Sulfur smell in beef ribs
November 9, 2017 7:39 AM   Subscribe

Opened up a pound of flanken cut ribs and was overwhelmed by a sulfur smell. Beef is within its use by date. Was going to slow cook it for dinner tonight. Should I Eat This?
posted by infinitewindow to Food & Drink (15 answers total)
I'm usually pretty liberal about eating old/questionable stuff, but I Would Not Eat This.
posted by nosila at 7:44 AM on November 9, 2017 [9 favorites]

Meat smells bad? I would not.
posted by xingcat at 7:46 AM on November 9, 2017 [3 favorites]

No way. If it smells bad, it's definitely too far gone.
posted by cotterpin at 7:47 AM on November 9, 2017

So this isn’t some kind of uncommon but harmless reaction to whatever inert gas they use to pack the beef?
posted by infinitewindow at 7:50 AM on November 9, 2017

It's possible, but probably not worth the risk either way. Meat weirdness is "Not to Be Messed With." (TM)
posted by Krazor at 7:52 AM on November 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

You should probably let whoever made those know that you are experiencing this smell too, not only might you get a refund but it can help the manufacturer sort out a flaw with a batch.
posted by AzraelBrown at 7:57 AM on November 9, 2017 [13 favorites]

posted by supermedusa at 7:59 AM on November 9, 2017

"Smells like sulfur" to me is equivalent to "smells like rotten eggs" where the operative word is "rotten" so that's a nope from me.

I would contact the shop you bought it from or the manufacturer to ask/complain.
posted by like_neon at 7:59 AM on November 9, 2017

Was it cryovac-packed? Vacuum-packed meat can sometimes smell like sulfur when you first open it. Give it a rinse and see if the smell goes away. If it does, I'd eat it.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:01 AM on November 9, 2017 [9 favorites]

I wouldn't.

When I was 15, I made myself a tuna salad sandwich. When I took a bite, it didn't taste normal. It didn't really taste bad, though, so I ate it. I found out later that the mayo I had used was 6 months past its expiration date. If foods don't taste or smell the way they're supposed to, don't eat them. Also check expiration dates before using anything you find in a fridge belonging to any member of my mom's family. Third, mayo that is 6 months past the expiration date tastes kind of like Miracle Whip.

You might be able to get a refund from the store where you bought the meat.
posted by Anne Neville at 8:03 AM on November 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

"Smells like sulfur" is one of the tips in this guide to knowing when beef has gone bad.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:18 AM on November 9, 2017 [14 favorites]

Could be the gas in the vac package, could be that it's poison - we don't know!

Yes, call the store you bought it from, or just go and return it. Save the packaging and the beef in the freezer if you don't have time to go back to that store today.
posted by jbenben at 8:47 AM on November 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thank you everyone! The bad ribs are repacked and will go back to the butcher counter today. I’ve got another cut braising in the slow cooker today instead.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:49 AM on November 9, 2017

For the record, it was not vacuum-packed, it was standard plastic tray with clear poly stretched over.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:51 AM on November 9, 2017

Think about what you're saying: "Reaction to inert gas."
posted by dondiego87 at 11:10 AM on November 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

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