I have meat in my fridge that range from a couple of days to the sell-by-date to several months. All of it is slimy on touch, but it doesn't smell bad.

Should it being slimy be enough of a reason to throw it away? I read that sliminess and smell were ways of detecting if meat has gone bad.

  • 1
    Fridge or freezer? Please, please don't eat meat out of the fridge months after the sell by date.
    – Catija
    Jan 9, 2017 at 4:23
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of How long can I store a food in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer?
    – Catija
    Jan 9, 2017 at 4:27
  • 1
    @Catija not the same question. I'm just wondering if a touch test is enough. It was in the freezer. Jan 9, 2017 at 4:46
  • If it was in the freezer, the expiration dates don't matter. If it's in the fridge, they do. Please at least read the answer there, it answers your question about whether it's still good or not. As far as I'm concerned, meat always feels slimy, so I'm not sure what you're asking. Whatever you read, smell is never a good method.
    – Catija
    Jan 9, 2017 at 4:48
  • 1
    You're not likely to get any answers on this site that are better than or different from the one @Catija pointed to. If you believe the Spoon U site, throw out the meat; otherwise, read that answer.
    – verbose
    Jan 9, 2017 at 9:10

1 Answer 1


TL:DR version: you are thinking about it wrong. Food safety is not about finding evidence that it has gone bad (that's usually impossible), it is about having evidence that it is still good. If you don't have it, that automatically throws it in the "unsafe" category.

Food safety has basically two rules:

  1. if it has exceeded the allowed time in properly-cooled storage, it is considered unsafe.
  2. if you recognize bacterial or mold colonization of the meat ("spoiled"), it is unsafe even if you kept proper storage.

None of this is equivalent to "it will make you sick" or "it has too many pathogens", it just means that you cannot know if it will make you sick or not.

You are asking about the second one, and for that, nobody can be the judge but you. You have the meat in front of you, we don't. Non-spoiled raw meat has a surface which can be described as "slimey". Spoiled raw meat can also have a "slimey" surface, but it is a different kind of slimey. If you have seen OK meat and spoiled meat several times, you know what I am talking about. If you haven't, then you don't have the skill needed to distinguish it, and fall under the "if in doubt, throw it out" rule. Somebody else might be able to confirm that it is OK on seeing it, so that somebody else wouldn't fall under that rule.

Now you may be surprised here and protest that, if the meat was not going to make you sick, you shouldn't be throwing it out. In fact, that's normal. Only a tiny proportion of the food that is unsafe would have made you sick anyway. We can never predict which food will make you sick, so food safety is about preventing risk, not about preventing certain events.

You can, of course, show your meat to somebody who has more expertise, and ask if they have any doubt. That is reasonable, and you seem to be trying to do this now with that question. Unfortunately, "spoiled" is something for which one needs all five senses. A few words of description are not enough, unless it happened to be some egregious change. So, I'm afraid we cannot help you over the Internet. You can show it to somebody in person, toss it, or decide that you don't care about food safety and eat it as it is. But you cannot expect written information on "slimey" to make you certain that it has "gone bad" or not.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.