Why Does Ground Meat Turn Black? What You Need to Know

Minced meat is a very versatile food and can be used in making all sorts of yummy dishes like burgers, meatballs, ragù, and many others. You can get it from different animals like cows, pigs, lambs, or chickens, depending on what you like. The color of the meat can be red, brown, or even darker. But what to do when we see it dark? Is it still edible or not? Let’s see how to behave in these cases.

How to make sure ground beef is still edible

Ground meat is dark: how to know if it is still edible

When we go shopping and buy minced meat, it may happen that we bring it home and realize that it has a very dark color. Knowing if it’s still okay to eat is crucial for keeping our food safe. There are a few things to look at to see if the ground beef is fresh. First, like with any other food, check the expiration date on the label.

If ground meat turns brown, it might be due to oxidation or exposure to air. The natural pink color of meat comes from a protein called myoglobin, which changes color when it comes into contact with oxygen. This process doesn’t always mean the meat is spoiled, but it’s crucial to consider other factors to confirm its edibility.

Smell plays a key role in assessing ground meat. Fresh meat usually has a sweet or very faint odor, but if there’s a presence of bacteria or other harmful elements, it may give off a bad smell. Another factor is consistency – if the meat feels sticky, slimy, or has an unusual texture, it might not be good anymore.

preparing minced meat in the machine

Also, keep an eye out for any green or gray spots on the meat, as these could be indicators of mold or bacterial growth. If you spot these signs, it’s safe to avoid consuming the meat.

To prevent oxidation and maintain the freshness of minced meat, store it in the refrigerator at temperatures below 4°C. It’s best to use the meat within a day or two of purchase to maintain its maximum quality.

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