How to know when steak is spoiled

Before you cook steaks, examine them carefully to determine if the meat has gone off. Steaks are highly perishable due to their high moisture and protein content. Spoiled meats are dangerous to eat, because they contain harmful bacteria that can cause serious illnesses. Examining questionable steaks closely will help you to determine if they are safe to eat. When the steaks show signs of spoilage, thrown them away immediately.

Inspect the appearance of the steaks. Steaks with darkened areas and fading colours can indicate spoilage. Examine the steaks for odd discolourations. Steaks with green, black or creamy patches indicate mould growth. Throw the steaks away immediately.

Remove the steaks from the fridge and smell them. If the steaks have an odd or foul odour, they need tossed in the bin. Spoiled steaks may have a sulphur or ammonia smell.

Feel the steaks with your fingers. If the steaks feel sticky to the touch or slimy, they need to be discarded.


Always inspect frozen steaks after they thaw to determine if the meat has spoiled. While you cannot tell spoilage by looking at the steaks, colour changes can indicate spoilage. Steaks will darken in colour when exposed to oxygen. Look for the other signs of spoilage before you determine the freshness.

Store steaks at around 5 degrees C (41F) in the fridge to extend the shelf life.

Cook steaks within two or three days of the "best before" date and before the "use by" date.


Steaks can contain harmful bacteria and not show signs of spoilage. Always handle and store foods properly to prevent a food-borne illness.

Always wash your hands before and after handling raw steaks to prevent a food-borne illness.

Avoid opening the steaks until you are ready to use them to keep the meat fresh.

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About the Author

Angela LaFollette holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising with a minor in political science from Marshall University. LaFollette found her passion for writing during an internship as a reporter for "The West Virginia Standard" in 2007. She has more than six years of writing experience and specializes in topics in garden and pets.