Pork chops provide a healthy dose of protein with a surprisingly fat-lean texture. Clever chefs can cook pork chops in many ways to produce multiple meal types.
Unfortunately, pork chops gone bad can cause serious health problems like food poisoning.
Preventing pork chops gone bad can help avoid this issue and keep your meat healthy. Watching your pork chops for signs of going bad can let you know when it is time to cook.
It can also let you know when any purchased pork chops were bad before you bought them.
Knowing these signs can also prevent food poisoning when cooking bad pork chops. Trying to cook spoiled pork chops puts you at risk for this health problem. It may also spread bacteria and other dangerous elements through your body.
Pork chops can go bad as quickly as three days after the sell-by date. Refrigerating them can keep them safe for several more days, while freezing can save them for over a week.
Preserving pork chops for too long may result in changes in texture, smell, and look.
Now that you know a little about pork chops gone bad, it is important to read on to learn more. We’ll give you more detailed information about what causes bad pork chops.
We’ll also discuss what happens when you eat bad pork chops and how to keep yourself safe.
What Causes Pork Chops To Go Bad?
Pork chop spoilage occurs for many natural reasons. These include:
- Meat Breakdown: Spoiled meat starts to degenerate physically when the chemicals in the meat attack its structure. Heat and light exposure can accelerate this process by increasing its metabolism throughout the meat.
- Bacteria: Raw meat typically contains many bacteria that will cause it to spoil. The bacteria literally eats the meat’s flesh and leaves behind waste. Many warning symptoms of bad pork, like bad taste, are due to this waste.
- Mold: Mold spores may take root on pork and spread quickly through its surface. Meat provides protein and a firm growing surface that can cause textural changes in meat. It can also cause taste and smell changes in the pork.
Oxidation: Poor meat packing processes can cause oxidation throughout its flesh. Oxidation causes fats in the meat to react with oxygen and cause discoloration.
Oxidation may also cause a bad smell and taste that can make meat impossible to eat.
Pork chops gone bad may spoil due to all of these problems at once. All exposed raw meat typically starts going bad very quickly in the same way. In this way, meats typically start going bad days after opening them.
How Long Does It Take For Pork Chops To Go Bad?
Pork chops typically start going bad 3-5 days after the sell-by date. For example, meat purchased on a Sunday may start spoiling by Wednesday through Friday. By Saturday, your pork chops are likely bad and shouldn’t be eaten.
Spoilage times may vary depending on many factors, such as:
- Fat Content: High-fat concentrations in pork chops may increase oxidation speeds. This may cause the meat to go bad more quickly.
- Heat and Light: Exposing pork chops to excessive temperatures and light may cause early spoilage. These elements increase the bacterial spread and other spoilage issues.
- Lack of Refrigeration: Pork chops only last 3-5 days when you properly refrigerate or freeze them. Leaving them out on a counter may cause them to go bad in less than a day.
Poor packaging steps and faulty storage systems may also cause pork chops to spoil quicker. Meat quality may also affect how long your pork chops stay fresh.
What Visible Signs Are There Of Bad Pork Chops?
Look for these visible signs of spoilage on your pork chops:
- Color Changes: Fresh pork chops are pink or red and look vibrant. Spoiling pork chops possess a gray or dull color that indicates rotting.
- Textural Changes: Changes in a pork chop’s textural may indicate severe spoilage. This may include a mushy texture that feels rotten to the touch.
- Structural Changes: Differences in a pork chop’s structure may also showcase rotting meat. These may include shrinking sizes.
Note that visible meat changes occur fairly late in the spoiling process. Paying attention to smell changes can help you spot early warning signs of spoilage.
How Will Bad Pork Chops Smell?
Fresh pork chops have almost no smell at all beyond a slight meaty scent. Rotting pork chops have a rancid smell that is easy to notice. This odor may smell like:
- Rotting flesh
- Bad eggs
Always perform the smell test before cooking or eating pork chops. Sniff the meat quickly to see if you notice any bad odors. Throw the pork chop away if it has any sharp smells that don’t feel right.
Does A Bad Pork Chop Have A Different Texture?
Raw pork chops have a wet texture similar to many other fresh meats. Spoiling pork chops may possess a slimy texture that feels gross to the touch.
This slime indicates bacterial growth on your pork chop, and it should be thrown away ASAP to avoid food poisoning symptoms.
Even a slight slime indicates that your meat is going bad. It is best to throw the meat away rather than attempting to eat it.
While cooking may kill some of the bacteria, it may not kill all of them and could cause serious food poisoning symptoms.
Will I Get Sick Eating Bad Pork?
Cooking and eating bad pork is likely to make you sick. Food poisoning from spoiled meat is common and can cause many adverse side effects.
While this condition may pass in a few days, it is best to avoid it entirely to prevent symptoms like:
- Digestive issues
- Abdominal pain
Are There Parasites In Bad Pork?
Pork commonly hosts the parasite Trichinella spiralis. This parasite can cause Trichinellosis, a digestive disease that causes symptoms similar to food poisoning.
Eliminating this parasite from the body will stop these symptoms from developing and worsening.
Should I Eat Outdated Pork?
You can cook and eat pork for a day or two after its sell-by date. Most chops should stay fresh a little after this suggested date. Throw the chops away if you notice any obvious spoilage signs, such as visible changes or a bad smell.
Will Vacuum Sealing Protect My Pork Chops?
Vacuum sealing protects your pork chops in an air-tight plastic wrap. It can help your chops stay fresh for at least two weeks after sealing.
This option may work well if you want to avoid freezing your chops and plan on cooking them fairly soon.
Will Slow Cooking Preserve Pork Chops Longer?
Slow-cooking pork chops produces a very tender and delicious meal. It doesn’t change how long you can keep cooked meat, though. Slow-cooked pork chops will last 3-4 days in the fridge or six months when properly frozen.
How Can I Properly Store A Pork Chop?
Storing pork chops properly can help preserve their taste and texture. Store raw and uncooked pork chops in either a refrigerator or freeze. They’ll last up to five days after the sell-by date in the fridge and up to six months when frozen.
Keep your pork chop in its original package when refrigerating or sealing. You may also wrap the chop in a plastic bag or container to protect it from temperature changes or frost in the freezer.
Let the chop thaw in the refrigerator overnight before cooking it.
Refrigerate cooked pork chops in an air-tight container for 3-5 days after cooking. Throw out the meat if it starts to develop spoilage signs before or after this time.
Freeze cooked pork chops for up to six months after cooking in an air-tight freezer container.
Frequently Asked Questions
By now, you should have a pretty good idea of what to expect with pork chops gone bad. If you have any more questions, check our list below to learn more.
We cover topics we didn’t in the previous sections and highlight important information that minimizes your dietary confusion.
What Kind Of Bacteria Grows On Spoiled Pork?
Bacteria on spoiled pork include Brochothrix thermosphacta, Carnobacterium spp., Enterobacteriaceae, Lactobacillus spp., Leuconostoc spp., Pseudomonas spp., and Shewanella putrefaciens.
Some of these bacteria may cause nausea or food poisoning when ingested.
For example, salmonella may develop on spoiled pork and cause food poisoning symptoms.
Other bacteria may cause no symptoms and simply pass through your system. It is important to avoid bacteria exposure of any kind to avoid the risk of illness.
What Are The Symptoms Of Pork Food Poisoning?
Pork chop food poisoning may include bacterial and parasitic infections. Both cause similar symptoms that can be quite painful and hard to tolerate. Just a few of these common food poisoning symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain that may become a cramp
- Diarrhea that may last for days after poisoning
- Vomiting that may leave you weak
- Overall physical weakness in your muscles and joints
- Muscle and joint pain that can affect your overall strength
- Repeated coughing that may leave you hoarse
- Headaches and fevers that may seem like a flu
- Chills that may last for weeks after initial symptoms
A bacterial infection should pass in a few days with minimal treatment. More severe cases may require antibacterial medications to avoid spreading this infection further.
Parasitic infections require in-depth anti-parasite care that removes these creatures from your body.
Can I Sue A Store After Getting Sick From Pork Chops?
If a store sold you pork chops after their expiration date, you might have a potential lawsuit. Note that you need to prove the store knowingly sold bad meat and that it caused you sickness and financial loss.
When stores sell expired meat at low prices, you do take some inherent risk in buying them.
When you buy fresh pork chops but wait too long to cook them, you typically cannot sue. That’s because the fault lies with you and not the store.
For example, buying fresh pork chops and waiting a week to cook them is your decision and cannot be blamed on the store.
Watch this video to learn more about spotting the signs of a bad pork chop. It provides a distinct visual of spoiled pork chops that help give you more context for this look. You’ll also learn about other signs covered here, including bad smells and textures.
- Air-tight freezer bags or wraps
- Large freezer
- Set your freezer below zero and wait 30 minutes to ensure it reaches a freezing temperature
- Cut raw pork chops into several portions and wrap them in freezer bags
- Store gravy from cooked chops in a separate bag from your chops
- Write the storage date with a marker on the plastic wrap