Peculiarly Brown-Looking Stew Meat: Safe for My Slow-Cooker?
October 3, 2010 9:19 PM   Subscribe

Food Safety Filter (sorry): Is this stew meat safe to eat? We just bought it today. Sell by date is October 6. Meat is deeply brown-red, with areas that are brown enough to look cooked already.

Picture can be found here:

We are weirded out, but maybe this is a common thing? If it matters, it will be cooked at a low temperature for 10-12 hours in a crockpot if used.
posted by anonnymoose to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Data point: it doesn't smell bad.
posted by anonnymoose at 9:23 PM on October 3, 2010


Yeah, it's fine. (I mean, I think it is, right? I see this all the time and it's never stopped me from eating it/caused me to die.) I think it's got something to do with exposure to air/oxygenated blood/blood loss. Totally fine. If you take one of the red pieces, rinse it in water, and squeeze the juice out with a paper towel, it'll look like this.

Actually, if you're going to be putting it in a stew, the results will be better if you soak the meat in cold water for several minutes then dry thoroughly. The meat takes on the flavors of the stuff it's cooking with and becomes super-tender (rather than boiling from the inside).

But anyway, I vote for EAT THAT MEAT!
posted by phunniemee at 9:27 PM on October 3, 2010


The browning is from oxidation. It looks gross but it doesn't affect the quality of the meat any. I have purchased many a package that looks like this and the stew turns out fine.
posted by calistasm at 9:28 PM on October 3, 2010


The browning can happen in packaged beef due to oxidation. The red and purple parts in your pic look perfectly normal to me. As long as it smells fine, and doesn't feel weird (slimy or sticky), it should be fine.

http://shelflifeadvice.com/content/does-grayishbrown-color-indicate-raw-ground-beef-has-begun-spoil
posted by CrayDrygu at 9:29 PM on October 3, 2010


That's fine. It's the natural result of beef being exposed to oxygen. Enjoy your stew.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:33 PM on October 3, 2010


Yeah, it's oxidation. Go ahead and cook it. Then eat it. Season it well and you'll have a fine meal.
posted by trip and a half at 9:52 PM on October 3, 2010


smell is my big test. Smells OK, lets cook!
posted by wilful at 10:27 PM on October 3, 2010


Thank you for your expedient help, everyone! Good to know for the future. I've prepared the beef, and now stew is patiently waiting in the fridge for its date with crockpot destiny tomorrow!
posted by anonnymoose at 10:36 PM on October 3, 2010


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