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Food Safety For the Cheap and Adventurous

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Beef [Feb. 27th, 2010|12:29 pm]
Food Safety For the Cheap and Adventurous

can_i_eat_this

[shiromisa]
[mood |relievedrelieved]

A friend of mine was eating a QuikTrip sandwich just now, and a quarter of the way through, she noticed the meat was orange, yellow, green, and shimmering. What might happen now?

ETA: Thanks for the explanations, everyone! She's finishing her lunch in peace.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: dishapeaches
2010-02-27 05:34 pm (UTC)
Does is smell or taste funny too? IDK what QuikTrip is, but I'm sure meat shouldn't be all colors of the rainbow. She might end up with stomach cramps and/or teh diarrheaz, maybe even vomiting, depending on how much of it she ate.
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[User Picture]From: shiromisa
2010-02-27 05:40 pm (UTC)
I think QuikTrip is a gas station type deal. Oh boy... D: She's in for a fun night.
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[User Picture]From: dishapeaches
2010-02-27 05:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah, maybe even a couple days.
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[User Picture]From: vesleskjor
2010-02-27 05:37 pm (UTC)
Shimmering? Was it roast beef? Sometimes it has....shimmery spots like this. It's just the way the light hits it and it's harmless.

Edited at 2010-02-27 05:42 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: shiromisa
2010-02-27 05:50 pm (UTC)
Ah, thank you! She said that's it exactly.
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[User Picture]From: rune_bear
2010-02-27 05:41 pm (UTC)
Lemmie guess, roast beef?

As long as it smells / tastes normal, don't worry about it. It's perfectly normal for sliced roast beef to have a 'rainbow / oil slick' look to it.
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[User Picture]From: dakiwiboid
2010-02-27 05:42 pm (UTC)

As long as it still smelled fine, no problem.

The iridescence was probably caused by birefringence. It happens frequently in cured meats. Here's some info from the Texas A&M Meat Science Frequently Asked Questions Page.

"A natural phenomenon in cured meat (and some fresh meat) is the occurrence of iridescence or a rainbow appearance on the cut lean surface. Technically, this is referred to as birefringence. It is caused by the reflectance of light off of muscle proteins, and it is analogous to the color distribution produced by a prism. Muscle proteins are arranged in strands called myofilaments, which are bound together to form myofibrils. Myofibrils are bound together to form muscle fibers, which form together to form muscle bundles and finally whole muscles. When the myofilaments are cut at the appropriate angle, exposing a cross section of the myofilaments, the reflectance of light off the proteins produces the characteristic appearance associated with iridescence."
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[User Picture]From: charlottesmtms
2010-02-28 02:55 am (UTC)

Re: As long as it still smelled fine, no problem.

This. The friend should be fine.

The main thing to look for, in luncheon meats, is feel and smell ... if it feels gacky-sticky, and smells either sour, or like a bit of perfume was spritzed on it (this is especially true, with items like balogna) then I'd chuck it!
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[User Picture]From: lalliegator
2010-02-27 05:48 pm (UTC)
Iridescent Color of Roast Beef
Sliced cooked beef or lunch meat can have an iridescent color. Meat contains iron, fat, and many other compounds. When light hits a slice of meat, it splits into colors like a rainbow. There are also various pigments in meat compounds which can give it an iridescent or greenish cast when exposed to heat and processing. Iridescent beef isn't spoiled necessarily. Spoiled cooked beef would probably also be slimy or sticky and have an off-odor.


Shiney beef = okay :D
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[User Picture]From: oh_sparks
2010-02-27 05:54 pm (UTC)
i have stopped eating in the middle of a roast beef sandwich for this exact reason lots of times, so i'm glad to find out it's supposed to look that way.
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[User Picture]From: aimealamort
2010-02-27 05:59 pm (UTC)
Processed roast beef is usually kinda a shiny green. As long as it isn't slimy and doesn't smell rank, it's fine.
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[User Picture]From: mokonekochans
2010-02-27 07:52 pm (UTC)
I really want roast beef now.

And hey, its great when you get to eat RAINBOW MEAT, and its still healthy- look at it that way- its the most awesome food ever!
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[User Picture]From: charlottesmtms
2010-02-28 05:52 am (UTC)
Is this your way to 'taste the rainbow'? :-D
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[User Picture]From: mokonekochans
2010-02-28 06:33 am (UTC)
Oh of course! Its the most delicious way! And versatile!
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[User Picture]From: payoffpitch
2010-02-27 10:26 pm (UTC)
The meat's fine (as you know), but a good thing to keep in mind is that pre-prepared packaged sandwiches have some of the highest probability of food-borne illnesses due to human contamination.
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[User Picture]From: charlottesmtms
2010-02-28 02:57 am (UTC)

Just say "NO!", to sammies-in-a-box ...

I for one, NEVER eat pre-made sammies ...*bleaugh*
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[User Picture]From: payoffpitch
2010-02-28 04:14 am (UTC)

Re: Just say "NO!", to sammies-in-a-box ...

Me either. I actually get queasy when I see them at airports and gas stations.
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[User Picture]From: charlottesmtms
2010-02-28 05:51 am (UTC)

Re: Just say "NO!", to sammies-in-a-box ...

Ugh ... THIS!
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[User Picture]From: Chris Morehouse
2011-12-21 06:51 pm (UTC)
While the iridescence is not harmful, it's not desireable if you love roast beef. It means you're eating cheap roast beef. You won't see this on slices of Boars Head, Dietz and Watson, or beef roasted at the store.
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