Ground meat is a common item for most diets in homes and restaurants. Out of all beef, it’s among the ones bought the most. It’s used in many meals to introduce a great meatyflavor. However, this type of meat tends togo bad fast. Eating non-fresh food is unhealthy. You may have to be extra keen to know when it’s spoilt. So, what ways can you use to tell if your ground beef is bad?

Why is ground beef quick to spoil?

Ground meat is a common type of meat that goes through many processes before it becomes safe for consumption. It gets easily spoilt because of being exposed for too long, leading to the accumulation ofharmful bacteria. There are two bacteria known to spoilground beef, and they include pathogenic bacteria and spoilage bacteria. Although spoilage bacteria are not harmful to the body, it reduces the food’s quality by causing a bad smell and taste. Pathogenic is dangerous to your body. It contaminates food and leads to foodborne diseases. The effect may even cause food poisoning.

Is it possible to know your ground beef has gone bad?

Spoilt or undercooked meat can cause sickness and other bad consequences to people. Sometimes it may be difficult to know if your meat has gone bad. But the good thing is there are some signs you can use to determine whether you should consume your ground beef or discard it. The following can give you clues;


Color is the quickest way to tell if your meat is fresh. A good quality ground meatthat is safe for consumption is bright red. The redness is highly concentrated because of the oxygen that is reacting with the meat elements. The inside of the meat, however, is not red. Instead, it’s grey-brown because it does not react with oxygen. But the outside surface should not be grayish-brown because it’s unhealthy to consume and needs to be discarded. This color change indicates the meat has begun getting bad.


The texture is another direct way of determining the freshness of your meat. Spoilt meat is sticky when you touch it. If you feel a slimy texture, throw the meat because the bacteria have multiplied and destroyed the fresh coating, thus creating a slime-feeling surface. You can avoid scattering these bacteria by washing your hands after handling the meat.


With just smelling your meat, you can tell if it’s good for consumption or not. Any unpleasant smell should raise the alarm. The bad odor is due to the multiplication of spoilage bacteria. However, keep in mind that not every time spoilt meat will give an irritating smell. Pathogenic bacteria are likely to cause nostencheven if the meat’s freshness is in the worst condition. So, if it happens, you don’t smell anything wrong, but you can seeother signs of spoilt meat, get rid of it.

Examine the meat’s expiration date

Thanks to manufacturers it’s easy for consumers to judge a product’s freshness. While in the retail shop, check the shelf life and be wise enough to pick the one with more days before reaching the expiry date. Raw ground meat can remain fresh for about 1-3 days. A cooked version can stay 7-10 days without going bad. You should throw away your meat if it’s beyond the expiration date to avoid food poisoning.

Why is it unsafe to eat bad ground meat?

Food poisoning is mostly a result of eating foods that have gone bad. If you eat a non-fresh food, you’ll experience the following symptoms; fever, nausea, stomach upset, dehydration, stools with blood traces, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominalcramps. Some of these symptoms are life-threatening.

How can you prevent your meat from going bad?

It’s painful when any buyer invests in food only to find out it’s not fit for consumption. As a good consumer, you can’t maintain the freshness of your ground meat forever, but you can extend its survival days. Here is how;

Be keen on the expiry date

When buying your meat, go for the freshest among them all. Choose the one with the farthest date of expiry. Using this trickallows you to have more time with your ground meat. Still, you’ll have to put effort into how you maintain it. You canbuy the freshest, but if it’s handled badly, it can go bad even before passing the expiration date.

Maintain cleanliness when touching it

Being clean with your meat can help to extend its survival abilities. Wash your hands before and after touching it to prevent spreading the bacteria.

Separate raw meat from other foods

Ensure you keep raw meat far from the rest of the foods; this applies to when you’re cooking or storing your foodstuffs.

Cook it well

Cooking helps kill the bacteria in uncooked foods, especially in raw animal products that tend to cause illness to humans. While cooking your meat, ensure the temperature is enough and the cooking time issufficient to cook the meat well. If you’re using a food thermometer, the right temperature to use for your ground meat is 71 degrees, and the beef should not be exposed to air for more than 2hours.

Watch how you refrigerate

Refrigerating or freezing food helps to extend the shelf life of foods. Even so, your item can go bad if you don’t use the right temperature. Again, it’s not safe to refrigerate your ground meat for too long.

Is ground beef the same as a hamburger?

Hamburgers and ground beef are often used interchangeably, yet the two are not the same.You cannot add beef to have a better combination with ground beef, but hamburgers allow you to do so.In terms of purpose, they both serve the same.


If you’re a meat lover, you’d want to enjoy the most of your ground beef. You can appreciate the sweetness by adding it to your meals. Althoughit can be difficult to identifyspoilt meat when it’s raw, signs like color, texture, and smell can tell you if it’s safe for consumption.

Tatyana Dyachenko

For the past years, Tatyana has worked as a sex blogger and a relationship advisor. She has been featured in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue. Vice, Tatler, Vanity Fair, and many others. Since 2016, Tatyana has focused on sexology, attended various training courses, participated in international conferences and congresses. “I wish people would address sexual issues in a timely manner! Forget shyness, prejudice and feel free to see a sex doctor for help or advice!” Tanya enjoys pursuing her flare for creativity through modelling, graffiti art, astronomy, and technology.