Pork, just like other meat and kitchen ingredients, are perishable. They don't last long, especially if kept raw. Proper procedures to ensure their quality must be followed so that spoilage can be avoided at all costs.
But how to tell if pork is bad already? Is there any method that can determine the freshness of this meat? Well, just read on to find out the answers and more!
How To Tell If Pork Is Bad
Most of us enjoy having pork as part of our regular cuisine. The meat itself is quite versatile. It can work on various recipes and features a taste that is quite acceptable to many. Except for people who are not allowed to eat this meat for reasons like religion and lifestyle preferences, it is pretty safe to say that everyone likes pork.
Another great thing about pork is its usability. Every cut can serve different recipes and taste buds. Even the bones of pork are even considered a treat by many, especially when it is included in grilling or frying.
But before you can enjoy this meat, you have to make sure that it is fresh first. After all, meat products can satisfy you the best if they are fresh and new. Aged pork is not good, unless you have dried them or turned them into jerky. But even so, you have to be reminded that the meat is not old when you used it.
So how can you identify if the pork is not good for consumption already? Here are some of the tested and proven methods.
Method #1: Smell It
Does the pork smell like eggs? Is the smell quite repulsive already?
Well, these are surefire signs that the pork might not be safe to be cooked already.
Of course, we all know that the smell of the food indicates its quality. Good food tends to emit an alluring aroma and fragrance. On the other hand, bad and spoiled ones may smell pungent.
Therefore, if the pork smells funny in general, then you should chuck it out from your kitchen. You don't want the meat to have an odor that is strange and suspicious to your nose. That alone proves that it is not safe to be eaten because of the inevitable presence of bacteria.
So how does raw pork smell in the first place?
The answer is simple. It has a neutral scent. Actually, it is not exactly neutral, but it is subtle enough that you don't have problems smelling it.
What does rotten pork smell like? Well, it is simply bad. One could say that it is unbearable. In fact, the horrid odor can make even some people puke.
Of course, let me emphasize that if a vacuum packed pork smells bad, you have to do some testing first. You see, meat that has been unsealed from a vacuum package can emit a particular odor. Once you wash it, that odor could be gone. However, if the unwanted smell is still there even after you washed it, then you should dispose of it already.
Method #2: Be Keen To Color Changes
The color of the pork is also a determinant of its freshness. When choosing pork in the market, it is essential that you can check the color of its flesh. A fresh one always yields a pinkish to reddish color. There are strands of white, too.
As the meat begins to age, these colors also change gradually. While the brownish pork looks okay, it is actually not. It is an indicator that the meat is close to its expiration, and you should use it immediately if you don't want to throw it at all. Of course, once the color gets worse, then don't hesitate to dispose of the pork meat already. If the color of the pork is showing accents of green and grey, stay away from it.
There are various reasons as to why the meat changes its color as time passes by. The breakdown of protein, molding, and the presence of yeast are among the crucial factors that alter the hue of the meat.
If the insides of the meat are still reddish in color, then it is generally safe to eat. Just strip the top portion of the pork that you deem old and cook the remaining parts.
Method #3: Press The Meat
People who buy pork and other meat products tend to press them. I am pretty sure that you have seen someone doing it in the past. And while it is true that it appears odd, there's validity to the purpose of this habit.
Your sense of touch can also help in assessing the freshness of the pork. A fresh one is firm but still responsive when being pressed. When you pin your finger to a slice of fresh meat, you'll notice that it will sink slightly to the flesh. After pressing, the pressed part will bounce back to its original structure. An old meat has lost this kind of firmness already. The latter might get too hard or too soft, depending on how it was stored or treated.
Furthermore, you can use your hands to sense if the pork is moist or not. Too much moist could mean that pork is already spoiled. However, even the dry ones don't automatically guarantee their freshness. You still need to press it and assess if it is still usable in the kitchen or not. Of course, if the meat has dried already, that's another sign that you should not purchase or cook it anymore.
Keep in mind that not all markets and grocery stores allow people to touch meat and other perishable products. You just have to ask for permission from the retailers first before you do this test.
All of these methods are guaranteed to help you to check the freshness of pork and other meat products. You should use them every time you are dealing with these particular kitchen ingredients. By doing so, you are doing yourself a favor by not eating something that could give you a quick tour to the hospital. Certainly, nobody wants to deal with foodborne illnesses.
And of course, fresh meat tastes better! There's no arguing about that.
I hope you have learned from this guide. If you have other questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comment section below.