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View Full Version : What does bad meat look like when you can't smell?



FruitsAlive
01-24-2007, 04:40 PM
For the past few years, I have developed allergic anosmia. When my allergies are in full force, like right now, I can only smell something faintly if it is incredibly malodorous. Here's the question...
I have had a chuck roast defrosting in the fridge since Sunday. I always rinse the blood off of the meat before I season it. When I smelled the bag, I could detect something slightly off. When I smell the rinsed meat, I get nothing. The meat looks good...red, not slimey, etc. But, I can't smell it to be sure. Should I just go with the visuals and hope for the best?

SandyM
01-24-2007, 05:01 PM
Quite frankly, why risk it? I personally would err on the side of caution.

I'm probably in the minority on that, though.

sneezles
01-24-2007, 05:02 PM
I'd use the meat. Foul beef is very gray in color and even with my bad sense of smell (high school chem lab) bad beef and bad chicken come through loud and clear! Is it red when you cut into the raw meat? I know these days some beef is injected with gas to make them look red...not sure if that would hold up through freezing the meat though.

Clover
01-24-2007, 05:11 PM
If I took meat out of the freezer on Sunday and put it in the refrigerator, it would be at least Tuesday before it was thawed out. It wouldn't have had time to go bad in the fridge by Wednesday. I don't know how cold your refrigerator is, though. Can you have somebody else smell it for you?

FruitsAlive
01-24-2007, 05:12 PM
Sneezles, it's red when I cut into it and otherwise looks good. I would hate to throw away a perfectly good cut of meat because I might have smelled something foul. It was still incredibly cold, as well, so I don't know that it is all that likely that it could have gone bad. The outside is that brownish color and the inside was deep red.
Would it still smell bad after I wash it off if it is bad? That always concerns me, too.

Thanks for your help!

sneezles
01-24-2007, 05:20 PM
Would it still smell bad after I wash it off if it is bad? That always concerns me, too.

Thanks for your help!

Yes, it would still smell bad. Since it's red inside I would agree with Clover and would use it.

FruitsAlive
01-24-2007, 05:22 PM
Alright, I'm gonna brave it. Thanks everyone. The only ones here who could smell it are on four legs and would eat anything. :)

Not to hijack my own thread, but...Sneezles, I'm dying to know about this HS chem lab incident.

sneezles
01-24-2007, 05:25 PM
Not to hijack my own thread, but...Sneezles, I'm dying to know about this HS chem lab incident.

Idiot lab partner mixed up god knows what and then convinced me it didn't smell so bad! So like an idiot I took a good whiff and burned my nostrils and have had a very limited sense of smell since then...so I guess I was a bigger idiot!:o

Peweh
01-24-2007, 09:59 PM
Idiot lab partner mixed up god knows what and then convinced me it didn't smell so bad! So like an idiot I took a good whiff and burned my nostrils and have had a very limited sense of smell since then...so I guess I was a bigger idiot!:o

Sneezles maybe we should start a chem lab incident thread. I can't remember what my lab partner and I spilled on ourselves in Organic lab but from the sidelong glance I could get while using the eyewash, he sure did look cute stripped down to his boxers in the emergency shower thing. ;)

Back from the hijack - I would have used the roast, too! Hope it worked out.

lindrusso
01-25-2007, 06:21 AM
If I took meat out of the freezer on Sunday and put it in the refrigerator, it would be at least Tuesday before it was thawed out. It wouldn't have had time to go bad in the fridge by Wednesday. I don't know how cold your refrigerator is, though. Can you have somebody else smell it for you?

Not that I wouldn't use the meat in this case, but even careful handling won't protect you if the meat you bought was bad to begin with.

This happened to me with a pork tenderloin. Pork tenderloins are often sold in vacuum-packed packages - no way to tell if they smell bad. The date was fine and I kept it chilled, but when I opened it - PHEW - no question it was bad. I returned it to the store. When the lady went to open the bag to peek, I told her she probably didn't want to do that! :D :eek: Nothing like permeating your customer service desk with the smell of rotted meat - not very good advertising.............

FruitsAlive
01-25-2007, 08:02 AM
DP and I are still alive, so it looks like the meat was ok after all. It's so frustrating to love cooking and be unable to smell things.

Back to the hijack...I loved the science labs. Chem, bio, marine bio... I got stuck with idiot lab partners, but luckily the worst that happened to me was getting squirted with disgustingness when my lab partner thought it amusing to poke a dead shark's eye.

Curiosity Hears
01-25-2007, 10:04 AM
FruitsAlive,

I am sorry I didn't see this thread sooner. You and I are in the same boat. A few years ago I too pretty much lost my sense of smell due to extreme allergies. When I can smell I smell things no one else smells so it seems my smeller is unreliable. My doctor seems relatively disinterested but next time I go I will be insisting on going to a specialist. He did however get my allergies under control and he thought that in itself would bring back my sense of smell.

It is so frustrating not being able to smell things when cooking. If it wasn't for cooking so much over the last almost forty years I would be lost in the kitchen.

What does your doctor say about your smeller? I really want this sense back! Any words of wisdom or advice???

Carrie
:)

Edited to add: P.S. Based on the redness of the meat and the lack of slimy feeling I would have absolutely cooked it too.

FruitsAlive
01-25-2007, 10:18 AM
Carrie,

It's so nice to know someone else who is in this boat. My doc was disinterested, too. He dismissed it initially because I used to smoke. He said that it should get better after a few months when I quit smoking. It's now been well over a year, and it's gotten worse. I have yet to find a good dr to take it seriously. Of all my senses, I guess smell is one I would choose to lose if I had to, but it really is incredibly frustrating.
It's kind of odd to see that you developed this problem in the last few years, because we live in the same area. I'm sure it's coincidence, but I wonder if there are other people out here with the same problem. Could there be something new out here causing the allergy?
I'm going to have to pay attention to it when I visit other places.

B :)

sneezles
01-25-2007, 10:46 AM
I always thought that the sense of smell and the sense of taste were directly related. I can still smell fairly well but the sense seems to shut down when I overload it (ie. smelling perfumes) or my allergies are in full bloom.

Do you find the loss of your sense of smell has an affect on your sense of taste?

Curiosity Hears
01-25-2007, 11:08 AM
At first it didn't seem to effect my sense of taste too much but as time goes on I am noticing it is to some extent. It is very frustrating because cooking is my favorite hobby. Thus far, luckily, it has not seemed to effect my abilities in the kitchen.

FruitsAlive, I am sending you a pm.

FruitsAlive
01-25-2007, 02:56 PM
Sneezles,
I'm not sure if it has had much of an impact on my ability to taste, but I do wonder if some of it isn't the power of suggestion. For instance, I know what diet coke tastes like, so it doesn't seem different to me. On the other hand, I have been more hung up on textures of food lately than on the tastes. Maybe it's a side effect.
Luckily, if everything is fresh, I don't have much of a problem cooking. Seasonings, spices, etc., all kind of translate in my head the way mixing colors does. I've been painting since I was a child, and mixing flavors is very much like mixing colors for me. It's odd, I guess. I am much more aware of my taste buds now and I can sense certain smells in what I am eating in the very back of my nose. Sometimes I can't tell whether I'm tasting or smelling.

LoganRollo
02-18-2007, 12:17 AM
First thing to note: All Beef will appear gray even when only a day or two old.
Next: Meats that are purchased from grocery stores, "butchers", and delis are not fresh. They have been frozen in large cuts to be trimmed down by the store. Stores such as Wal-Mart no longer have true meat cutting facilities and simply sell prepackaged meats. When they appear red to you in the store, it is a combination of a very small amount of blood and a lot of red food coloring. If it were truly only blood it would coagulate after a few days and you would have either hard lumps of a very dark red substance or a gelatinous lump of a very dark red substance depending on the length of time since initial exposure to air.
Last: When you go to a steak house, and you see a menu item that says "aged" that means that it has been sitting in a refrigerated environment for several days. Usually at about 36 to 40 degrees. This increases tenderness and flavor. Naturally occurring enzymes break down the meat slowly and loosen the cellular bonds a bit making it tender.

I hope this helps all of you a bit..

Note: Pre-packaged meats like the pork tenderloins mentioned below are always a crap shoot. You do not know if it was handled correctly or not and you do not know how long it sat unrefrigerated before packaging.

It is always best to find a slaughter house in your area and ask them who they are selling meats to directly so that you can obtain then freshest and unfrozen cuts of meat. My local slaughter house is actually willing to sell me the cuts I want and at a much lower cost than going to a shop. I can get 20 pounds of ground sirloin for less than $15. I get my tenderloin steaks for about $2 a pound.

Bon Appétit
Chef Logan

Beth
02-18-2007, 03:04 AM
Fruitsalive, have you ever considere analeternative form of medicine? My huess is not that doctors won't' take you serioulsy but that they don't know what to do. It's not imminently life threatenungm so they let you go.

As I saw this thread again, accupuncture and Chinese medicine came to mind. In their thousands of years, they might hace something toaddress the issue -- or at least an approach to restore balance and try tohelp. I did some accupuncture for my neck. I'm not a total convert -- I still see regular doctors, but I'd say it's worth a try.

BTW, hope the meat was good. I don't know that you can rely on loooks until something would be really bad. You might notoce a change in texture first.

sneezles
02-18-2007, 08:29 AM
First thing to note: All Beef will appear gray even when only a day or two old.
Next: Meats that are purchased from grocery stores, "butchers", and delis are not fresh. They have been frozen in large cuts to be trimmed down by the store. Stores such as Wal-Mart no longer have true meat cutting facilities and simply sell prepackaged meats. When they appear red to you in the store, it is a combination of a very small amount of blood and a lot of red food coloring. If it were truly only blood it would coagulate after a few days and you would have either hard lumps of a very dark red substance or a gelatinous lump of a very dark red substance depending on the length of time since initial exposure to air.
Last: When you go to a steak house, and you see a menu item that says "aged" that means that it has been sitting in a refrigerated environment for several days. Usually at about 36 to 40 degrees. This increases tenderness and flavor. Naturally occurring enzymes break down the meat slowly and loosen the cellular bonds a bit making it tender.

I hope this helps all of you a bit..

Note: Pre-packaged meats like the pork tenderloins mentioned below are always a crap shoot. You do not know if it was handled correctly or not and you do not know how long it sat unrefrigerated before packaging.

It is always best to find a slaughter house in your area and ask them who they are selling meats to directly so that you can obtain then freshest and unfrozen cuts of meat. My local slaughter house is actually willing to sell me the cuts I want and at a much lower cost than going to a shop. I can get 20 pounds of ground sirloin for less than $15. I get my tenderloin steaks for about $2 a pound.

Bon Appétit
Chef Logan

Wow! Talk about some wrong information! All beef is aged (and done under refrigeration at just above freezing, 30-35 degrees F). The color of the beef is determined by the amount of glycogen the animal had in it's muscles at the time of slaughter. Beef is either dry-aged or wet-aged. Dry age is when the carcass or large cuts are hung for up to 3 weeks, costs more to produce, has a loss of meat in the process. Wet-aged is what we usually find at any butcher, grocery store, or processor.

Beef can spoil if held at 40 degrees, temp of most home fridges, so it's recommended that you only keep beef in your home fridge for no more than 2 days.

Raw beef turns red once it's exposed to oxygen which is why our meats are sold with clear film packaging so that it can turn red since consumers base freshness on color. Vacuum packed meats have not been exposed to oxygen so they will not appear to be red in color. Over exposure to oxygen will cause the meat to turn grey. If your meat is grey all the way through or does not turn red when exposed to oxygen for about 15 minutes then it's spoiled.

Vacuum-packaged meats, including pork tenderloin, are perfectly safe unless it was mishandled (held above 40 degrees F). Most pork tenderloins that are vacuum packed are injected with a sodium solution to help extend shelf-life. And grocers/butchers have been caught re-labeling meat...