Vacuum-Packed Lamb Smells Bad

Vacuum-Packed Lamb Smells Bad: What to Do

Finding your vacuum-packed lamb smelling bad can seem pretty annoying however before you throw it out, there might be a way to salvage it. Much of the meat sold in the grocery store has been vacuumed and packed, and it can only survive for 10 days before it has to be cooked or frozen and anything longer can start to have a strong odor.

This smell may be typical or it can be an indication that the meat has gone bad.

Vacuum meat packing is meant to preserve and obstruct the growth of bacteria, mold, and oxygen-induced bacteria. Also, vacuum meat packing has become so popular that it is almost inescapable, they will not only protect the meat but also provide a longer shelf life but it can have an unusual smell upon opening.

If you have been around vacuum-sealed meat for a while, the particular smell that comes from opening it shouldn’t be new anymore, but if you are experiencing this for the very first time, you should know this can be quite strong and disconcerting.

What is the purpose of vacuum meat packing? Why does vacuum lamb smell bad? How do you get rid of the smell? Read on to find answers to your question and learn the difference between the typical smell and when the lamb has gone bad.

Purpose of Vacuum-Packed Meat

Vacuum sealing your meat is meant to help preserve the meat and has some other benefits as well. It might sound unbelievable but the method of vacuum-sealing meats has been around since the 1940s so if you ever wonder if vacuum-sealing meat is valid, it is.

It is an ideal way to preserve your food at home and it’s used in stores as well so when you visit your fridge or freezer, it ensures you have a variety of options to pick from. Below are some notable purposes of vacuum-packed meats.

  • It prevents the build-up of bacteria that can ruin the meat/food
  • It lengthens the preservation of the taste of your meat
  • It reduces the growth of aerobic bacteria and protects your food from dust, germs, humidity, and other agents that make your meat/food taste horrible
  • It allows you to have a wide range of choices when you go to the fridge to pick meat to cook
  • Vacuum-sealing meat removes most of the oxygen thereby preventing chemical reactions that are triggered by oxygen that can ruin the food.
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Vacuum-Packed Lamb Smells Bad: What to Do

We already agree that there are some benefits associated with vacuum-packed lamb and its means to last up to 10 days without going bad and one stored in the freezer can last 3 years. Note that there is a distinct smell that is common with vacuum-packed food, so vacuum lamb is meant to produce a strong and sometimes adverse sulfur smell, simply remove it from the bag, rinse, and cook.

The vacuum process is meant to keep your lamb from going bad, but the process tends to have two side effects, one is the weird smell and the other is that the beef changes color. The good news about this is that it will recover its natural reddish hue once the seal is broken.

The sealed smell, on the other hand, is caused by the build-up of lactic acid inside the vacuum, seal and it’s a sign that the meat has been properly preserved. You can bring it out and rinse it until the smell is completely dissipated but note that the smell will go away on its own in no time in about 20 to 30 minutes.

What if The Meat Smells Bad?

If the meat smells bad and the smell is not going away no matter how much you rinse or wait then you might have spoilage at hand. While the vacuum lamb smell will go away in no time, you might want to rinse it under running water for a couple of minutes and then tap dry with a paper towel.

If the smell veers close to the rancid egg smell, there are instances where the lamb meat must have spoiled. If you are not so sure of the smell, here are other ways you can determine if the vacuum lamb has spoiled.

1. The color of The Lamb Has Changed

Consuming spoiled meat can be bad for your health so you want to check out a few things and the first noticeable sign is the color. If your vacuum-sealed meat has a greenish tint to it, it’s a sure sign that the meat has gone bad.

Although the meat is meant to take on a dark purplish color when it’s in the vacuum pack if the natural color does not return after 30 minutes of airing it and a very offensive odor accompanies it, it needs to be discarded.

2. The Seal Has Been Compromised

The first thing you want to check after noticing your vacuum pack lamb smells bad is if the seal is still tightly sealed or not. If there are any signs of leaking juice or if the pouch feels slack against the lamb, the seal has been compromised and air has gotten in thereby running the meat.

3. Feels Sticky or Slimy

Your meat is meant to have a natural moist feel to it but it has a sticky or slimy feel instead in addition to the bad smell, there is a good chance it has spoiled. If it smells rancid or putrid with this sign, you have to know it can be saved and have to be disposed of.

Vacuum Packed Meat Shelf Life

There might be instances where your vacuum-packed meat might smell bad but still be alright so knowing the shelf life can help you decide if the meat is bad or not. The vacuum sealing process is meant to extend the shelf life of your food longer than placing it in a regular storage container. Note that vacuum-sealed meat placed at room temperature will still go bad quickly.

Vacuum Sealed MeatShelf Life
Room TemperatureRaw meat in a vacuum sealer stored at room temperature will not last more than a day it spoils really fast.
RefrigeratorWhen stored in the fridge, the raw vacuum-packed lamb meat should last up to 2 weeks before it spoils.
FreezerThe freezer is the best place to store vacuum-sealed meat, it should typically last 6 to 8 months before it spoils.

Note: How long the meat lasts in the vacuum sealer will be dependent on the type of meat. Frozen meat that is properly vacuumed in the freezer can last 1 to 3 years before going bad or getting freezer burned.

Can Vacuum Packed Lamb Smell Bad And Still Be Good?

Vacuum-packed lamb should have a sulphuric smell, this is entirely okay and shows that the meat has been well-preserved.

Lamb meats itself also have a well-lamby and fresh grass smell which is almost gamey, but it smells like anything else, you have to be cautious and watch for other signs that might show it’s terrible.

Lamb has a unique smell compared to other types of meats, and the normal smell is not that nice, this does not mean it has gone bad. So lamb can smell weird and still be good, you will know it has gone bad when it has a foul odor and distinct gray color.

Another indication that lamb has gone bad sticky or slimy film on the surface.

Final Thoughts

The type of instance where vacuum-packed lamb goes bad is a very rare one so if the weird smell puts you off, it’s expected and can be rinsed off.

However, if you are in doubt and still not convinced that the lamb is still good then it’s best that you throw it out.

Food poisoning can be fatal that is super unpleasant, so if the meat seems funky and off-putting no matter what you do, do not hesitate to dispose of it. While the smell from every vacuumed-packed meat is not nice, it should not be overwhelming or disgusting and should disappear within 30 minutes of opening it.

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