How To Tell If Pork Is Bad – Methods You Can Use

I love pork so much. It is the white meat you can manipulate the most. You can do so much with pork, from grilled pork to fried to stewed and even boiled.

However, if you are not careful, it can rot so fast. It is susceptible to factors that can make it spoil and can easily cause stomach poisoning.

Unfortunately, it is not easy to tell if pork has spoilt or is safe to eat. Pork meat can look safe to eat, smell fine but still be unsafe.

So how can you tell that your pork is not okay?

pork chili 1

Try some wonderful recips about pork:

Classic Chinese Pork Stir Fry Recipe

Authentic Peking Pork With Peking Sauce

Hunan Pork Recipe – Easy And Classic

Sweet And Sour Pork With Pineapple

How can you identify spoilt pork?

You can quickly identify how spoilt pork is by focusing on the color, feel when touched, and smell.


The natural color of pork is pale pinkish-gray. When you are buying your pork, you should make sure it looks this way and then try to store it well to maintain that color.

bad pork


Good pork is moist when you touch it. You can even see the moisture. However, do not confuse this with slimy. It should never be slimy and if it is, toss it in the trash.


This is the easiest method to know if pork is safe for consumption. Pork has a faint, almost non-existent smell.

When it starts going bad, you will notice it has a particular sour odor.

This smell grows stronger over time. When you cook it, the smell will become more and more unbearable.

bad pork 1

How long does pork last?

Pork has different lifespans depending on the storage and its state.

Uncooked pork

Uncooked pork can last a maximum of 2 hours on the counter, five days in the fridge, and four months in the freezer.

Cooked pork

SInce cooked pork has had most of its bacteria killed during cooking, it can last approximately 3 hours on the counter, five days in the fridge, and five months on the freezer.

Shanghai Braised Pork Belly 1

However, it would be best if you never let pork, cooked or uncooked, last more than 2 hours on the shelf.

This is because, by this time, the bacteria found in proteins would have grown and multiplied to a great extent, starting the process of decomposition. This leads to the pork spoiling.

How to tell cooked pork is spoilt.

When you are starting to cook, you will notice pork that has started going bad. It has an unusual ammonia-like smell. This smell only gets stronger as you keep cooking.

However, there are times when the pork is spoilt after it has been cooked. Inadequate storage methods could cause this.

So how would you know that the pork that you cooked has spoilt?

Texture change

When pork goes bad, cooked or not, its texture must change. When there is a texture change, you should be alarmed. This is never a good sign.

If it becomes slimy, throw it in the trash. There is nothing you can do as it is hosting many harmful bacteria.

Presence of mold

You might assume that if you reheat the pork thoroughly after the presence of molds, it would be safe for consumption.

When you open your covered pot that contains pork, and you see mold covering your meat, then it is time to let it go.

Maybe once or more times, you have just removed the part of the meat with the mold and continued eating the rest. This Is not good practice.

There are harmless molds, but not all of them are. You can do this and end up being sick. Just because you cannot see mold on some other parts of the meat does not mean they have not affected the part that looks safe to eat.

Char siu Chinese BBQ pork

Slimy coat

There are times when you can get your pork covered in a layer of slimy film. OIf your pork looks a little damp and slimy, then be 100% sure it will cause food poisoning when you eat it.

Change in color

When your pork discolors, it is time to say goodbye. What exactly do I mean by discoloring?

Pork can change its color slightly. This happens a lot due to the air, temperature, and lighting. When this happens, you should not be worried. It is normal.

However, if the color is too grey or greenish-grey, then it becomes slimy or sticky, that pork has become poisonous, and you need to get it replaced with another new and fresh pork.


This you can tell from afar. The terrible odor will hit you immediately if you open that pot or pork storage container. You can sniff the pork to be entirely sure.

However, with cooked pork, this can be hard to tell. It can be hard to tell whether you imagine the smell or not. The good news is when you reheat it, this smell will become more rancid, and you will be able to tell.

Hack to prevent your pork from going bad.

While buying pork

Check on the expiry date.

It would be best if you did this every time you purchase your meat or any food. Always check on the expiry date. This date is usually written on the package. You should not buy that pork if the expiry date is due or has passed.

Inspect the meat.

You should thoroughly inspect the meat before buying it. Check the color of the pork. If it is not pale pinkish grey, you should not buy that pork do not buy it. It is not safe for cooking.

Smell the meat.

It might be hard to sniff the meat before buying, especially with the pandemic; most sellers might disagree. However, be keen and try to catch a foul odor from where the pork is. If you can, then the meat is not safe.


If you can, touch the meat and inspect for stickiness and sliminess. Again this too might be difficult with the pandemic.

Most owners will not agree to it. This is to stop the spread of covid 19.

pork chili step1

The condition of the pork place

I am a very particular buyer. I will always inspect the seller and the surfaces before purchasing my pork. I will look at the hygiene status of the store.

If it doesn’t look clean enough and has a weird smell, then that is a sign that your pork might not be good as well. A store stinks either because it is dirty or the owner has poor meat storage. This should worry you.

Your gut

Human beings are blessed. We have strong instincts, and our gut always knows what we should do. You might find meat that passes all the above tests, but for some reason, something tells you it is not safe.

This means that you do not trust the meat; hence you should move on to another vendor. Sometimes you might be right. The pork might not be suitable for consumption.

While you have bought


After inspecting your pork at the store, you now have to ensure it stays that way.  Be careful and use the appropriate storage measures to ensure your pork remains safe.

Freeze the meat if you do not intend to cook it in more than five days. Remember, this meat can only last five months in the freezer.

If you intend to cook it soon, then a refrigerator would work. Never put your pork in room temperatures for over 2 hours.

When you store your pork in the fridge or freezer, you should use the appropriate storage tools. Use an airtight container. Vacuum the container to ensure that no air has remained inside it and seal it.

You can also use the water displacement method to get rid of the air. Why get rid of air? Air and pork do not work together. Air will provide a breeding place perfect for the growth of bacteria.

What would happen if you ate spoilt pork?

When you eat spoilt pork, you should expect to have symptoms within three days. You will suffer from food poisoning that will manifest as cramps, diarrheas, nausea, and vomiting.


Most of us love pork, and those who do not are probably because of religious or cultural reasons. Pork is delicious and healthier than most types of meat since it is white meat. When you prepare pork well in the house, you bless the whole neighborhood with its sweet aroma.

But pork is quite sensitive. You should store it carefully. Use the appropriate storage method that works for you. However, during storage, remember not to over-handle the pork too much.

Please do not touch it too much because you will transfer the bacteria common on the human skin to the pork, lowering its lifespan.

If you are not entirely sure about whether the pork you have has spoilt, stick to the tips and guidelines issued above in this blog. This will help maintain the safety of your pork. Be careful about the storage methods and timelines too.

Putting the guidelines given in this article in mind, you will never have trouble keeping your pork fresh and healthy.

Leave a Comment