What does bad meat smell like?

Beef that’s gone bad has a sour smell. Sometimes with an aroma like milk that has gone off.

Eating meat that has gone off, or is slimy, can cause food poisoning.

How can you tell if steak has gone bad? Smell is the first indicator followed by color.

First thing: Fresh meat, like fresh fish, has no smell. If you get a sour odor from a piece of meat, you need to be careful. It may not be safe to eat. We have a maxim in our trade, “If in doubt, throw it out”. 

There are lots of reasons meat goes bad:

  • Live handling
  • Unclean slaughter
  • Incorrect storage
  • Insufficient refrigeration
  • Poor handling,
  • The wrong packaging
  • How long since slaughter
  • Incorrect handling after purchase
  • Home refrigerator not working properly, among others.

Be careful though, meats with preservatives, i.e., some sausages and cured meats, if kept too long, can carry dangerous pathogens even though there may be no smell. Always buy from a trusted source.

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