If I keep meat for a few days after it's use-by date, the packaging starts to look sucked-in, as if the amount of air has been reduced. Since it is a sealed package, I can't think how that could be. What causes this de-pressurization, and does it mean the meat is no longer safe to eat?

  • Where is it stored? Is it in the freezer? – Mr. Mascaro May 6 '15 at 18:36
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    I tend to be more worried when the package starts bulging. (that's a sign of microbial activity). I've never seen the sucked in look. – Joe May 6 '15 at 20:34
  • @Mr.Mascaro Stored in the fridge. – Benubird May 7 '15 at 10:15
  • @Joe I have seen it bulging, but very rarely - the sucked in look is much more common for me. Might be a difference in how it is prepared before packaging. – Benubird May 7 '15 at 10:16
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    I've seen the sucked in ones, and as far as I know, it is also a sign of bacterial activity. Something is converting the gas in your package into something else, with a different density, and I can't imagine what that something can be than a bacterial colony. I'm not writing an answer until I have seen it confirmed by some source, but I don't think it can be anything else. Besides that, the answer to "is it safe" is "no" because it's past it use-by date, no matter whether you can perceive any change in the meat. – rumtscho May 7 '15 at 11:39

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