How to tell if Cooked Meat is Bad

Most times, people eat bad meat for many different reasons. Some may eat bad meat because they do not know that it has spoiled before eating it.

Another reason may be that they are operating a tight budget and they don’t want to waste food. It is true that meat is expensive and most times more expensive than other foods in any meal, yet eating a bad one is dangerous.


Cook's Illustrated Meat Book
Cook’s Illustrated

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Any bad meat whether it is raw or cooked is the host of bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus, Bacillus, Salmonella, and Clostridium.

These food-transmitted diseases are the causative agents of millions of intoxication cases yearly. Almost 90% of these cases are as a result of consuming Cooked Meat that went bad.

Do not even try to carry out a dialogue with yourself such as; is this meat safe to eat? Should I throw this meat away or not? If you dare consume the meat, it can cause stomach aches and food poisoning.

According to a report from the United States Department of Agriculture, the number of bacteria in bad meat can increase two times every twenty minutes if the temperature for preservation is at 40 degrees to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

That is the reason you should meticulously test your meat to know if it has gone bad not just the ordinary testing. It is advisable to cut the meat with Knives for Cutting Meat.

It is then that you can have a proper look inside the meat. If you find out slimy chunks or funny spots, it is a signal that it is bad.

Furthermore, if you know how to tell that your cooked meat is bad, you will be able to avoid the harmful effects of getting food poisoning.

How to tell if Cooked Meat is Bad

Naturally, recognizing bad meat when it is already cooked is a little bit tricky. However, if you follow the steps of discovery in this article, you will be able to pass this hurdle. They are as follows;


A chicken plate


  • Mold

Whenever you open your pot of cooked meat and see that layers of mold have covered the meat, it is the time to trash them to your garbage disposal.

Most people often trim out the bad part if they see that it is just spotted growing on the meat.

It is not advisable to eat the meat since there is no way you can tell whether that type of mold is harmless if you eat it.

You should just call it quits with the whole meat if you notice that fuzzy things are taking over.

  • Change in the Texture

A change in the texture of cooked meat always signifies that there is a problem somewhere. The best thing you should do in this case is to throw away the whole package.

Don’t even try using it to prepare other meals because the meat has become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.

  • Slimy Film

Recognizing that your meat is bad when it is cooked already is not easy. However, the obvious way that you can tell that it is bad is when you find slimy film substances covering your meat.

Anytime cooked meat feels a bit slimy, or damp, it is a sure sign that the meat is bad.

Whenever you see a slimy film covering your meat, don’t even try using your tongue to taste it. You can follow other measures to taste except putting the meat into your mouth to avoid food poisoning.

  • Discoloration

It does not necessarily mean that your meat is bad when it changes color. Meat can change its color due to exposure to temperature, air, and light. Simple discolorations cannot render your meat harmful.

However, if the discoloration comes with a sticky or slimy film, you should run for your life. It is a sure sign that all is not well and it is advisable to trash the meat immediately.

  • Rancid Odor

Anytime you start perceiving a rancid smell coming out from your cooked meat; it is signifying that your meat is bad. If you are not sure, you can always sniff the meat to be sure.

It is not usually easy to sniff out cooked meat but tries as much as you can to sniff your meat before eating it.


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Roger Murphy

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Tips to Prevent Meat from Going Bad

  • When you want to buy your meat, make sure to check the expiry date written on its package. If you find out that the meat has passed its expiry date, do not buy it.

No matter the asking price for that particular meat, do not buy it without seeing the expiry date on the package for safety purposes.

  • Thoroughly inspect the color of the meat you want to buy since it is a major indication of spoiled meat. Most people think that fresh meat is the one that is bright red.

Unknown to them, the redness is not the meat’s natural color but as a result of its exposure to air. The best color for poultry meat is bluish-white or yellow while for pork, it is pink-grayish color.

  • Perceive the meat to check if you can smell a rancid odor coming out from it. No matter the type of meat it does not buy if it smells horrible.


  • Carefully check the meat closely before buying to see if there is any form of stickiness or slimy substance on it.


  • Another sure way that you can prevent your meat from going bad is by preservation. Just take security measures like freezing the meat and storing it in the appropriate temperature. It will retain its primary nutritional properties and still be good to eat.


According to the USDA, it is dangerous for health to eat bad meat even if you have cooked it.

Immediately you notice that your cooked meat emits a rancid or ammonia odor, looks gray or slimy, and feels damp, moldy, or sticky, it is a sure sign that it has gone bad.

If after checking your meat and you are assured that it is not bad, you are free to eat the meat without putting yourself or family in harm’s way.

You can even use the meat to prepare incredible meatballs or a barbecue with your family and friends. So, better start merinading your meat now!

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