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How To Tell If Ground Pork Is Bad

If your ground pork has a funky or sour smell to it then you should not cook with it. This is the quickest way to identify if your ground pork is bad.

Other ways to tell if ground pork is bad are by looking at it and feeling it. Using your senses is the best way to determine if your minced pork is fresh or has spoiled. I’m going to cover just what to look for in this post.

Raw ground pork in a white bowl with sprigs of green herbs.

How to tell if ground pork is bad is by smelling it. A sour or off smell and you should throw it away. You can also tell if it is slimy, sticky, or looking dull in color.

How to tell if ground pork is bad

You want to make sure that you look over your ground pork before you cook it. Any meats that have gone through the grinding process are more susceptible to bacteria like E.coli and salmonella.

I am going to go over the best 3 ways to tell if your ground pork has spoiled by smelling it, looking at the color, and feeling its texture of it.

Just like with ground turkey or ground beef, you do not want to cook with them if they are bad. In general, it is important to know how to tell if meats have gone bad before you cook with them.

1. Sour smell

Ground pork that is bad will have a sour or off-putting smell. When ground pork is fresh it will have little to no smell at all.

This is the quickest and easiest way to tell if minced pork has spoiled. You will want to toss it if it smells off. This is also the same if you learn how to tell if bacon is bad.

2. Slimy texture

If it is slimy or sticky to the touch then the ground pork has gone bad. Most likely it will also smell when it is slimy.

Even if you only notice one or the other it’s safer to not cook with it. Even if it doesn’t smell but is sticky you can get sick from it.

3. Dull in color

Does your minced pork look dull in color? If so, do not use it. Spoilage comes from bacteria getting on and into the meat which means that you can get foodborne illnesses such as food poisoning.

Fresh ground pork will be pink in color with some white strands mixed within it. When it starts to spoil it will dull in color and start to have a greyish hue.

Learn how to tell if pork is bad for all varieties of pork.

How to tell if ground pork is cooked without using a thermometer?

You always want to make sure that you cook your minced pork fully before eating it. With all of the bacteria that come from the grinding process and of raw pork in general make sure it’s cooked all the way through.

Ground pork will turn a greyish brown when it is cooked all the way through. If you see any pink then you need to cook it longer.

When using a thermometer you want to make sure that you cook it to at least 165°F-170°F. This will ensure that the meat is cooked.

Other helpful tips for knowing when things are bad or not can be found here. Like how long can chicken sit out or how to tell if broccoli is bad.

Frequently asked questions about how to tell if ground pork is bad

No, if your ground pork feels slimy or sticky, it’s likely spoiled. A slimy texture, especially when combined with a bad smell or color change, is a clear sign of spoilage.

Yes, eating spoiled ground pork can lead to foodborne illnesses. Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. If you suspect your ground pork has spoiled, it’s safer to throw it away.

Ground pork generally lasts 1-2 days in the fridge. After this period, even if there are no clear signs of spoilage, it’s better to avoid consuming it due to potential bacterial growth.


Understanding how to identify spoiled ground pork is essential for maintaining your health and enhancing your culinary experience.

By observing changes in color, texture, and particularly odor, you can prevent any unwelcome surprises in the kitchen. When in doubt, it’s best to discard the pork; it’s always better to be safe when it comes to your food and health.

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