Over the past six months, more than 30 thousand food poisoning has been recorded in Ukraine. Some of them are precisely because of the meat. Remember the mass poisoning with shawarma. But you can get poisoned at home, just by eating stale pork or chicken.
Spoiled meat is dangerous to eat as it can contain bacteria that cause fever, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. These bacteria develop on meat not only when it has already deteriorated, but also when you leave the piece at room temperature for a long time. For example, when you defrost it. Harmful bacteria found in meat are salmonella and toxic E coli.
Therefore, if you bought fresh pork or beef and you have doubts about their quality, we advise you to pay attention to the following factors.
The quickest way to know if your meat is fresh is to smell it. Spoiled meat will have a distinct, pungent odor, sometimes chemical and sometimes sour. It can also be odorless at all if the manufacturer decided to hide the spoilage.
Besides the unpleasant smell, spoiled meat can be sticky or slippery to the touch. In addition, it loses its elasticity, so when you press on a piece, the previous shape does not return immediately.
Rotten meat also changes color. For example, a normal chicken should be bluish-gray to yellow in color. Raw pork is a grayish pink color, while ground beef can be bright red, purple-red, or brown-red. But if any meat has green or dark brown shades, this indicates rotting. So such a piece needs to be thrown away. By the way, minced meat spoils much faster than whole meat. This is due to the fact that the minced meat is more exposed to air, and therefore harmful bacteria have more room to fix on the surface.
Please note that heat treatment of already spoiled meat will not save the situation. After all, if it contains pests, they can release toxins, and it is impossible to get rid of them when cooking or frying.
Yes, it is not always possible to immediately determine that the meat got spoiled. Sometimes unscrupulous manufacturers process it from an unpleasant odor or cover rotting with marinades. But if you are careful and find a manufacturer you can trust, there is almost no chance of poisoning.
However, the best and most effective way to make sure that meat is fresh is to buy it on the day you are going to cook something from it. Better yet, buy from stores that have a daily supply of meat. So you will know for sure that the meat has not been on the counter for a week.