiled?

If the color has gone greyish brown or you notice any green spots, then your beef is spoiled. If the beef has a slimy or sticky texture or is experiencing a rancid odor, it also is spoiled. You can check the expiry date also because beef starts to get spoiled after 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

What is beef?

Beef is red meat from cattle. Humans are eating beef for ages. It is a rich source of proteins, vitamins, and other essential nutrients. People eat beef in different ways, and it is considered an excellent source of the human diet. 

Signs of spoiled beef:

Spoiled beef is harmful to health. Beef gets rotten when it’s old and no fresher. It gets dangerous to eat because many pathogenic bacteria invade the meat and cause much foodborne illness. There are different ways to find out if the beef is spoiled or not. Spoiled meat gives an offensive and foul odor. Therefore it is essential to keep the meat in the refrigerator.

How to identify spoiled meat?

Spoiled meat gives different types of signs when it’s no more eatable. Spoiled meat gives terrible odor and discoloration on its surface. The bacteria which causes the meat spoilage gives no clue of its presence, so it is essential to freeze the meat, which prevents it from the growth of harmful bacteria. If any of these signs appear on the meat, then we immediately need to discard the meat. 

Five easy ways to identify spoiled meat:

  • Check the beef color:

Beef changes its color due to changes in temperature, growth of harmful bacteria, and exposure to oxygen. As beef is red because of oxymyoglobin, a pigment formed when a protein named myoglobin reacts with oxygen. 

Due to the lack of exposure of beef to oxygen, its interior color gets a change to greyish brown, but it does not mean beef is spoiled. But it is the beginning of spoilage; it’s not entirely wrong.

We notice fuzzy blue-grey or maybe green spots; then we immediately throw that mean away.

  • Inspection of beef texture:

A touch test is helpful for indication of spoiled beef. Fresh beef has a firm consistency, and it breaks when we squeeze it. 

When the beef has a slimy and sticky texture, either cooked or raw, it means that the meat may have harmful bacteria, so we immediately need to throw it.

We need to wash our hands after touching the meat to avoid the spread of the bacteria from one place to another.

  • Performing smell test on beef:

Smelling beef is the easiest method to find out if the meat is still fresh or not. The smell of fresh meat is usually perceptible and rancid meat has a tangy odor. If the odor gets worse, we need to throw the meat because it’s no more eatable. 

The smell of beef changes due to the growth of bacteria such as lactobacillus spp and Pseudomonas spp. It also affects the taste of beef.

We should also throw the beef if we notice a change in its color and texture because sometimes pathogenic can not always be smelled.

  • Meat that has been in the fridge for more than five days:

Bacteria starts growing in older meat, even if it’s in the refrigerator. We need to freeze the meat if we have no plan to cook it soon. To avoid the spoilage of meat, we should immediately freeze it. Ground meat can stay fresh in the fridge for up to 2 days, and chopped meat can fresh lasts up to three to five days. 

  • Checking out its expiry date:

The shelf life of beef is approximately about 2 to 5 days. Cooked meat can lasts fresh for up to 5 days it exceeds this period, we immediately need to throw it. We should also check out the expiry date of beef and use it before the expiry date.

Other FAQs about Beef which you may be interested in.

How to cook canned corned beef hash in the oven?

Can you eat beef jerky while pregnant?

Can dogs eat corned beef?

Side effects of spoiled beef:

Eating spoiled meat is very dangerous for health because it contains many harmful bacteria, which causes many foodborne illnesses such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea.

Eating spoiled meat can cause food poisoning due to harmful bacteria, e.g., Salmonella and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. These bacteria can cause severe health issues, and if left untreated, they might be fatal. 

Tips to keep beef safe:

Proper storing and handling of beef are necessary to avoid foodborne illness.

  • We should freeze the beef and keep it in a refrigerator to save it from getting spoiled.
  • We need to keep it on a lower shelf in the fridge to prevent blood leakage.
  • We need to keep the cooked meat in the refrigerator after 2 hours of cooking and finish it within 2 to 4 days.
  • Choose the packet which is cold and has no holes and scratches on its bag.