Knowing how to tell if steak is bad or expired before buying it is a good habit. It will help you from ending up with meat that can make you sick. Even though some people think it’s okay to eat old meat, the truth is, if the food has been stored in your fridge for too long, there’s a high level of probability that it will not be good anymore.
5 Ways to Tell If Steak Is Bad Or Expired
Meat spoils gradually over time, so unless you want to serve your family or friends with contaminated meat, it’s best to know how to tell if steak is bad or expired. How to know if steak is bad.
The first way you can check to see if steak is bad or expired is by its smell. Fresh beef should have a strong and slightly sweet scent. If the steak has started smelling sour or stinky, most likely it has already spoiled and you should not eat it.
The color of meat is another way you can tell if steak is bad or expired. Fresh beef, for example, should have a bright red color. If the steak has changed its color and become darker than usual, this means that it has probably begun to oxidize and has gone bad.
How a steak feels also tells you if it’s still good to eat or not. Press the surface of the meat with your finger; if it leaves an indentation and does not spring back, then the steak is most likely spoiled. The same goes for when you press on the meat with your tong. If the steak is spoilt, it will feel very soft and malleable.
Expiration Date Test
An obvious way to tell if steak is bad or expired is by looking at the expiration date on its package. There are all sorts of dates that can be written on a food product such as “best before”, “use by” and even “sell by”. Make sure to learn how to read them properly because this will help you determine if the food has turned bad.
There are also other ways that can be used to tell if steak is bad or expired and one of them involves using your common sense. How do you think the steak was stored in the store before it ended up at your home?
Most likely, it was not properly refrigerated or kept in a cool place. If this is the case, it’s best to avoid eating its meat.
How Does It Smell?
A meat’s smell can also tell you if it has gone bad or not. If your steak suddenly had a strong scent of ammonia, this is most likely due to spoilage. The same goes for when the meat starts smelling sour or stinky; you will know that the steak has spoiled and it would be best to throw it away.
How Long Can Steak Stay in The Fridge?
Even though the expiry date of a steak is usually 2 or 3 days, it can stay fresh in your fridge for up to 4 or 5 days. This is only possible if you store its package in a resealable storage bag and keep it inside the coldest part of your fridge.
You will know that after 5 days have passed, your steak is starting to spoil and you need to eat it as soon as possible.
How to keep it fresh for long?
As you already know, the shelf life of a steak is usually 2 or 3 days. If you want to keep it fresh for up to 4 or 5 days, then how do you think this will be possible? By following these three steps:
Keep its temperature low
The meat must always be kept at a temperature lower than 41 degrees F (5 Celsius). This way, the steak can still stay fresh up until 5 days have passed. Never store your steak at room temperature because it will only stay good for less than 24 hours.
Prevent air contact
Steak contains large amounts of water that can easily lead to oxidation. Also, when left out at room temperature, the food’s surface moisture evaporates and turns into water vapors. The latter will cause bacterial growth which will lead to spoilage, so it’s best to keep the steak inside a resealable plastic bag and store it at the bottom part of your fridge.
Do not leave out
Another way to tell if steak is bad or expired is by simply checking its color. If you’ve left it out for more than 5 hours, then most likely that means that the meat has already turned bad and should be thrown away immediately.
However, if kept inside cold storage like your fridge, there is no need for you to be worried about turning brown because this only happens when you cook the food after removing it from your fridge’s freezer compartment.
How to tell if the frozen steak is bad?
Frozen meat is totally different from fresh meat because the latter only has a shelf life of 2 or 3 days. Once thrown in your freezer, a steak can still be edible for up to 12 months. In case you find out that it’s been too long since your steak was placed in your freezer and you’re not sure if it is still safe to eat, there are a couple of things that you can do in order to determine if it has gone bad and should be thrown away or not.
Look at the Packaging
Does the box where your steak came from say “best before” or “sell by”? If this is the case, then chances are that you have around 12 months before you need to eat the meat. If it doesn’t, then most likely your steak is already spoiled and should be thrown away immediately.
Examine its Packaging
A frozen steak comes in a box that usually has four sides. Inspect each one of them and check if there are any tears or holes (especially on the corners). If you can see that there are, then it would be best to throw the steak away since the cold air from inside your freezer compartment might have corrupted its quality.
Things to Keep in Mind
If you want to make sure that your steak is still edible then some extra caution and care will do the trick. Make sure to store your food properly and if it’s already past its best before date, put it at the back of your fridge where it will be cooler and away from other items.
The smell test helps but this won’t be enough if the meat has been marinating for a while. If you’re going to use the smell test, make sure that your steak is fresh and not marinated first.
So when in doubt, throw it out. Keep in mind that you don’t want to end up with spoiled steak because the consequences aren’t good at all. Getting food poisoning can ruin your day and make you feel sick; so avoid taking risks when cooking meat and follow these easy tips.
You can also read: How Long Is Sausage Good For In The Fridge?