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Funny smelling spares

SmokingLongSmokingLong Posts: 34
edited 2:15AM in EggHead Forum
Hi - question for the rib veterans on the board - just opened two packages of spare ribs and both had a distinct sour smell to them. Is this common? About a month ago, I had the same experience (but it was a worse smell). The smell was so strong I couldn't prep the meat without becoming nauseous and ended up pitching about $20 of rare meat. Although, the smell isn't as strong as last time, it was still quite unpleasant.

So should I try smoking the ribs this afternoon or should try to return them to the store? The packages were Smithfield cryovac sealed ribs. The sell by date was May 21st.

Comments

  • UKMattUKMatt Posts: 113
    SmokingLong wrote:
    Hi - question for the rib veterans on the board - just opened two packages of spare ribs and both had a distinct sour smell to them. Is this common? About a month ago, I had the same experience (but it was a worse smell). The smell was so strong I couldn't prep the meat without becoming nauseous and ended up pitching about $20 of rare meat. Although, the smell isn't as strong as last time, it was still quite unpleasant.

    So should I try smoking the ribs this afternoon or should try to return them to the store? The packages were Smithfield cryovac sealed ribs. The sell by date was May 21st.

    In my experience those cryovac packs sometimes do have an off smell when you first open them. I usually rinse them under a running cold faucet for a minute and the smell disappears.

    I'd try rinsing them and then see if they smell - if they still smell I would not cook them but I bet they'll be fine after a quick shower.

    UKMatt
  • 'Q Bruddah'Q Bruddah Posts: 739
    "When in doubt throw it out" old restaurant saying. In your case return it. It should not have an off smell.
  • Jupiter JimJupiter Jim Posts: 2,729
    SmokingLong, I have had a funny smell from cryovac pork shoulders and if you give it some time 10-15 minutes it should go away. If they are rotten then yea ya need to take them back. Think about the smell is it realy rotten meat or just a funny smell?
    Hope this helps, Jupiter Jim

    I'm only hungry when I'm awake!

    Okeechobee FL. Winter

    West Jefferson NC Summer

  • Jupiter JimJupiter Jim Posts: 2,729
    I agree with you give them a shower. :)
    JJ

    I'm only hungry when I'm awake!

    Okeechobee FL. Winter

    West Jefferson NC Summer

  • SmokingLongSmokingLong Posts: 34
    I will try giving them a rinse and see if that helps. If not, I will return and probably never ever try ribs again. Last time I ate bad/undercooked pork ended up in the ER with a severe case of hives.
  • RascalRascal Posts: 3,664
    Trust your nose!!
  • Jupiter JimJupiter Jim Posts: 2,729
    That is too bad that you got so sick, I realy don't think the ribs are bad it is just a funny smell from the cryovac process. Where did you by them and do they have a sell by date/
    JJ

    I'm only hungry when I'm awake!

    Okeechobee FL. Winter

    West Jefferson NC Summer

  • h20eggh20egg Posts: 168
    It's just my habit to always rinse chicken, pork, and fish when prepping. Anything that comes with "juice" or "gravy" gets rinsed. Even if it's beef if there's juice it gets rinsed. Having a biology degree, it just seems that any raw meaty fluid is just too good of a growth media for bacteria, which are everywhere, no matter that it's been refrigerated.

    I'd also trust my nose; if after washing any putrid smell was gone, I'd still be a bit suspicious. But, if as the posts indicate it not's unknown in cryo packed meats, I guess it can be trusted. But, if after washing it still stank, I'd take it back. Never had food poisoning, but from other's descriptions, no matter the cost of the meat I wouldn't take a risk.
  • SmokingLongSmokingLong Posts: 34
    I bought them yesterday at the Giant on Washington Blvd. in Arlington VA. The other batch was bought at the Harris Teeter on Glebe in Arlington also. Both were Smithfield products. The sell by date on the second patch was May 21st.

    The shower help reduce the smell, but there is still some funky smell to them. I got the meat back in the fridge and will give it an hour or some before I pitch them.
  • RascalRascal Posts: 3,664
    I'd save the wrappers and return them for a refund. If they balk, getting a little vocal usually does the trick. I always stear clear of Smithfield & Hormel meats as they're infused with c**p that I don't want/need. A number of years ago an associate got food poisoning at a restaurant and the result was that they had to remove part of his stomach!!
  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    Why take a chance? Take them back, insist on opening up a new package before you leave the store.

    Mike
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    On rare occasions I have noticed a very slight odor when opening a cryo package. It should dissipate on it's own in just a few minutes. Rinsing the purge off cryo'd meats is a good idea anyway, but if you are doing it to remove odor, you may be on to something.

    It sounds like your confidence is already dented from your last experience with meat that had definitely turned,.... and even though the sell-by date is good on these ribs, all it takes is a few hours of incorrect temperatures during handling/shipping to start meat spoiling. Try and remember it may not be the packers fault or your markets fault.

    All you have to do is return to the market with the tags, and any meat counter worth shopping at will replace your meat dollar for dollar with anything you want. Some even go 2 for 1. If there is any question, call them right now and tell them you are trashing it and make sure they will honor the tags only.
    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • SqueezeSqueeze Posts: 707
    I second this one....
  • it's impossible to diagnose via the forum.

    "funky" actually doesn't sound like they are necessarily bad.

    but if you don't know, you don't know. >shrug<

    i'll just offer a couple things for thought;

    -meat which is truly bad won't make you wonder. it will make you gag. it is also going to feel slippery, tacky, and slimy, due to the bacteria multiplying.

    -the plus for cryovac'd foods is much longer "sell by" times. they use an inert gas in addition to the vacuum, and that gas produces sulfurous smelling compounds when you first open it. it's a known issue. just like poultry producers are aware that the immature bones of chicken will make chicken look undercooked when it isn't (and they are trying to remedy that), cryovac operators understand that a number of folks are throwing out their food because it smells "different".

    -wet-aged beef (kept for as long as 8 weeks in cryovac in a fridge with proper temps) will produce new esters and flavors, often called 'gamey' (for lack of a better word, though i prefer 'aged'). these flavors are to be expected. it's what you want, after all. pork will do this too. there are some restaurants trying to capitalize on the aged-beef craze by offering aged pork. you may be smelling the enzyme-action.

    not knowing means frankly that, well, you don't know what spoiled meat smells like. that's actually a good thing, but it will also cause you to overcompensate and toss perfectly fine food. coupled with your previous experience (being sick, which you attribute to the pork) isn't helping. we're genetically inclined to avoid things we think made us sick. never heard of hives from meat, personally.

    the nose does know, but if the nose is only a little suspicious, then it's guessing. truly bad meat will be definitive. you won't need to ask us here if it is bad.

    i guarantee you will still toss the meat. but i'm betting it's fine.
  • YES SIR….A little time in the shower and if it still doesn’t smell good! Don’t eat it!
    This applies to EVERYTHING!
    I even snort veggies and fruit anymore!
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