Yesterday I took a pork shoulder, removed some of the fat and sinew and skin, cut it up into smaller parts, and put them into the freezer in freezer bags. It took me just under half an hour to remove the bits I didn't want.

This morning I took a piece out to defrost to cook later in the week and I noticed that some of the fat that I had left on, had discoloured into a greyish-green colour.

Out of the 5 pieces I put in the fridge, 2 have fat that looks like this. The other 3 piece look alright.

Only the fat and sinew covered area was effected.

It was pretty warm yesterday when I did this. Maybe 32 degrees Celsius. The meat was still a bit cool when it went into the freezer.

What's happened?

  • Freezer burn, maybe? Was it smelly/slimy to the touch, or just discolored? You don't happen to have a picture, do you? Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 22:13
  • Picture didn't come out! The fatty parts looks OK in the picture, definitely not OK in real life.
    – Megasaur
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 22:08

3 Answers 3


Unless the pork is a major economic investment--and believe me, I understand that--remember: "when in doubt, throw it out."

It is very difficult to diagnose what this is based on the description. I am hoping it is something innocuous like a reaction from acid and a pot's materials, or a trick of the light.

  • I don't know what I did wrong, so can't expand further for a real diagnosis. So, this is probably the only safe course of action.
    – Megasaur
    Commented Jan 12, 2013 at 8:17

If you got air in the freezer bag, my guess is the meat probably just oxidized. When meat is exposed to oxygen it turns a grayish color. The meat is not bad. You can still use it and you won't even be able to tell that it was gray at one point.

  • Except the description was "greyish-green" color--for the fat--which is more scary.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Dec 18, 2012 at 0:42
  • Yep, I cut away the discoloured fat and the meat looks OK everywhere. Just the fat is weird.
    – Megasaur
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 22:10

Is it a cured ham or a straight uncured pork shoulder? Nitrates in the curing process can cause the meat to have a greenish nearly rainbow kind of sheen to it as they can undergo pigment changes when exposed to light and air due to a chemical reaction.

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