If your ground beef has been sitting in the refrigerator for a while, you might be wondering if it’s still good to eat. You’ll be glad to know there are many ways to determine whether your beef has gone bad or not. However, if you’re worried, it’s best to avoid eating the ground beef. This could help prevent a stomach ache (or worse).
Read on to learn easy methods of checking the quality of your ground beef. If you find yourself needing more ground beef or other grocery items, visit the meat department at Horner’s Midtown Market in Alexandria, IN.
Give it a sniff
Ground beef that has gone bad will emit a certain smell. Normally, fresh ground beef has the smell of iron. If the meat has been bad for a while, it will probably feature a strong rotten scent. Most bad meat smells rancid and/or pungent, but you should be wary of any and all strange smells. Rotten meat can even smell sweet at times.
Look at the date
If you’re worried that your ground beef has spoiled, simply check the expiration date. You can find this date somewhere on the packaging, and it may feature the words “best by.” If it’s past this date, you’ll likely want to avoid cooking it. This is true even if it’s only one day past the expiration date.
What color is the meat
Fresh ground beef usually has a bright red color. There are several reasons the color might be off, though. Sometimes, the interior of ground beef turns slightly gray. This is usually because the interior meat hasn’t had oxygen exposure, which turns the meat red. Grayish meat is usually safe for consumption after cooking.
If the exterior of the meat is gray or brown, you should avoid eating it. While it’s usually okay for the interior to be a bit gray, the exterior should always be red. When meat has started to rot, its exterior will turn brown or gray.
Check for mold growth
Like most other types of food, ground beef can serve as a breeding place for mold. Mold is usually easy to spot, as it results in green spots on the meat. Blue or gray spots on your meat could indicate mold as well.
Properly storing ground beef
If you plan on cooking your ground beef within a day or two of buying it, you can safely keep it in the refrigerator. If you’re going to wait a few days or even a week before cooking your ground beef, store it in the freezer. Freezing your ground beef will ensure it lasts much longer. In fact, frozen ground beef can often last up to four months.
Be sure to store your beef at one of the lowest points in your refrigerator, so the juice doesn’t leak onto other foods.
Visit Horner’s Midtown Market today to check out our huge selection of groceries. Our grocery store in Alexandria, IN has an excellent meat department, and we’d be happy to recommend meats for your next summer cookout!