are these ribs safe to cook?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hambone1950, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Here's the deal. I bought 6 racks of ribs to cook this Sunday . It has been blistering hot here all week. i had 2 racks already in the freezer frozen solid. July 3rd I brought home 4 more frozen racks.    (these are all cryo vac wrapped). 

    I needed the freezer space so I put all the frozen racks in the reefer figuring they'd just thaw slowly and be ok for Sunday (the 7th) ...long story short I get up on the 5th of July and the fridge is at 50 degrees. I have no idea exactly how long it was like that but the ribs are pretty well thawed....maybe icy in the middle but not still frozen. I pushed the temp up and gradually got the temp back to about 38-40 where it has stayed since. Bought a new reefer yesterday ( Friday) but can't get it til Sunday . Last night at 11 I put a bunch of stuff in the next door neighbors reefer and those ribs went in her freezer. I can't say the meat was ever really hot hot like room temp even , but I am concerned about serving that meat to anyone. Sweetie says we should just open the pkgs and smell if ok and cook it. What do you all think?
    thanks in advance for your help.
  2. papacurtis

    papacurtis Smoke Blower

    I would be more worried about how they will taste after being defrosted and then refrozen. But, that's just my 2 cents.
  3. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What was the original "use by date" on the tag? If they were froze a day, add a day. That is how I would approach it. It would really depend upon how long they had been thawed in the market before you got them, because its so short a time span.

    If you are concerned, cook 'em today and put 'em in the fridge till tomorrow and warm 'em up?

    There are those much more well versed in what the government says and doesn't say. But you bought 'em Wednesday, know you got at least one hard freeze on 'em. Meat should last 3 days, unless it was thawed early for the holidays.

    I only get groceries once a week, not another trip to the store not ever a convience store for a week. I am pretty careful with food (had food poisoning once in my life, in boot camp of all places), but its my gut I'll get sick with a bad choice. Its a close calls so I would check the "USE BY:" date on the tag and adjust accordingly. When push comes to shove, my nose does a pretty fair job if I will just accept what it tells me.

    I am sure here soon someone with much more nrains that me will show up and give you a better explaination. The Guru's are all full of smarts, but it will ultimately be your decission.

    Good luck with your smoke.
  4. papacurtis

    papacurtis Smoke Blower

    Foam is spot on as usual. Whenever i buy cryovac ribs i always ask a meat manager if they were previously frozen. By law they are supposed to say if they were. Alot of places don't! I have never gotten sick from pork, and i trust my nose as well. ( ammonia smell = bad) maybe its all the antibiotics they give farm animals these days. I did get montezumas revenge once in Mexico. That sucked, big time!
  5. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    You said the fridge went to 50* but the ribs were still a little iy in the middle, do you think any of them went over 40* and if so for how long? That is the question! If the fridge warmed but the ribs were frozen and started to thaw but never went over 40* then they are fine.
    If they stayed under 40* and you re-froze them it might affect texture but it won't affect safety.
  6. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    From your original post is sounds like the use by date isn't really the issue, but whether or not they were in the "danger zone". Were they still cold to the touch when you discovered the temp problem? Like S2K9K, I'd say if they were still "icy in the middle" and were still cool/cold to the touch, they're probably ok.

    HOWEVER, if you're in doubt, you're the one who is ultimately responsible and it's your call. If any older folks, little kids or anyone who may have a compromised immune system are on the guest list I'd make damn sure they're not going to eat the ribs. I'm not trying to sound like one of those "safety weenies", but it's really nothing to be trifled with. 6 racks of ribs is no small investment and I do understand your concerns, but if it were me, I'd be so worried about it that I wouldn't enjoy the party.

    Now I'm not recommending this, as it's really not ethical or even nice, but it's been my experience that if one were to return meat to a store claiming that it smells "off", the store will usually refund the price or replace the product no questions asked.
  7. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    When in doubt, throw them out!

    Dave and MD gave some good information.  Here's the thing, if you have no way of knowing whether the ribs went over 40 degrees for an hour, why take the chance.  I know it's hard to just throw away meat that you just spent a small fortune on, but I wouldn't risk making anyone sick.

    I've been exactly where you are now, it wasn't pretty...

    Good luck,

  8. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Thank you for all the input. I am not going to serve these ribs to anyone . I may just chuck them. I think my investment was about 50 bucks , tops, because they were on sale.
    . There was two small racks that were way in back and were still frozen , so I may cook those and serve them to just me....and if I die , I died eatin bbq.....they can chisel that on my headstone!
    Thanks again , people.
  9. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You can always cook 'em and donate 'em to the local ASPCA. All those bones would make a lot of puppies happy.
  10. thats too much of an investment for ME to just throw out...yikes...why didnt u just cook them then? i would have. the nose knows best.
  11. spoolinaz

    spoolinaz Meat Mopper

    I had an experience a couple weeks ago. Got some SL ribs at Wally world with yellow sticker. Still a couple days from use by. Took them home and into freezer right away. Took them out to thaw a couple weeks later and noticed they smelled pretty funky. Rinsed them and it wasn't as bad. Decided to push through with the smoke, while I planned a back-up just in case. Long story short, tasted them after the smoke, and they were 'fishy', like canned tuna. Into the trash they went. It's worth the time to smoke them to try and salvage the meat IMHO. Your nose and taste do know best. Just do what you are comfortable with for your family. Doesn't sound like you have anything to worry about. If they were still icy in the middle, chances are they weren't much more than 40 if at all. Just my $0.02

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