DETERIORATION OF MEAT AND MEAT PRODUCTS
Section I. DETERIORATIVE CONDITIONS IN MEAT AND MEAT PRODUCTS
a. Duty of 91R20. As a 91R20 veterinary food inspection specialist, you must
verify the presence of deteriorative conditions in meat and meat products. As
appropriate, you will confirm the inspection findings which indicate the presence of
deteriorative subsistence. Deteriorative conditions include abnormal color, off-odor,
abnormal texture, off-flavor, foreign material, and others.
b. Duty of 91R10. The 91R10 veterinary food inspection specialist's findings do
not identify the deteriorative condition. Rather, the 91R10 notes abnormalities of the
inspected product which may or may not indicate the presence of a deteriorative
a. Characteristics of Deterioration in Food. The microbial deterioration of a
food is usually manifested by alterations in the appearance, texture, color, odor, or
flavor or by slime formation. Alterations in appearance include color changes, formation
of pockets of gas or swelling, and microbial growth (especially molds). As some meat
products deteriorate, they tend to become soft or mushy. Degradation of food results in
the formation of compounds which have odors and flavors different from those of the
b. Microbial Spoilage. Examine the product for abnormal color(s), odor(s), and
texture(s) which may indicate microbial deterioration. Microbial spoilage may be caused
by yeast, mold, and/or bacteria. The particular color, odor, or texture change will
depend upon the type or species of microorganisms involved.
c. Color Changes. The following color changes may indicate microbial
spoilage: red spots; blue, green, purple, and yellowish discoloration; green core
(sausage); greenish-blue to brownish-black spots; abnormal pink, cream color, or white
d. Particular Odors. The following odors have been associated with microbial
deterioration: tainted, gassy, sour, cold storage flavor, musty or earthy, putrid, and acid.
Poultry products may also exhibit a dishrag odor, similar to the smell of a dirty dishrag,
usually a strong, sour odor.