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How to identify expired meat and 5 common mistakes when processing meat

1. Realize that meat is no longer edible

The first thing to do before consuming red meat is to see the color of the meat. Fresh meat is usually red, possibly with a metallic sheen due to iron content. If the piece of meat browns or turns green, you should not buy or eat it.

Next, you lightly touch the meat: if the meat seems mushy or sticky to your hand, it has begun to rot. Finally, try to smell the meat: spoiled red meat has a sour smell reminiscent of ammonia. Rotten pork has the same characteristics as red meat: it is sticky to the touch, has an unpleasant odor and loses its pink-gray color.

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Fresh flesh has a bright red color and firm texture.

For poultry, some of the following signs help determine if it is spoiled. First, look at the color of the meat. When it is still good, the skin is bright yellow, the flesh is slightly pink, if the meat turns gray, it is a bad sign: throw it out immediately.

However, there are times when the poultry meat is still pink but not fresh. So take the time to examine its texture as well as its smell. If the skin feels slimy to the touch, it means the skin has been damaged. The final factor in assessing freshness is smell. If an unpleasant odor makes you feel nauseous, throw it away.

2. Notes when buying meat

To avoid waste, be extra careful when choosing prepackaged cuts of meat in the supermarket. Check the expiration date carefully so you don’t choose a piece of meat that is past its expiration date or is about to go bad. When purchased, use within 2 to 3 days is ideal. If you’re freezing meat, consider defrosting it in cold water or in the refrigerator to prevent bacteria growth.

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Always check the expiration date when buying meat.

3. 5 common mistakes when processing meat

3.1 Washing meat

Unlike vegetables or salads, cleaning chicken thighs or roast beef can be dangerous. “You should not wash meat before cooking because this helps bacteria multiply faster,” recommends Alexandra Retion, a nutritionist in Paris. Raw chicken that comes into contact with water increases the risk of infection with campylobacter bacteria, which is responsible for about 1 million gastrointestinal infections each year in France (according to the Health Watch Institute).

3.2 Keep meat at room temperature

Many people take meat out of the refrigerator (freezer or refrigerator) a few hours before cooking to give it more “flavour”. However, doing this is not without risk. When exposed to air, fresh or frozen meat can become contaminated. Frozen meats need to be thawed for several hours in the refrigerator (up to 24 hours) before cooking. First of all to avoid the growth of bacteria and not break the cold chain.

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Meat should not be thawed at room temperature.

3.3 Defrost in the microwave

To save time, some people choose to quickly defrost meat in the microwave. This is a rather dangerous method because going from cool (freezer or refrigerator) to hot breaks the cold chain, can cause meat to degrade and significantly reduce nutrition.

3.4 Marinate meat before cooking

Many people add seasoning to meat right from the start of cooking to enhance the flavor and make the dish more flavorful. Nutritionist Alexandra Retion recommends: Salting early when cooking allows it to absorb some of the water. However, water is a breeding ground for bacteria. Better to season with salt at the end.

3.5 Frozen meat for too long

Freezers have become an indispensable appliance for households. Although it is convenient, butchers still recommend the consumption of fresh meat because freezing meat does not preserve its nutritional quality. It is best to store the meat and use it quickly within 2-3 days.

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