How to tell if hamburger meat is bad

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Every now and then, you might crave a tender, juicy hamburger. Besides worrying about it being thoroughly cooked, you want to make sure the beef is good to use in the first place. Don’t gamble on a package of ground beef that’s been sitting in the fridge all week. Instead, keep these tips in mind for determining if that meat has gone bad.

Check the color of the hamburger meat

Good-quality ground beef will have a bright red color. Depending on what part of the cow the meat was taken from, it might have some brown areas, but this is normal. On the other hand, bad hamburger meat takes on a dull gray color. If it looks like a sorry excuse for ground beef, it’s time to toss it.

Try a hamburger meat smell test

Not for the faint of heart, a smell test can definitely provide some insight on the freshness of that ground beef. Fresh hamburger meat will only have a slight smell and it won’t be anything that will turn your stomach. If the beef is emanating a foul stench, this is a sign that it has gone bad. When bacteria starts to develop in the meat, it creates a sour or rotten odor, thanks to the gases it produces. When in doubt, throw it away.

Feel the consistency of the meat

While raw ground beef isn’t exactly a comforting feeling between your fingers, it won’t stick to your hands or cover them in slime. Fresh hamburger meat will have a more solid and sturdy consistency and you’ll be able to break it into smaller pieces with your fingers. Bad meat will slip and slide and leave a sticky residue on your hands. Regardless, you should always wash your hands, and any surfaces the meat touched, thoroughly after handling it.

These tips will keep you and your family safe from foodborne illnesses and allow you to enjoy a delicious meal together.

Need more help on how to tell if hamburger meat is bad

If you still need more help on how to tell if hamburger meat is bad. Check out more resources that give you additional information. Just remember that even though your thinking about a juicy burger, take a whiff of the smell and a good look at the color of the meat before preparation. Red is good and Grey is bad, bad smells are pretty obvious but some people like weird smells so get a second nose on it. Share this with someone if you think it will help them out, and share with us if you know a better way to tell if hamburger meat is bad by commenting below.

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1 Comment

  1. I had a two pounds package of hamburger meat that I made into two one pounds and wrap. With their paper & put in a freezer bag well sealed. I took out to thaw &’gets ice inside bag . I take it out to thaw in and most is red the is boos in the bad but also a lot of white on top..
    Is this still good.!i don’t understand why some frozen foods have ice on them. Thank you. If hard to read just put drops put in my eyes.
    Main question is hamburger safe to cook & eat ?

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