What Does Spoiled Meat Smell Like?

Spoiled meat is one of the most dangerous foods you can eat. Have you ever opened up a fridge only to be hit in the face with an intense smell? If so, you may have had spoiled meat on your hands. 

While spoiled meat doesn’t always smell terrible, it’s helpful to know how to identify it so that you can avoid eating food poisoning.

We will discuss the smell of spoiled meat in this blog post. Furthermore, we will explain how to prevent spoiled meat. So, if you’re wondering “what does spoiled meat smell like?”, read on to find out.

Can you tell what spoiled meat smells like?

When meat becomes foul-smelling, it usually develops a sour, ammonia-like smell. This occurs as a result of protein breakdown in the meat. The odor will be most intense near the surface of the meat, so you may not notice it if the meat is wrapped tightly. 

Eating meat that has turned toxic can cause food poisoning, so it is imperative to be able to identify the smell.

What are the causes of foul-smelling meat?

There are several causes of spoiled meat, but the most common are given below:

1. Unclean slaughtered:

If the animal is not slaughtered cleanly and hygienically, the meat will be contaminated with bacteria that can cause food to smell nasty. Consuming such meat will most likely make you sick.

2. Badly butchered:

When the meat is not properly butchered, it can cause the meat to spoil quickly. There are several ways in which this can occur, such as if the animal is not bled properly. Furthermore, if the butchers do not have clean hands, utensils, and/or work surfaces.

3. Inadequate storage:

It is extremely crucial to store meat properly in order to prevent it from spoiling. This can happen if the meat is not refrigerated or frozen immediately after purchase, if it is not wrapped tightly, or if it is stored near other food that may cause it to spoil. For example, raw meat should never be stored above cooked food, otherwise, raw meat bacteria can spread to cooked food.

4. Oxygen exposure:

The most common cause of meat spoilage is this. When meat is exposed to air, it begins to oxidize and turn brown. As a result of heat and humidity, this process is accelerated. Moreover, oxygen also causes bacteria to grow, which further speeds up the process of spoilage.

4. Poor Quality Meat:

If the meat is of poor quality, to begin with, it will spoil quickly. This can be due to the animal being sick, or not being adequately fed and/or watered. In addition, if the meat is not fresh (i.e. it has been sitting out for a while), it is more likely to spoil.

6. Insects and rodents:

If insects or rodents get into the meat, they will contaminate it with their feces, which can cause food to smell so horrible. In addition, they may also carry disease-causing bacteria, which can make you sick.

Is there any other sign or symptom of spoiled meat?

Yes there are other signs and symptoms of spoiled meat including:

1. Discolored, either brown or gray:

When meat spoils, it changes color
When meat spoils, it changes its color

Sometimes meat will change color when it begins to spoil. That’s because there are germs there, which can turn the flesh into a different hue. In the event that you see meat 

that is discolored, you should avoid eating it.

2. Bad odor:

Spoiled meat will often have a terrible odor. This is another sign that the meat has gone to waste and should not be eaten otherwise you may become ill.

3. Slimy texture:

The slimy texture is another sign of spoiled meat when bacteria have begun to form. The meat should be avoided if it has a slimy texture.

4. Dry and hard:

Contaminated meat can also become dry and stiff. Sour meat usually indicates that it has been in the fridge for too long. In some cases, though, properly stored dried and crumbled meat may still be safe to eat.

5. Moldy:

Mold is one of the most common signs that meat has been put to waste. Mold is a fuzzy growth that can be white, blue, green, or black, and it can cause nausea and vomiting. A person with a mold allergy may experience more severe reactions if they eat moldy meat.

How to prevent your meat from getting rotten?

To prevent your meat from spoiling, you can do a few things.

1. Keep it refrigerated:

Preventing your meat from rotting by storing it in the fridge

Cold temperatures will slow down the growth of bacteria, so keeping your meat refrigerated is one of the most effective ways to prevent it from spoiling. While you are storing your meat in the fridge, make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This helps protect the meat from coming into contact with other food in the fridge which could contaminate it. The meat should be kept in the back of the fridge, where it is the coolest. You should also keep in mind that once the meat is cooked, it should also be stored in the fridge. This is because it should be eaten within three to four days otherwise it will spoil.

2. Put it in the freezer:

Another easy way to prevent the meat from spoiling is to freeze it. Be sure to wrap the meat tightly in freezer paper or plastic wrap when freezing. Preventing freezer burn will prevent the meat from spoiling prematurely. Label the meat with the date it was frozen as well. This way, you can keep track of how long it has been in the freezer.

3. Proper slaughtering:

If you are slaughtering the animal yourself, be sure to do it properly. Cutting as close to the bone as possible means making a clean cut through the jugular vein. If the animal is not properly bled out, the meat will start to spoil quickly and will ultimately cause a terrible smell. Make sure that all of the entrails are removed from the animal as well. If any of the intestines or other organs are left in, it will cause the meat to spoil and will create a foul odor.

4. Safe butchering:

Meat rotting is prevented by safe butchering
Meat rotting is prevented by safe butchering

If you are going to be butchering your meat, it is imperative to do so safely. Prior to and after using any equipment, ensure it is thoroughly cleaned. Keeping your work area sanitized is also a necessity to prevent the meat from becoming contaminated with bacteria. Moreover, it is critical to keep the meat cool during the butchering process.

5. Cook it immediately:

If you are not planning to freeze the meat, cook it immediately because the longer it sits, the more time bacteria have to grow or produce toxins. It is common for people who prepare meat to forget this rule. They think that it is okay to let the meat sit out for a few minutes before roasting. However, this is not the case. It is also advisable to cut the meat into smaller pieces so that it will cook faster. By doing this, you will reduce the risk of bacteria growing on the meat’s surface

Final Verdict:

Spoiled meat causes a terrible smell and can lead to poisoning and other health problems. So there are a few different ways to prevent the meat from going off, including keeping it refrigerated, freezing it, and properly slaughtering and butchering the animal. If you follow these tips, you can enjoy your meat without worrying.

In this guide, we have suggested ways to keep the meat from going rotten and also describe other signs and symptoms associated with spoilt meat. Hopefully, they helped provide you with information on how to keep your meat fresh. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below.


How long does meat last in the fridge to prevent a bad smell?

The ideal time to eat cooked meat after refrigerating it is within three to four days. After this time, the meat will start to spoil and will produce a nasty smell. On the other hand, uncooked meat can last for up to two weeks in the fridge.

What are the signs that my meat is rotten?

There are a few signs to tell if meat is contaminated. These include a foul smell, mold growth, and color changes. If you notice any of these signs, it is wise to throw the meat away.

Do frozen meats last long?

Yes, frozen meat can last for up to six months in the freezer. However, it is critical to note that the quality of the meat will start to decline after this time.

What is the proper way to store meat?

The most effective way to store meat is in the fridge or freezer. If you are planning to freeze the meat, make sure to wrap it tightly in freezer paper or plastic wrap. This will prevent freezer burn, which can cause the meat to spoil prematurely.

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