We all know that we need to keep meat chilled at all times but sometimes we forget and leave it out overnight. Steak is expensive so we understand your reluctance to throw it away.
The longer meat and other foods are left unrefrigerated, the more bacteria will grow in them. After that, even if it is washed or cooked at a high temperature, the food will not be safe for consumption.
Raw Steak Left Out Overnight
Depending on the ambient temperature of your kitchen and how cold the steak was when you left it out (for instance, was it frozen?), it may still be safe to use. Here are a few things to look out for.
- Is there a foul smell coming from the meat?
Healthy, fresh steak has very little smell and certainly not an unpleasant one. However, if you left your raw steak in a vacuum-sealed bag, there’s a chance you might not smell anything but that doesn’t mean the meat hasn’t started going bad.
- Can you observe any discoloration?
Fresh beef steak is usually red. When meat starts going bad, the freshness in the color starts disappearing. It changes from a rich ruby red to a dull grey. However, use your sense of smell too because there’s a chance you might not see an evident change in color the very next day.
The reason is that these changes start happening at a microscopic level. The human eye might not be able to see the damage that has begun.
- Has the texture of the steak changed?
Meat usually has a firm texture with no stickiness. Bad meat becomes softer and sticky to the touch. The change in texture is indicative of bacterial growth.
- Do you see any green spots?
You won’t usually see green bacterial spots after just one night of sitting out on the kitchen counter. However, if you do, throw the meat as far away as possible!
What to do if you can observe none of these signs?
If your meat looks and smells fresh and it was cold when you left it out and the weather is cool, you can take a chance and use it. You must cook it straight away and eat it at once or store it in the refrigerator.
Bear in mind though, a lack of all the signs listed above is not a guarantee that the meat is safe to eat.
Throwing away the bad meat – know the right way
If you decide to discard the meat, please dispose of it safely. First, put it into an airtight bag such as a Ziploc bag. Stray dogs, cats, or even tramps may smell the meat and fish it out of the bin if you don’t do this. Throw it into the outside trash, not into the kitchen rubbish bin.
You don’t want bad meat hanging around in your kitchen any longer than necessary. Once done, wipe down the kitchen counters with disinfectant and wash your hands well. We hope this information has been helpful to you.
Remember, it’s better to waste a little money and stay healthy than eat bad meat and end up at the hospital. Stay well!