During times of joy and celebration, besides setting a Cake Stand and a Chocolate Fountain, preparing meat is a must have when it comes to making foods. Pork is pretty commonly used during these times as it’s the preferred choice of a lot of people.
However, pork can be really dangerous if you’re not careful. It’s important to be able to tell when pork has spoiled because if you’re callous enough to cook with spoiled pork, you’re putting your health, along with all the people you intend to feed, at jeopardy.
The dangerous thing about it is that the symptoms won’t arise until three days after consumption. Having consumed bad pork will leave you with a terrible case of food poisoning. You’ll start experiencing cramps, diarrhea, pain, nausea, and vomiting, and we don’t want that now, do we?
It’s surprising how forgetful we can be, and that might cost us a lot of problems lest we are more careful in our surroundings.
To the untrained eye, it can be quite tricky to determine whether or not pork has gone bad.
This blog post will hopefully help you avoid spoiled pork like a pro.
Three Steps To Follow To Inspect The Pork’s Quality:
Here’s three surefire steps to take in order to tell how good your pork is:
#1 – Carefully Inspect The Packaging:
When inspecting the packaging, the first thing you should look for is the label of your packaging. It goes without saying that you should stay away from pork that has surpassed its use-by period.
When buying fresh pork, it is recommended that you use it during the same day, especially if you’re not planning on freezing it. If you really want to keep it in the fridge and use it for another day, you’ll be able to keep it in the Compact Refrigerator for about 3 days without it spoiling, so keep that in mind.
However, if you’re planning on freezing it, then worry not. Meat, when frozen, especially in a Chest Freezer, can stay fresh and clean for up to 3 months without losing its quality and consistency. Sure, freshly bought meat will always be better than frozen meat but the difference is insignificant and sometimes even unnoticeable.
The way you freeze the meat also matters and can help extend the period during which it stays safe to consume. For example, using properly sized freezing bags with zippers or ones that have been adequately sealed utilizing a Vacuum Sealer can definitely help to increase the lifespan of pork. However, it’s recommended to use the meat during the first two months as its quality will inevitably start deteriorating starting from the third month.
#2 – Meticulously Inspect the Meat Using All Your Senses:
While the labels usually contain all you need to know about the meat, keep in mind that a second look up close can never hurt. ‘Better safe than sorry’ is what they say, and in this case, it’s what can save you a lot of trouble.
First and foremost, you should inspect the meat with your eyes. If there are any red flags to be noticed, that’s when they’ll be seen. It doesn’t require much expertise or experience or knowledge to tell good pork from spoiled pork. Going by color is your best bet. Good pork is usually red in color, so that should be your primary concern. Don’t worry about white lines and fat separations when looking at the meat, as they’re quite standard on fresh pork. However, if you see any yellow on it, there’s probably something wrong with it.
While on the subject of color, if you choose to freeze the pork, just keep in mind that its color will shift into a darker red. This is due to the chemical reaction that happens between oxygen and the protein that is contained in the pork loaf. While freezing the meat can significantly limit that reaction, it’s still inevitably going to happen, and the color will change if kept for a long time.
If your meat fades into a darker shade of red, you have two options, either throw it away or just cut off the darker parts if possible as it’s dangerous to consume them.
#3 – Using Touch & Smell to Tell Whether or Not Pork Has Gone Bad:
‘Looks can be deceiving,’ and pork is an excellent example of that saying put into action. While pig meat that fits the aforementioned description can seem healthy, you should also take a closer look at it. Touch can be a great way to uncover any problems with the meat itself.
When inspecting the meat with your hand, keep in mind that pork has a distinctive texture to it. It’s usually tender but consistent when you hold it. So you’re looking for a more firm than soft feel to it when holding it.
Another thing that is characteristic of pork is the slimy feel to it that’s mostly due to the slimy film over the surface. If you feel that it’s way too slimy or way too dry, then it’s probably not fresh.
When it comes to smell, healthy pork shouldn’t have any smell. If the pork reeks of a sour, ammonia-like odor, then you should immediately dispose of it.
Any weird smell that comes from pork is usually due to bacteria attacking its softer surface, and it typically interferes with the texture and consistency of pork while also incurring a weird smell giving away the fact that the pork has been left outside with no proper packaging.
Why You Should Always Preserve Your Pork:
Aside from the fact that spoiled meat can incur food poisoning for those who consume it, it’s your duty as the person cooking with the meat to ensure that it’s of the highest quality possible. You should make sure that the meat you’re cooking with will not endanger your health, or for that matter, the health of any of the people you’re cooking for.
To sum up, what’s been said before, fresh meat should be used on the same day or at max kept for one other day before it’s no longer healthy to consume. If you’re not going to consume it during that period and you plan on storing it and using it during the months to come, you should put it in the freezer. However, if you think you might need it in the following 4 days, you can also put it in the fridge for up to 4 days at most.
You should also keep track of how long you’ve had the meat. It’s very easy to forget about it and leave it until it goes wrong.
If you plan on storing pork in the freezer, you should place it in the proper bags that prevent any air from seeping through. As we’ve mentioned earlier, air, which contains oxygen, is the main culprit behind meat losing its consistency and texture. So keep that in mind when storing your meats.
Forgetting about meat that’s been stored in the fridge is a common thing to happen, and it can cost us money and time as well, so it’s recommended that when you buy meat, you keep track of how long you’ve had and when you’re planning on using it.
If the meat you stored become dark and faded in color, don’t be callous enough to use it in spite of its color as you’ll be prone to food poisoning and a lot of pain that’ll come in the next days. Be responsible and know when to throw out pork. Make sure to use a Cooking Torch when inspecting the pork to notice its accurate colors.
If you’re curious as to how long you can store meat for in the freezer, the answer is 5 months. Though as we mentioned before, it’s best to consume it during the first 2 months of it being stored.
Also keep in mind that once you take the meat out of the chest freezer, you can’t just put it back again. We strongly advise against that.
If, for some reason, you still insist on putting it back, keep two things in mind. You’re not resetting the period of time for which you can store the meat, and second, it’s going to affect the quality of your meat for the worse. In fact, when refreezing meat, you can only keep it for a maximum of 2 weeks before it loses its freshness and becomes inedible.
Pork is a favorite among a lot of people, and it’s easy to see as to why that is. You can encounter pork-based recipes no matter where you are and what cookbook you’re following, be it a French Cookbook, a German Cookbook, or an Irish Cookbook.
If prepared correctly, pork will make for an exquisite meal that’ll please everyone who tastes it. What’s even better is that you can cook it on a Gas Cooktop, an Indoor Grill, or even a Pizza Oven, or even a Microwave.
However, with great power comes great responsibility, so when using pork, you should be mindful of how you store it and how you prepare it as it’s imperative that you stay away from bad pork because otherwise, you’ll be in for an awful time.
Just follow the tips mentioned before and, you should be all good to go when it comes to using pork. You’ll have nothing to worry about if you choose to follow the tips provided in this article.
If you know someone who might benefit from this knowledge, don’t hesitate to reference this article to them and they’ll be thankful for it.
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