In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “What happens if you eat bad turkey?”. We will also talk about how to know when the ground turkey has gone bad and how to store ground turkey to extend its lifespan.
What happens if you eat bad ground turkey?
Eating ground turkey that has gone rancid will definitely cause food poisoning as it can be contaminated with pathogens and bacteria such as salmonella, E.coli, and clostridium. Eating bad ground turkey or any other meat is not considered healthy eating practice.
The person can start to feel the effect of food poisoning in 30 minutes to an hour or even a few days or weeks depending on the type of virus or pathogen that has contaminated the meat.
The symptoms of food poisoning after eating bad ground turkey are mentioned below.
- Abdominal cramps
- Gastric discomfort
It is always safe to throw away the ground turkey if it seems to have gone rancid to avoid any gastro-related illnesses.
How to know when the ground turkey has gone bad?
The ground turkey will go bad in a few days when kept in the fridge or in a few hours if left at room temperature. Ground turkey should be kept at the temperature of 40 F or below to avoid any contamination from the bacteria r pathogens as they cannot survive or multiply at those temperatures.
The temperatures between 40F and 140F are the breeding ground for the bacteria and if the ground turkey is kept at room temperature for more than an hour then the ground meat will be contaminated and should not be consumed.
There are easy ways to know when the ground turkey has gone rancid.
A smell test is the best way of knowing if the meat has gone rancid as it will smell like sulfur, ammonia, or rotten egg smell. The fresh ground turkey has a slight meaty smell.
The ground turkey when fresh has a pinkish hue with shiny colour. When the meat has gone bad, it will start to change colour to gray or brown with greenish or grayish spots. If the meat has gone rancid for a couple of days, then it can start to mold too.
Touch and texture
The fresh ground turkey feels and looks moist, soft, and crumbly which is not the case when it has gone rancid. The rancid ground turkey will look and feel slimy and sticky in texture and feel.
How to store ground turkey to extend its lifespan?
The ground turkey should never be stored at room temperature unless you are planning to cook it straight away within an hour of keeping it at room temperature. Meat left at room temperature for longer than an hour will be contaminated by bacteria such as salmonella which can cause gastro-related illnesses.
To extend the shelf life of ground turkey, it can be stored in the fridge or the freezer.
Fridge temperature should be set at 40 F or below according to USFDA. At these temperatures, the bacteria cannot multiply or are ineffective. The ground turkey stored in the fridge can last for 3-4 days whilst it is stored in an airtight container or wrapped with plastic wrap to avoid contact with air.
It is necessary to check if the ground turkey has gone bad by doing the smell, colour, and texture test before preparing and cooking to avoid any food poisoning.
The freezer is the best place to store the ground turkey if you are planning to cook in a couple of weeks or months’ time as the freezer can hold the ground turkey for at least 4-6 months without losing a significant amount of texture and flavor of the meat.
While storing the ground turkey in the freezer, one should be mindful to wrap the meat with plastic wrap and aluminum foil to avoid freezer burn. Using freezer bags and ziplock bags is also an excellent choice as they can also avoid freezer burns.
How to thaw the frozen ground turkey and how long does it last?
The frozen ground turkey should be thawed properly to maintain its flavor and texture as well as not let it get contaminated. It is important to thaw the ground turkey in the fridge for a day or until it is defrosted completely before cooking.
Defrosting at room temperature can cause the outer layers of the ground turkey to start contamination as the outer layers would defrost first. It should not be kept at room temperature for more than an hour.
After thawing in the fridge, the ground turkey can last for 1-2 days. It is necessary to check before cooking if it has gone rancid.
In this brief guide, we answered the query, “What happens if you eat bad ground turkey?”. We also talked about how to know when the ground turkey has gone bad and how to store ground turkey to extend its lifespan.
I hope you find this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.