Should I eat this pork roast that looks sponge like?
November 13, 2016 4:23 PM   Subscribe

What is going on with this meat? So we just roasted a pork roast bought from a well known national discount grocer, that rhymes with Aldi. It came out with a bunch of holes that we initially thought were "pretenderizing". But on further examination, it doesn't look like any jicarding outcome that happens to meat. Here are the photos:
posted by Brent Parker to Food & Drink (24 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Is that damage from bacteria?? Because that's what it looks like.

If that's what it is, you should report it to the store, at the very least.
posted by jbenben at 4:39 PM on November 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

Was this sold as an allegedly solid piece of meat? Because that's extremely abnormal and I wouldn't eat it. But if it was sold as a sort of made-from-meat-scraps-and-fat, fashioned-into-a-roll kind of thing (like a chunkier pork version of a meatloaf), it might be LESS alarming. But it's still weird, and I'll eat almost anything.
posted by julthumbscrew at 4:46 PM on November 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: This was a solid piece of meat. A pork roast.
posted by Brent Parker at 4:55 PM on November 13, 2016

Shit, man, do NOT eat that. Meat does not emerge from an animal looking like that. Something's wrong there.
posted by julthumbscrew at 4:57 PM on November 13, 2016 [8 favorites]

Spongy? No, just no. I think it looks like freezer damage (at best) and at worse....who knows? But that looks mighty unappealing and unusual enough that I would not risk it. I eat lots of weird things but this? No.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 5:00 PM on November 13, 2016

Please don't. No scientific reason to back me up, but I looked after pictures and had a visceral "oh...oh no" moment.
posted by MandaSayGrr at 5:00 PM on November 13, 2016

Is there an agricultural extension at a nearby university? I wonder if they would have more information. I wouldn't eat it. It gives me goosebumps looking at it, and I have no clue what's going on with it.
posted by buttonedup at 5:05 PM on November 13, 2016

Chowhound link

There's also a thread here on your same concern. I'm not sure which is the right conclusion but they have some ideas.
posted by buttonedup at 5:08 PM on November 13, 2016

I can't find an image of cooked trichinosis riddled pork, but given the size of those holes and the worms themselves, that fits my idea of what it might look like.
posted by jamjam at 5:12 PM on November 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

Call your local TV station.
posted by Slinga at 5:16 PM on November 13, 2016

Man, that's weird looking. I'm sketched out and would pass on the eating thing, and maybe take it back to the store.
posted by leahwrenn at 5:17 PM on November 13, 2016

I and some other folks may be experiencing trypophobia looking at this pork. Could this finally be the answer for why it evolved??
posted by little onion at 5:38 PM on November 13, 2016 [13 favorites]

I think the meat was probably "enhanced" -- the tenderloin in this photo looks a bit like yours. I don't think any worms crawled out of it.
posted by Ideefixe at 5:40 PM on November 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Possibly tapeworm. I would not eat it and I would call the store and the supplier.
posted by notquitemaryann at 5:49 PM on November 13, 2016

Possibly the 'roast' has been formed from smaller scrap pieces of meat, glued together with transglutaminase ('meat glue'). I've seen the same aerated texture in some cheap Australian bacon (and eaten said bacon without a problem).
posted by brushtailedphascogale at 5:56 PM on November 13, 2016 [3 favorites]

My very first thought was also some kind of processed meat, but those holes..... I'm usually an "Eat It" but not in this case. Period. (This is also the first time I started reading one of these and felt physically nauseous by the end of the comments.)
posted by Room 641-A at 6:47 PM on November 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

I've seen this before when I bought pork tenderloin that had been injected with brine and preservatives. I think it might be a combination of this injection and of being frozen, thawed, and refrozen. I ate it at the time and lived, but it was sub-par in texture and taste.
posted by The otter lady at 7:30 PM on November 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ick. Not an answer to what you should do, but these people had the same thing happen to their meat.
posted by defreckled at 8:54 PM on November 13, 2016

I found this:

5. The “Buckshot” Effect
Possible Causes
Commonly associated with ham, this effect appears as small holes in the cut surface of the finished product. Possibly due to: -
(a) Bacterial gas production.
(b) Bubbles of air finding their way into the pumping brine: Intake filter not completely submerged in the brine or damaged injector.

In short, gross.
posted by Toddles at 10:23 PM on November 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

The joint has been pumped with water. It's commonplace in the UK.
posted by charlen at 10:30 PM on November 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

The joint has been pumped with water. It's commonplace in the UK.

More info. Worth checking the packaging to see if it mentions this.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:09 AM on November 14, 2016

I don't care what it is. There is no way I would eat that meat. No. Way.
posted by Jubey at 3:00 AM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have no idea what caused this, parasite or processing, but I have seen many pork roasts from actual pastured pigs and they never, ever have this texture. I would not eat that. No way.
posted by epanalepsis at 7:41 AM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Hey, I may have a clue as to this mystery! Apparently, meat that is packaged using Modified Atmosphere Processing which includes a large amount of CO2 can form weird pores/fissures in between muscle fibers when it's cooked. The images look a LOT like what you saw in your pork roast! Check out the link here.
posted by julthumbscrew at 8:30 AM on November 28, 2016

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