How To Tell If Steak Is Bad? 4 Signs That Your Steak Has Been Spoiled

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Your barbecue is ready, and your visitors are on the road. You get your steaks out of the fridge, but they don’t seem as nice as they were when you purchased them. Is it simply paranoia, or have they truly gone nasty? In today’s post, we’ll show you how to tell if steak is bad. We’ll also answer some other questions regarding the topic. 

How To Tell If Steak Is Bad?

The Expiration Date Has Passed

This may sound basic, but many folks can’t tell the distinction between a sell-by and a use-by date. Furthermore, when you put your steak into the freezer, those dates are no longer valid.

The supermarkets or butchers in your neighborhood must adhere to the sell-by date. So, for example, when a steak holds a sell-by date of June 23rd, the grocer has to sell it a few days before that time to offer the buyer enough time to eat it.

After that time, the steak should remain fine to consume for a couple of days. Assuming the use-by mark on the steak says June 26th, you must cook it by that day. There’s a high risk it’ll spoil beyond that time.

If you want to store your steak before its expiration date, ensure that you allow enough time for it to defrost and still be safe for human consumption. Given a use-by mark of April 26th, you should store your steak before April 24th.

This gives you a 2-day gap to defrost the steak (many cuts only require approximately 1 day, although a few thicker pieces might require up to 2 days) before it spoils according to its initial use-by time.

It Has A Slimy Surface Or Feels Icky To The Touch

An icky outer layer that you could detect or feel on a cut of steak is an undeniable indicator of spoiled steak. This layer might be transparent or yellowish in appearance; thus, it will give the steaks a glossy appearance than usual. As you move your fingertips over it, it will seem slimy or icky.

Spoiled steaks usually have a slimy surface. – Mashed 

A rancid steak will normally develop this nasty layer on it a few days before it starts molding. Mold, of course, is solid evidence that the steak has spoiled and contaminated with hazardous germs and is no longer safe for human consumption.

If you don’t notice any layer on the steak, but it’s a different tone, such as darker brown, somewhat yellow, or a bit greener than the beautiful, purplish-red beef appearance it usually has, you may have expired meat.

Even if you just detect a couple of color-changing spots instead of the entire steak chunk, areas of unusual pigmentation are still a warning indicator that you should abstain from eating it. A nasty piece of steak will begin to look like a tuna filet, which is probably not the food you’re looking for.

It Has A Foul Stench

Fresh meat doesn’t always have the best smell, but you can often notice the differences between quality, fresh meat cuts, and a nasty steak only by utilizing your nose.

A bad steak usually develops a pungent stench that no longer smells like fresh beef but rather exhibits an ammonia-like odor. You’ll recognize the stench when you sniff it, and it’s a dead giveaway that you shouldn’t consume it!

Your steaks might exhibit a foul stench if spoiled. – Meat Sumo 

It’s also worth noting that using your nose might not be the optimal option. Since the dry-aging phase creates lactic acid, which is unpleasant in and of itself, dry-aged beef can have the same stench.

It’s Dry and Juice-Less

Another way to detect whether a steak is terrible is to look at its external look. For example, is it looking or feeling dry to your hands? Did you just get your refrigerated steak out of the fridge to defrost, and some of the contents leaked out to the package?

While a dry, juiceless consistency does not always indicate that your steak is spoiled, it can certainly affect the taste and mouthfeel of the finished dish. You’ll likely wind up with dry puck-like meat unless your beef contains a considerable amount of marbling to offer the steak tenderizing fats and juice content.

To prevent this, store your refrigerated steaks by wrapping them in a tightly zipped package before putting them in the refrigerator.

You’ll seal in the nutrients and moisture contents vital to keep their original freshness and even resist exposing them to bacteria that may promote faster expiration, mildew, nasty stench, and flavors. Simply adhere to this effective technique to have a higher-quality steak dish.

How To Store Steak At Home

Don’t know what the number one cause of spoiled meat is?

It’s the heat. Bacteria proliferate quickly inside animal flesh, notably if stored warm. Steak starts to deteriorate at temperatures exceeding 40°F. The hotter the environment and the longer time the steak is left in that setting, the higher the risk of spoiling.

Thus, the best way to extend the steak’s shelf life is to reduce the steak exposure to higher heat. And to do this, we have 2 most common ways: 

  • First – Freeze the steak to keep it fresher for an extended time. 
  • Second – Store the steak in the refrigerator. 

The most effective way is to remove the steak from the grocery package, rewrap it in freezer parchment sheets (even though you preserve it in the refrigerator), and put it on the bottom rack of your refrigerator until the ‘use-by’ deadline on the package.

Freezing is one of the best ways to store steaks. – Epicurious

Yet, keep in mind that after you open the package, the steak’s storage time may significantly shorten because it is no longer in the protected environment.

Considering that the steak is super fresh, this procedure will allow you to keep it for an additional 2-4 days.

The freezer sheet is beneficial as it prevents juices from getting away from your steak, which we’d like to retain in any beef, so it remains as delicious as possible when served.

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How Long Can Steak Sit Out? 

According to the USDA, you may safely keep cooked steak out at a typical setting for 2 hours – or 1 hour if the temperature is over 90°F. However, you should throw cooked steak left out for more than 120 minutes (or 60 minutes if the temperature is over 90° F) away.

This also applies to other meat, including chicken

Why Does My Steak Smell Sweet?

If your steak develops a sweet, overpowering smell, it may be affected by deadly germs. The smell is suggestive of ammonia, which you may not be capable of identifying at first sight; however, if smelled carefully, you might find the smell unpleasant.

What Happens If I Eat Spoiled Steak? 

You’re going to get sick.

Harmful bacteria like salmonella, staphylococcus, and E. coli are commonly found in bad steak and cause your illness. According to the Mayo Clinic, some of these bacteria might cause you sick even when you only ingest the smallest amount of them.

If you consume steak that has been infected with those germs, you will almost certainly get a foodborne illness. According to the Mayo Clinic, foodborne illness signs involve nausea, vomiting, fever, stomach discomfort, and related digestive problems.

Different kinds of harmful bacteria are documented to provoke bloody diarrhea. Foodborne illness can persist anywhere from a couple of hours to numerous days.

What Should I Do If I Eat Spoiled Steak? 

If you have any ginger and garlic in your house, consider preparing “tea” by grating the ginger and garlic very finely and putting boiling water over them. Allow this to soak for 10 mins before sipping.

The garlic will aid destroy any bacteria that have been consumed, and the ginger will benefit your gastrointestinal tract. Yogurt or kefir containing living organisms is also an excellent choice. The same thing applies to apple cider vinegar. Chili peppers are helpful, too, if you’re accustomed to consuming them.

After eating spoiled steaks, make some tea with ginger and garlic. – Esquire 

Maintain hydration and keep an eye out for signs of foodborne illness, such as diarrhea and puking. The strength of the bacterial culture in your gastrointestinal tract and how rotten the steak is, have a significant role in whether or not you feel sick.

If you develop a foodborne illness, you will feel terrible. However, if your body has eliminated the toxins itself, you should be OK within 24 hours. Throughout this period, take as much water as possible. If you still experience problems after 24 hours, contact your doctor.

Can Cooking Make Spoiled Steak Safe To Eat?

Heating bad steaks will not make them safe to consume. Although it will eliminate the bacteria and molds that inhabited it, it will not remove the poisons and germs they left behind. To prevent foodborne illness, toss uncooked meat after it has beyond its expiry date or if you believe it has gone wrong.

Can Pregnant Women Eat Medium-rare Steak?

No. It’s advisable to avoid eating uncooked or unprocessed steak while pregnant since it might cause you sick and perhaps affect your baby. If you consume uncooked or pinkish and medium-rare steak, you might get sick from the Toxoplasma parasite.

Thoroughly cooked, well-done steak is a superior choice and might be consumed safely while pregnant.

Wrapping Up 

Now, you’ve probably known how to tell if steak is bad. Indeed, these 4 signs are undeniable indicators of spoiled steak. Therefore, if any of these signs appear, you’d better throw your steak away for your health. Or else you risk yourself getting sick due to pathogenic bacteria.

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