How do I know when meat is bad?

Reader Contribution by Cole Ward
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<span style=”COLOR: rgb(0,0,0)” data-mce-style=”color: #000000;”>It’ll start losing its color.  Red meat will start turning brown.  It’ll have a sour smell</span>. </span>
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<span style=”COLOR: rgb(0,0,0)” data-mce-style=”color: #000000;”>If it’s really bad, it’ll get a glossy golden-colored film on it.  Pork tends to turn more towards the green side.  It’ll get grayish first, then have a really rancid smell. </span>
<span style=”COLOR: rgb(0,0,0)” data-mce-style=”color: #000000;”>Chicken will get a sheen.</span>
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<em>Starting to feel queasy???</em>
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Chicken tends to be higher in bacteria than meat, so it’s something I’m more careful with.   If I’m not using the chicken today, I won’t buy it.  I always wash my chicken in cold water.  And I always sanitize my hands, the faucets, and anything that the chicken touches.</span>
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<span style=”COLOR: rgb(0,0,0)” data-mce-style=”color: #000000;”>One of the reasons butchers don’t cut chicken on the same bench we cut meat on <em>(unless the bench has been thoroughly sanitized)</em>, is that chicken needs to be cooked properly.</span>
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<span style=”COLOR: rgb(0,0,0)” data-mce-style=”color: #000000;”>Beef you often eat rare.  If you were to eat a rare steak that had touched chicken, then you could end up with a little salmonella … or other stuff like stomach upset, diarrhea . You get the picture.</span>
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<span style=”COLOR: rgb(0,0,0)” data-mce-style=”color: #000000;”>So sanitization is extremely important, and today, any good butcher will understand this.  Wasn’t always so. I’ve heard a lot of older butchers say to me, “I wonder how many people we made sick in the old days,” when they cut chicken on the same bench as meat.</span>
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<span style=”COLOR: rgb(0,0,0)” data-mce-style=”color: #000000;”>Every hour, the bacteria count doubles on a cutting bench.  So if the bacteria count is say, 50,000, in an hour it’s 100,000, in 2 hours it’s 200,000.  That’s why it’s so important to sanitize your cutting areas frequently.</span>
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<span style=”COLOR: rgb(0,0,0)” data-mce-style=”color: #000000;”>Oh, about chicken… If you want to check how fresh a chicken is, smell the <span style=”TEXT-DECORATION: underline” data-mce-style=”text-decoration: underline;”>bone</span> parts first.  If it’s a whole chicken, try to smell inside the cavity.</span>
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<span style=”COLOR: rgb(0,0,0)” data-mce-style=”color: #000000;”>Happy worry-free eating!</span>
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