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How To Tell If Pork Is Bad

Are you afraid you have spoiled pork in your fridge, but don’t know how to tell if the pork is bad? Or maybe you are in the store wanting to buy pork that is about to expire, which comes with a generous reduced price? It is good that you take precautions, because if you eat spoiled pork, the chances of getting an illness may increase. Let’s see what things you should look for to spot spoiled pork meat.

how-to-tell-pork-is-bad

Steps To Identify Spoiled Pork Meat

There are four basic cuts into which pork is separated including shoulder, loin, side and leg. These various cuts can be used for many delicious and popular recipes like pork sausage, pork chops, pork roast, and pork tenderloin. By using three of your five senses you will be able to identify a potentially bad piece of pork.

Smell

Use your smell sense. The tell-tale sign of how to tell if pork is bad is simple: the pork smells bad! This is by far the easiest way to detect spoiled pork.

What does bad pork smells like? Well, if you are not much of a pork meat eater you might even think that fresh pork may smell bad. To identify the smell of bad pork you will likely notice a sulfur type of smell or even a smell that reminds of rotten eggs. It could be a very strong odor or just a touch of it depending on how far in to the decomposition process it has gone. Sometimes people have experienced similar smell with perfectly good Cryovac packed pork, but the smell goes away once the meat is aired. It is not to confuse with real rotten pork smell where the smell will not go a way and it will literally knock your head backwards if the smell is really strong. You should discard the pork if you experience a bad pork smell like that.

smelling-pork-meat

Color

What does bad pork look like? Yes, use your sight to spot the color of spoiled pork, which is a good indicator as to whether or not the pork looks edible. Depending on the cut of pork meat you are handling it might manifest slightly different. Fresh pork should have a red or pinkish color, but if you spot gray or green colors it is an indication that the pork may be going bad. However, it is not an indicator alone because color changes are normal in meat products.

bad-pork-color

Notice the grey/green color on this piece of spoiled pork

Texture

If you are at home and concerned that you might have bad pork, you can start by looking at the texture of the meat. Feel out the meat with your hands. It should be firm but not be hard. Also, any excessive dryness or stickiness is a sign that you may be dealing with spoiled pork.

Best before date

Obviously, looking at the “best before date” will give you a great indication of when it will expire, but also when it was packed. However, inspect the meat thoroughly. Holes in the package is not a good sign because air will have entered the package. When you purchase pork, it should then be refrigerated at 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

Symptoms of Eating Bad Pork

Symptoms of eating bad pork can vary from person to person. The Centers for Disease control recommends that you see your doctor or healthcare provider if you:

  • Have diarrhea along with a high fever (temperature over 101.5°F, measured orally)
  • Have blood in the stools
  • Experience prolonged vomiting that prevents you from keeping liquids down
  • Have signs of dehydration, including a decrease in urination, a dry mouth and throat, and feeling dizzy when standing up
  • Have had diarrhea for more than 3 days.

Preventing Bad Pork

For anyone who has ever experienced any type of foodborne illness, they know it is no fun. Whether you have consumed bad pork chops or picked up a take-out pork dish that was not fully cooked, it is important to follow proper handling, storage, and cooking instructions. Some tips to prevent illness:

  • Make sure that pork reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit when cooking. If it’s left at room temperature, eat it within 2 hours or place in refrigerator at 40 degrees or less. Eat it or freeze it within 3-4 days
  • If you are working with pork that has been frozen, defrost it in the refrigerator overnight. Do not leave it sitting on the counter to defrost. If you use a microwave to defrost the pork, use it immediately.
  • When working with pork you should always make sure to wash your hands, utensils, and surfaces thoroughly and often.
  • Make sure to keep pork separate from other foods to avoid cross contamination.
  • Follow recommended storage times.