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Getanet

Pork Belly Stinks

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I think I know what everyone is going to say - and I don't think I'll like it - but maybe I'll be surprised....

 

Thought I would try making some bacon for the first time. Bought a 9lb pork belly at Costco on Saturday and made the recipe for Pop's Brine. When I opened the packaging on the pork belly it smelled fairly strongly like rotten eggs. This was April 29 and the date on the label said to sell by May 5. By any chance is that a fairly common occurrence others have run into with pork belly, or do I have 9 lbs worth of rotten meat soaking in a brine?  Costco usually has a very good meat department, so I'm crossing my fingers that I didn't get burned.

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Good luck, no knowledge of your situation, but I am curious as to how it turns out.

Got any kids or grandkids you aren't to fond of to test it out on?

;):)

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Just got off the phone with my dad. Told him to make room in his fridge/freezer as I might be dropping off a few pounds of bacon next week!

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It shouldn't stink.  pork is pork.   

 

You could always cut off a small piece and fry it up right now and see how it tastes.   Or return to Costco.   They stand behind everything.   I returned an open package of dried apricots (natural unsulfured etc) that were inedible.   They didn't blink.   

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Yeah, I thought about returning it Del. I should have done that right away. Costco would probably still take it back, but I'm not sure I would feel right about it after having it in a brine for a few days.

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45 minutes ago, Getanet said:

Yeah, I thought about returning it Del. I should have done that right away. Costco would probably still take it back, but I'm not sure I would feel right about it after having it in a brine for a few days.

 

Costco isn't going to argue.....   I don't think.   Does it still smell bad?

 

What do you have in it?  Maybe 40 bucks?   

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It shouldn't smell any different than a package of pork chops or a roast.  I wouldn't eat chops if they smelled like rotten eggs.

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46 minutes ago, delcecchi said:

 

Costco isn't going to argue.....   I don't think.   Does it still smell bad?

 

What do you have in it?  Maybe 40 bucks?   

 

I think it was around $25. But if anyone is looking for a great deal on an aromatic pork belly, let me know!

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A lot of times if they are bad they will be kind of slimy to. I would at least call them and tell them and they might offer you a replacement

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I have taken whole chickens and ribs back to Sam's with no problem. I called and told them it stunk, they said bring the receipt and leave the stinky meat in the garbage. One would think Costco would do the same to be competitive.

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17 hours ago, Getanet said:

Yeah, I thought about returning it Del. I should have done that right away. Costco would probably still take it back, but I'm not sure I would feel right about it after having it in a brine for a few days.

 

Not your place to feel bad...I promise you aren't hurting their bottom line by bringing back rotten meat. They'd rather make it right and replace it then ignore the problem and lose a customer.

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The liquid in cryo packs of meat can sometimes have an off scent when first opened, but is goes away in a few minutes.  It the meat is rinsed it goes away faster.  I think you got a bad belly too, but just take the receipt back you don't need to haul bad meat to the store.

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22 minutes ago, thirdeye said:

The liquid in cryo packs of meat can sometimes have an off scent when first opened, but is goes away in a few minutes.  It the meat is rinsed it goes away faster.  I think you got a bad belly too, but just take the receipt back you don't need to haul bad meat to the store.

 

See, I was hoping for a somewhat convoluted explanation that is still believable enough for me to still stick with it. I'm sold. I've had it soaking in brine for 4 days now, so I might as well ride it out. I'll smoke it over the weekend and try a piece. If I get sick I'll tell my wife that some guy on the Internet told me it would be fine.

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2 hours ago, Getanet said:

 

See, I was hoping for a somewhat convoluted explanation that is still believable enough for me to still stick with it. I'm sold. I've had it soaking in brine for 4 days now, so I might as well ride it out. I'll smoke it over the weekend and try a piece. If I get sick I'll tell my wife that some guy on the Internet told me it would be fine.

 

Heheheee. Jot down that statement for the wife to read just in case you get lockjaw and wind up in the ER.  :sick: 

 

On a more serious note, my reply contains some un-confirmed (or unproven) information because I think having the meat in a brine which includes pink salt MAY help to diffuse a few of the bacteria strains that do occur and multiply in spoiled meat provided it's kept below 40°F.  In other words, I'm guessing your bacon will be different than if you discovered a bad chuck roast one day and cooked it the next day.  So with that in mind I'm sticking to using words like may, could or should rather than will because of the uncertainty I have regarding the brine and the degree of spoilage. My only reservations are that pink salt protects fresh meat against bacteria formation and multiplication, not actually killing bacteria which has begun to form in meat that has turned bad. But enough of the safety lecture.., how about some questions as you move into the finishing steps for your bacon:

 

Is your beer fridge maintaining temps of <40°?  If not, the bacteria could be doubling every 20 minutes.  

 

Next, are you planning on cold smoking or hot smoking the bacon?  Cold smoking could allow for multiplication of bacteria because you will be in the danger zone for a while, and hot smoking will be at the upper limits that should kill one or two strains, but the toxins themselves could remain.  150°F will kill Salmonella so I believe that strain won't be a factor. 

 

Lastly, is anyone in the household very young, elderly or immunocomprised?  If so, don't test it on them.

 

Please follow up and by the way I don't think you will be able to distinguish any danger signs like odor, slimy texture, flavor or odd color as the brine (and pink salt) will have disguised those after 14 days. But if you do pickup on a weird smell, don't even risk the taste test.

Edited by thirdeye

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I'm with thirdeye.

when you first open the cryopacks of ribs. belly's etc, they usually smell.

rise them off, if it still smells after a bit you may have a problem

I know it concerned me the first time II smelled it

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I'd keep the current suspect pork belly in the brine but I'd call Costco and explain the smell and your concern and see if they'll give you a replacement.  You could offer to bring in the stinky one but most likely they'll tell you not to bother. 

 

Go pick up your new pork belly from Costco and compare the smell upon opening to your original.  During this process keep that original in the brine.  If your new pork belly smells the same but the smell goes away after rinsing then in all likelihood your original is probably ok.  If thats the case then continue with your original and now you've got a 2nd one to do as well. 

 

If the new one ends up smelling much better than your first then its likely your first one was bad so toss it out and start over with the new one. 

 

I'm fairly certain Costco won't mind at all giving you a new one. I've returned a few produce items (berries and salad mixes that ended up molding before their expiration date and they replaced them without any issues.  Its not like you're trying to game the system, you legitimately have concern about the product you purchased so you should follow the company policy to get it taken care of.  

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16 hours ago, Kidd said:

Cut your losses and just get rid of it.

 

Throw away potentially decent bacon? Communist.:lol:

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17 hours ago, thirdeye said:

 

Heheheee. Jot down that statement for the wife to read just in case you get lockjaw and wind up in the ER.  :sick: 

 

On a more serious note, my reply contains some un-confirmed (or unproven) information because I think having the meat in a brine which includes pink salt MAY help to diffuse a few of the bacteria strains that do occur and multiply in spoiled meat provided it's kept below 40°F.  In other words, I'm guessing your bacon will be different than if you discovered a bad chuck roast one day and cooked it the next day.  So with that in mind I'm sticking to using words like may, could or should rather than will because of the uncertainty I have regarding the brine and the degree of spoilage. My only reservations are that pink salt protects fresh meat against bacteria formation and multiplication, not actually killing bacteria which has begun to form in meat that has turned bad. But enough of the safety lecture.., how about some questions as you move into the finishing steps for your bacon:

 

Is your beer fridge maintaining temps of <40°?  If not, the bacteria could be doubling every 20 minutes.  

 

Next, are you planning on cold smoking or hot smoking the bacon?  Cold smoking could allow for multiplication of bacteria because you will be in the danger zone for a while, and hot smoking will be at the upper limits that should kill one or two strains, but the toxins themselves could remain.  150°F will kill Salmonella so I believe that strain won't be a factor. 

 

Lastly, is anyone in the household very young, elderly or immunocomprised?  If so, don't test it on them.

 

Please follow up and by the way I don't think you will be able to distinguish any danger signs like odor, slimy texture, flavor or odd color as the brine (and pink salt) will have disguised those after 14 days. But if you do pickup on a weird smell, don't even risk the taste test.

 

Lot to get to here. Not sure the exact temp of my fridge...somewhere along the spectrum of "cold" to "not freezing."

 

I would plan on hot smoking the bacon. 150 degrees seems to be the ticket according to what I've read here (again, first attempt at making bacon).

 

 

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1 hour ago, Getanet said:

 

Throw away potentially decent bacon? Communist.:lol:

 

I'm thinking more like throwing away potential abdominal discomfort, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, and fever.  ;)

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