Did your lazy instincts cost you an extra $20? When it comes to meat, the rule of thumb is to clean and refrigerate it as soon as possible. A slight delay and you’d be losing more chance of enjoying a juicy steak.
The longer you delay the more bacteria piles up on your uncooked steak. Bacteria start to pill up on uncooked meat like steaks and chicken. And once infected with bacteria, it is not safe to cook. You can’t wash away or boil away the bacteria.
Still, wondering why raw steak left out overnight should be a problem? After all, you’ll be cooking it at a high temperature? Here a few things to keep in mind. If you notice any of these, don’t let that steak stay inside for another minute.
Raw Steak Left Out Overnight
- Is the Foul Smell coming from the meat?
Not all sorts of meat start to smell bad. But one has to be careful. If you notice any pungent or bad smell coming from the kitchen you know what to do. Healthy fresh meat has no smell at all, and even if it does it’s not very disturbing. Neither does the smell of fresh meat spread across the entire apartment. But with rancid bad meat, sometimes even the neighbors have to hold their noses.
If you left your raw steak in a vacuum-sealed bag, there’s a chance you might not smell anything for days. But that doesn’t mean the meat hasn’t started going bad.
- Can you Observe any Discoloration?
Fresh meat is usually red if it’s pork or beef. Chicken and Turkey have a nice shade of pink. When the meat starts going bad, the freshness in the color starts disappearing. There’s a chance you might not see an evident change in color the very next day. The reason being, these changes start happening at a microscopic level. The human eye might not be able to see the damage that has begun.
- Did the Texture of Meat change?
Meat usually has a freshwater texture. If the meat is fresh it will have a soft feel to it. However, meat that is no longer fresh tends to lose this soft and moist texture. Bad meat appears to be sticky. Once you observe any change in texture, it is time to discard the meat. The change in Texture is indicative of bacterial growth and that’s the last thing you would want to consume.
- Do you see any Green spots?
One of the major cues to throw the meat you’ve left on the counter is green spots. These Green spots are evident bacterial growth. It takes up to a week for these to get visible. Once you notice anything of this sort, don’t waste any more time. Visible bacterial growth is dangerous for your workstation. What initially might seem restricted to the meat can sprout and grow elsewhere. The Kitchen counter comes in contact with almost all food items. You can’t even imagine the disaster you’d be havocing on the Kitchen.
- What to do if you can observe neither of these signs?
There’s a heavy chance that you left your uncooked steak over the counter and see none of the above-mentioned signs. Does that mean your steak is safe for cooking? NO!
The one thing deadlier than any of these signs is Pathogenic growth. Toxic bacteria like Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium botulinum, and Escherichia coli love harboring in uncooked meat. The bothersome fact is that some of these Bacteria remain unaffected even by cooking at high temperatures. This is why you’re asked to never risk cooking with bad meat.
Throwing away the Bad meat; Now the right way
Double seal the meat in an air-tight bag. You must not throw it directly in the trash can. Your job doesn’t just get done yet. Most dogs, even cats ocassionally have a knack for pungent-smelling meat. They might explore your trash can before the trash boy gets a chance to collect the garbage. Just like consuming Bacteria infected meat is unhealthy for us, it is also unsafe for animals. So you have to make sure you discard it in a manner that strays don’t come looking for it!