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How to Tell if Pork Chops Are Bad

A moist, tender, and delicious pork chop is a great protein choice for any dinner. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals that your body needs like Zinc or iron.

Have you ever bought pork chop and then spaced it and didn’t know how to tell if they had gone bad or not? Your senses will help tell you if your raw pork chops are bad or not.

When determining whether uncooked pork chops are bad you want to focus on how they look and smell. Raw pork chops that have spoiled will have a sour smell to them, look dull in color, or might be slimy in texture.

pork chops going bad on a plate

Signs of Bad Pork Chops

The first thing you should look at when deciding if your pork chops are still ok is to check the sell-by date.

Typically you have 3-5 days after the sell-by date to eat pork chops that have been handled properly.

You cant trust the date you really want to follow the signs below to tell if the pork chop is bad.

How the pork chop looks

look of bad pork chops

Next, look at them and see if they are grey or dull looking. Fresh pork should be pink in color. A little darker than fresh chicken but lighter than fresh beef.

An entire grey pork chop is a great sign that the pork is bad and you need to throw it out so that you do not get sick.

How it smells

pork chops for they smell

When you open the package fresh uncooked pork chops will have a fresh smell. If you get a rancid odor or smell then throw them away.

This rule typically applies to any meat that you are going to cook. Follow this to tell if ground beef is bad or if your ground turkey is bad.

How it feels

Feeling pork chops on a plate that is slimy

Raw pork chops will be a little wet in texture but should not be slimy at all. If they are slimy, similar to other meats that are bad, then they have spoiled and you don’t want to eat them.

And, no, rinsing them off doesn’t change that. Bacteria like E.coli or salmonella have started growing and you will get sick.

The pork chop should feel cool and fresh. NOT sticky just clean fresh and cold meat.

Signs of bad leftover pork chops

browning on the fat and grey colored pork

Figuring out if cooked pork chops are still safe to eat is harder than identifying spoiled raw pork chops. It’s safe to say that leftover pork can still be eaten one or two days after it was cooked, depending on how it was stored.

As long as your pork wasn’t left out for over two hours and was stored in a sealed container in the fridge, it should still be safe to eat.

You still want to smell it for bad odors and make sure that it isn’t slimy at all. These are telltale signs that your pork chops are no longer safe to consume.

I also have an entire post on how to tell if pork is bad.

Storing pork chops properly

When you are storing fresh pork chops you want to keep them refrigerated or frozen in a tightly sealed container or still in the package.

Raw, uncooked pork chops will last in the fridge for up to 5 days after the sell-by date on the package.

And you will want to check for freshness before you cook them by smelling, looking, and touching them for sliminess.

When freezing pork chops they should last you 6 months past the sell-by date on the package.

You want to freeze them before you reach the sell-by date so that they don’t spoil when you are defrosting them.

Frequently asked questions about how to tell if pork chops are bad

When eating raw or uncooked meat you are at risk for getting a foodborne illness called Trichinosis, especially with pork.

Pork makes you more at risk than other meats because it can be infested with particular larvae of a worm species called, Trichinella spiralis.

This foodborne illness is like to cause abdominal pains, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, or chills. It is best to not risk eating them if you have any reason to think that your pork chop is bad.

Using a thermometer to check the internal temperature of your pork chop is the best way to ensure that they are done.

The USDA recommends that Pork chops are cooked to an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit after a 3-minute rest period. To be more conservative go to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ground pork is a little different and should be cooked well and get to at least 160 degrees.

Pork chops are best to be cooked well to avoid food-borne illness or food poisoning.


Recognizing bad pork chops can be quite straightforward if you know what signs to look for. Ensuring the freshness of your pork chops is crucial not only for taste but more importantly, for your health. Always trust your senses when in doubt and remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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