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Food Safety Question

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I'm just pulling out a package of beef chuck steaks to pop in the crock pot to make Barbacoa Beef. When I pulled it out of the fridge, I noticed that there's a hole in the packaging.

My husband did the grocery shopping and putting away, so I have no idea whether that hole was there when he bough it, or if one of us accidentally made a hole with our thumb when putting it away or moving things in the fridge.

I've read that it's safe to eat meat with torn packages that has been frozen, but can't find anything about meat that's just been refrigerated. What would you do? It was a family sized portion (so rather large) that I'd rather not toss unnecessarily, but obviously don't want to do anything dangerous either.

If it makes any difference, the meat is packaged in saran-wrap type material, and then we always stick it inside an additional plastic bag. The coloring of the meat is still red, and as far as I can tell, smells totally fine.

I appreciate any input.

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  1. Personally, I wouldn't be that concerned if the meat came from a reputable grocery store, and you're cooking the snot out of it to make barbacoa. Sashimi is a different story, but for something like that, I probably wouldn't serve to guests, but I'd eat it.

    1. Go ahead with your plan. Unless you smell it being obviously rotten, it is fine. Hey, people dry age their steaks in the fridge for days, uncovered.

      1. The beef passed the sniff test and looks fine. I would use it.

        1. Sounds fine to me. I'm generally a cautious sort, but I wouldn't hesitate to use this meat if, as you say, it passed the sight and smell tests.

          1. First, thank you mods for getting this where it needs to be--I apologize for putting it in the wrong spot! I'm new here, though I've occasionally visited in the past.

            Second, thank you all for your input. I tend to be overly cautious with food safety things, and my husband tends to the opposite end of the spectrum. Sometimes we need an outside opinion. The barbacoa is in the crock pot as we speak :)

            1. If there was NO hole in wrapping, would you be concerned? I was thinking, MAYBE a small, dry spot where meat was exposed to air, but NOTHING that would give me any health concerns.

              1. I would not think twice about eating it.

                5 Replies
                1. re: jpc8015

                  The question is: if the resulting Barbacoa Beef is eaten on tortillas, are they sandwiches? ; )

                  1. re: John E.

                    Hoo-boy. ;)

                    1. re: John E.

                      Absolutely.

                      1. re: jpc8015

                        Mexican Panini?

                        1. re: ospreycove

                          According to my brother, who is fat so he is an expert, anything that is a filling wrapped in starch for ease of eating is a sandwich. Because the shredded beef would be wrapped up in a tortilla it would be a sandwich.

                          A Mexican Panini would be a torta a la parrilla.

                  2. I'm with the sniff-test crowd.

                    1. I think you are fine. First, like you said, you don't know if you may have rip the hole yourself. Second, a hole in the wrap is not a big deal. Well, it depends I suppose. The wrap in these packages does not really keep the meat fresh much longer (it is not air tight). The wrap does keep the meat clean.

                      In other words, I don't believe the meat is spoiled because there is a small hole. Has any dust or dirt gotten in there because of the hole? That we won't know.

                      Maybe just rinse the meat (next time)?

                      Sorry being late to the conversation.

                      1. I am very cautious but I would use it without concern if it looked and smelled ok

                        1. I think many know where I stand usually on these issues - I'd eat it

                          1. How was the Barbacoa?

                            1. If meat is going to spoil, saran wrap won't prevent that. Leave 2 steaks on your kitchen counter for a few days, one wrapped and one not. Barring insect interference, they're both going to spoil at the same rate.
                              What you might be concerned about is contamination but since you're cooking the meat in a crock pot, most likely over several hours, unless someone poisoned the meat, you're safe. Sorry for putting that idea in your head.