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Old 02-23-2014, 07:35 AM   #1
SuburbSlicker
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Angry Strange smell from package of babybacks?

Had to run out and purchase two packs of babybacks last night from local grocery to have some extras to throw on smoke today. Bought standard cryovaced Smithfields at $4 a pound (!) and threw them in fridge overnight. They were dated March 4. Today is Feb 22. Got up early this morning to prep them and when I opened the first rack, this very odd, gassy smell overtook me. Kind of a burning rubber smell? I can't describe it well. Very petroleum overtones tough. I rinsed the rack and the smell remained. I asked Mrs. SuburbSlicker to come take a whiff and she nearly fainted. Opened the second rack from the plastic and it was worse. Will take back to the store after church this morning. I'm not entirely sure about the safety of them, and certainly don't want to serve Exxon Valdez/BP Gulf Sprill-brined ribs to my friends.

Anyone have a similar experience?
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:39 AM   #2
SigSauerNY
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Not familiar with a lot of pork but what experience I do have is there should be no smell from good meat unless a rub or marinade is used, id return the meat
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:46 AM   #3
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Yeah, return them or throw them out. I had a similar experience with beef skirt steak once. I bought some skirt steak at a store over by my parents house and they were awesome so couple weeks later when I was in the area bought some more. When I got home and opened the package the stench knocked me back and literally filled the kitchen with the stank for about an hour. Too late and too far to take them back so I just tossed them and have never been back to that store. If the guy at the butcher block couldn't smell it (or did and didn't give a flip) they don't deserve my business.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:49 AM   #4
IamMadMan
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Some meat packers introduce nitrogen into the cyropack to void the package of oxygen for longer shelf life. Although the nitrogen reaction can sometimes give a foul odor. When the meat rinsed and allowed to air for about 10 minutes the smell disappears.

However nitrogen should not smell like burnt rubber or petroleum.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:15 AM   #5
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Like the old saying "If it smells like fish, it ain't fresh" If the meat don't smell right, it ain't gonna taste right. Definitely take it back.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:28 AM   #6
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I've had ribs that stunk that didn't wash off and was still noticeable after cooking. I took them back to the store, which is what I would do in your case also.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:39 AM   #7
hedge
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When in doubt, throw them out.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:42 AM   #8
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I've had the same thing happen ONCE before with Tyson pork butts. The expiration date hasn't come but they smelled bad.

I sometimes wonder if stores remark the expiration dates to later on cryopacks because they are so efficient at preserving meat. The reason I say this is I noticed my local grocer "Warehouse Market" and Sam's club not discounting a cryopack once it has achieved its expiration date--yet they discount other non cryo pack meats. Only thing I can think is they remark it. And as a result some doesn't taste so fresh.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:23 AM   #9
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Since the expiration isn't up, I would definitely take them back as opposed to throwing them out.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:36 AM   #10
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I took back some beef shorties that just didn't smell right.

Could have been the packaging process...could have been paranoia but I'd rather be safe than sorry.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:39 AM   #11
RastaQ
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I've taken meat back more than once. I've never had a problem with the stores.
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IamMadMan View Post
Some meat packers introduce nitrogen into the cyropack to void the package of oxygen for longer shelf life. Although the nitrogen reaction can sometimes give a foul odor. When the meat rinsed and allowed to air for about 10 minutes the smell disappears.

However nitrogen should not smell like burnt rubber or petroleum.
This ^ But, you are also likely smelling Sulpher Dioxide " rotten egg " smell which is also normal, with cryovac packaged meats. It should dissipate. After about ten minutes. If the blood and juices in the package are extremely sticky to the touch, along with a bad odor that won't dissipate, it's likely bad. Possible that the meat was kept out of time and temperature limits, during delivery etc.
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:03 AM   #13
SuburbSlicker
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Thanks all! Supermarket took them back without issue.

I'm curious about the sulphur dioxide theory...I've never experienced any smell in cryovaced meats. How normal is it?
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuburbSlicker View Post
Thanks all! Supermarket took them back without issue.

I'm curious about the sulphur dioxide theory...I've never experienced any smell in cryovaced meats. How normal is it?
Others have posted about it. I, too, have had meat come out of cryovac smelling "off". I have usually been lucky enough that a good rinsing has taken care of the problem. I try to pick the packaging showing the least amount of "air" under the plastic, on the theory that the "air" might indicate a small leak.
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:24 AM   #15
Seefyre
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I've had some pretty pronounced "barnyard" odor from my pork and beef packs but nothing like you describe. No tellin' what improper handling it went through.
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