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Thread: Ground beef turned brown - still OK?

  1. #1

    Ground beef turned brown - still OK?

    I'm sure this is a really dumb question but I don't cook a lot of meat (precisely because I don't know the answers to this stuff and always think I'll end up poisoning myself!)
    I bought some ground beef yesterday (which was all pink and normal looking) and meant to cook it last night but didn't get a chance. I planned to cook it today but when I opened the frig this morning it had turned brown in the package - is this OK? The "sell by" date was yesterday - can it still be used today or should I throw it away?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    Sell by dates can be arbitrary depending on store. (below I copied from a website ).

    Optimum surface color of fresh meat (i.e., cherry-red for beef; dark cherry-red for lamb; grayish-pink for pork; and pale pink for veal) is highly unstable and short-lived. When meat is fresh and protected from contact with air (such as in vacuum packages), it has the purple-red color that comes from myoglobin, one of the two key pigments responsible for the color of meat. When exposed to air, myoglobin forms the pigment, oxymyoglobin, which gives meat a pleasingly cherry-red color. The use of a plastic wrap that allows oxygen to pass through it helps ensure that the cut meats will retain this bright red color. However, exposure to store lighting as well as the continued contact of myoglobin and oxymyoglobin with oxygen leads to the formation of metmyoglobin. (this alters the color.)

    so to answer your question
    If it smells "off" and feels sticky or tacky or slimey...dump it.
    Otherwise, it should be fine.
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

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