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Ground Beef Smells Like Sulfur? #1 Main Reason

What is wrong when you smell that ground beef smells like sulfur? Ground beef is minced, ground, or chopped beef from trimmings or primal cuts of cattle meat. The beef could be turned into ground beef by chopping, mincing, or grinding.

Nevertheless, it’s notable that not all chopped, minced, or ground beef is considered ground beef.

Unlike some other beef that may have gone through any of the three techniques mentioned above, ground beef must have a balanced meat-to-fat ratio. That means some people do not consider plain steak to be ground beef.

Ground Beef Smells Like Sulfur?

When the ground beef begins to smell like sulfur, it’s going bad! The sulfur smell is because of some chemical processes due to chemicals contained in meat. It’s advisable to throw the beef away immediately once you sense the sulfur smell. That’s because consumption of such meat would lead to food poisoning and other meat-related ailments.

Ground Beef Smells Like Sulfur?
Ground Beef Smells Like Sulfur?

Why Ground Beef Goes Bad?

Ground beef poisoning can be one of the most dangerous things to encounter. I always take precautions to ensure my ground beef is in good condition before cooking it. Ground beef could go bad for several reasons, including;

1. Exposure to air

Unlike other beef meat in large pieces, ground beef is cut into tiny parts. These incredibly small pieces mean that the beef has huge parts exposed to air; hence more chemical reactions will occur. That quickens the time taken for the beef to go bad. Nevertheless, it’s not ground beef if not chopped, minced, or ground into these small parts.

Ground Beef Goes Bad Faster Because Than Larger Pieces of Beef Because It Has More Exposure To Air.
Ground Beef Goes Bad Faster Than Larger Pieces of Beef Because It Has More Exposure To Air.

2. Poor storage

Like any other meat product, I find it necessary to check on my ground beef storage hygiene. Leaving the beef exposed for too much time in a warm environment could cause it to go bad. For that reason, I always store my ground beef in the refrigerator to cool it. Moreover, if I’m sure I will not have it in the next week, I prefer to place it in the freezer.

3. Poor Hygiene

When it comes to preparing my ground beef, I’m concerned with my work tools. Taking a good look to ensure a clean mincing or grinding machine is advisable. Again, when using a knife, I always consider thoroughly cleaning both the knife and the chopping board. Maintaining good hygiene ensures that there are no microorganisms and bacteria present that can cause the spoiling.

Signs the Ground Beef Has Gone Bad

By now, you already know that one way of telling the ground beef has gone bad is the emergence of the sulfur smell. However, this isn’t the only thing to look for. Several other signs could point to spoilt ground beef. I have always used them, and they never disappoint. These signs include;

1. Sulfur smell

The sulfur smell is disgusting! Think of the rotten eggs’ stench if this smell may seem unrecognizable. That’s the kind of smell I’m talking about. For the odor, in case it’s there, it’s practically impossible for one to miss it.

The Sulfur Smell In Beef That's Gone Bad is the Same Sulfur Smell in Rotten Eggs.
The Sulfur Smell In Beef That’s Gone Bad is the Same Sulfur Smell in Rotten Eggs.

2. Color change

Fresh ground beef is always red in color. However, when the beef starts to go bad, that changes. For me, I always look out for the bluish color-turn. If I can recognize it, then I’m definitely sure the ground beef is already spoilt.

3. Change in Texture

If the touch on my ground beef feels sticky and slippery, this is a good enough confirmation that it’s gone bad. The greasy and sticky texture results from the bacteria and other microorganisms acting on the beef. If this happens, do not even think of washing the beef. Just throw it away.

What to Do If I Sense a Sulfur Smell on My Ground Beef

Immediately I notice the sulfur smell emanating from the ground beef; there is one advisable solution. It’s time to dispose of the meat! That will prevent anyone who would consume it from getting food poisoned. Sometimes, it’s tempting to try and salvage the beef through attempts to clean or cook it. However, it’s notable that the risk of poisoning is eminent.

How Can I Prevent Ground Beef from Going Bad

Like all other meat products, there are several ways to keep the ground beef good. These techniques are simple and effective. Here is what I do to keep my ground beef good.

1. Hygiene

The first thing is to ensure the processing maintains cleanliness. That prevents contamination, which increases the time the meat stays good.

Proper Hygiene and Storage is Important in Prolonging Freshness of Meat.
Proper Hygiene and Storage is Important in Prolonging Freshness of Meat. This Means Having Clean Utensils and Tools To Prevent Contamination.

2. Refrigerate

Meat stays good and fresh for some time when stored in a cool place. That’s because the cold slows down the activeness of microorganisms that contaminate the meat. As such, refrigerating the ground beef will protect it.

Symptoms of Illnesses Caused By Eating Spoilt Ground Beef

Generally, eating any spoilt meat can have adverse health effects on someone. That’s why I’m always careful not to consume spoilt ground beef. Some of the symptoms to encounter from consuming spoilt ground beef include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea,
  • Fever, and
  • Stomach cramps
Eating Spoiled Ground Beef Can Cause Vomiting, Diarrhea, Fever and Stomach Cramps.
Eating Spoiled Ground Beef Can Cause Vomiting, Diarrhea, Fever, and Stomach Cramps.

Benefits of Ground Beef

Now that I have discussed the challenge of how ground beef could go bad, it would probably be essential to highlight a few benefits. Such advantages of consuming ground beef include:

  • The presence of iron, Vitamin B, and proteins
  • Low-fat content and a balanced steak-to-fat ratio
  • Lean in thickness, thus easy to cook
  • Ground beef is easy to eat

Frequently Asked Questions on Ground Beef Smells Like Sulfur?

How can I tell whether my ground beef has gone bad?

There are simple ways to notice if the ground beef I’m about to cook is spoilt. First, I ensure there is no sulfur smell originating from the beef, and second, I check to ensure its color hasn’t turned bluish or greenish.

How can I tell I consumed spoilt ground beef?

If you have consumed spoilt ground beef, you may experience some symptoms such as nausea, fever, and diarrhea. If you encounter these symptoms, then you are food poisoned and should see a doctor immediately.

How can I prevent my ground beef from going bad?

Begin with proper hygiene when preparing it and good storage. It’s also advisable to mince, grind, or chop the beef to ensure its freshness right when you start preparing it.