In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat mince 2 days after the use-by date?”, how to tell if the mince is bad, what happens if you eat bad mince, does cooking kill bacteria, what are the safe meat handling practices, and how to freeze mince.
Can you eat mince 2 days after the use-by date?
Yes, you can eat mince 2 days after the use-by date. But it is better to inspect the mince for spoiled before using it. If any signs of spoilage exist, discard the mince.
How to tell if the mince is bad?
Look for a change in color
The bright red color of the raw ground beef is attributed to its high oxymyoglobin levels. Beef mince may have a darker core but that is not a spoilage alarm. The darker color indicates the lack of exposure to air or oxygen.
If the surface of the beef mince changes color, to something gray, black, or green. It has gone bad and should be discarded right away.
Inspect for an altered texture
The mince should not feel sticky to the touch. If it feels slimy, it is bad. Make sure to wash your hands with soap after touching the slimy mince. The bacteria acquired from touching the spoiled mince can lead to cross-contamination.
Take a whiff
Whether raw or fresh, fresh raw mince should not give off a rancid, sour, or putrid odor. If the smell is off, discard the mince. The most common types of bacteria that make the mince smell bad belong to the Lactobacillus spp. and Pseudomonas spp.
Check the expiration date
Unless frozen, you should never keep the mince if it is past its expiry or best-by date. The best-by date indicates quality and not safety. However, in the case of mince; a perishable food commodity that is highly susceptible to attack by bacteria, the best-by date is the last date meat is fit for consumption.
What happens if you eat bad mince?
Eating bad mince causes food poisoning which is characterized by diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain. Spoiled mince smells and looks unappetizing so you won’t be able to consume it in quantities sufficient to bring about food poisoning.
That being said, you may still acquire food poisoning from mince that has just started to spoil and does not exhibit many symptoms of spoilage. Sometimes, even a small amount of spoiled meat can make you throw up.
So, it all depends on the pathogenicity of the bacteria ingested and the sensitivity of the individual.
The symptoms generally last up to 3 days. If the symptom persists or keeps getting worse over time, seek medical help. Keep yourself hydrated because diarrhea can make you extremely weak and faint.
Reduce your risk of food poisoning by cooking the mince to an internal safe temperature of 160°F (71°C). Use a meat thermometer for accurate results.
Does cooking kill bacteria?
Yes, cooking temperatures can kill the vegetative forms of harmful bacteria or bring their level down within the tolerable range. But the toxins produced by the bacteria withstand the cooking heat.
The toxins, upon ingestion, can cause food intoxication. The bottom line is that cooking does not make mince or any other food fit for consumption if it is already spoiled.
What are the safe meat handling practices?
- Refrigerate the meat as soon you get home from the market. Purchase the meat at the end of grocery shopping to minimize the time the meat spends at room temperature.
- Check for an undamaged meat package. Do not purchase if you notice any holes or leaks.
- Make sure the color of the meat looks fresh and the expiration date has not elapsed.
- Keep the raw meat away from ready-to-eat or cooked products in your shopping cart.
- Refrigerate the meat at a consistent temperature of 40°F (4°C).
- Store the meat near the back of the fridge, where it is the coldest, and keep it in the lower rack to avoid leaks. Bag the meat package or place it over a plate to collect the meat juices.
- Thaw the frozen meat in the fridge overnight. Do not keep the frozen and thawed meat for more than 2 days in the fridge.
- Let the cooked meat come to room temperature before packing it away for storage. Do not let it sit out for more than 2 hours.
How to freeze mince?
Due to a larger surface area, mince is more susceptible to bacterial attack, which explains its shorter shelf-life. Consider freezing to make the mince last longer.
Freeze the mince at a consistent temperature of 0°F (-18°C) or below. Use a thermometer to confirm that your fridge is maintained at this temperature.
For bonus protection, wrap the mince package in an extra layer of foil or plastic. The added layer prevents the mince from freezer burn.
In this article, we answered the question “Can you eat mince 2 days after the use-by date?”, how to tell if the mince is bad, what happens if you eat bad mince, does cooking kill bacteria, what are the safe meat handling practices, and how to freeze mince.