Knowing how to tell if pork is bad before you cook is important to avoid food poisoning. Pork is one of those foods you don’t want to mess around with.
Healthy-looking pork will be pink in color, wet but not slimy, and have no off smell to it.
Make sure that you are storing your pork properly and looking over it very carefully before preparing it. This will be the difference between a delicious meal that everyone raves about and ending up with bacteria and getting sick.
Before we get into all of that, let’s start with the basics of knowing if your pork is bad first.
3 ways to tell if pork is bad
Before cooking your pork it is important to look it over very carefully. Starting with the sell-by date on the package. With pork, you have 3-5 days from the sell-by date to cook your pork before it spoils.
Pork is known to have larvae from a species of worms in it, so it is important to always cook pork to a minimum of 145 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid foodborne illness.
Trust your senses and do not eat any pork with these characteristics. These attributes also go for leftover pork as well. Leftover pork will last you 2-3 days if you have stored it properly.
1. How the pork looks
When pork is no longer good, you will notice that it is dull in color and can look greyish. The inside might still be pink but once you start seeing any grey or dulling in color you want to toss it out.
When pork is fresh it will be pink in color a little darker than chicken and lighter than beef. The fat marbling will be white. If it looks yellowish that is another good indicator that it has spoiled.
This goes for pork loins and pork chops and any other pork cuts that you can think of.
2. Smell the pork
Once you open the package you always want to give it the sniff test and see if you smell anything sour. If your pork is still ok then you will have no odor at all.
If you do get an odor you want it to be of a fresh scent, not sour at all. Any scent of ammonia, unpleasant or sour odor, you should not cook your pork.
3. How it feels
When you buy pork and take it out of the package you might notice that it is a little wet to the touch. This is perfectly normal.
However, if you feel that it is slimy then your pork is bad and can make you sick if you consume it. Other indicators that it has gone by are if it is dry or mushy.
It should not be sticky to the touch. Fresh pork should be a little wet and firm to the touch. Much like chicken breast.
What happens if you cook bad pork?
Bad pork does not become good after you cook it. If it is spoiled before you cook it, then it is still spoiled after you cook it.
Cooking the pork it is a pork loin or pork chop or bacon is not going to make it any safer to eat than before it was cooked.
Spoiled meat needs to be discarded, do not mess with it. It is better to safe than sorry, you could get really sick.
Best way to store pork so it does not go bad
It is important to handle your pork in specific ways to prevent it from going bad. I will give you a few tips to make sure your pork last a bit longer.
Pork smells bad but its not expired
It is really important to not focus just on the date of the package that your pork has come in. There are so many things that come into place to know if the pork has gone bad.
Maybe it has not been kept cold during the entire chain from when the animal was slaughtered all the way to the time that you purchased from a butcher or a grocery store.
If you have purchased the pork from a grocery store and you think it could have been bad since it was purchased, there is a good chance they will give you your money back.
In the end, you can not trust the dates, you want to follow the steps provided in this post… if it smells bad you need to toss it!