I don't blame you if cooking meat makes you nervous. Whether it's inexpensive ground beef or a dry-aged steak that you're now truly invested in, you want to make sure you've picked out something fresh. But what happens if the meat sat around in the fridge for a couple days, or was frozen and doesn't look quite as vibrantly red anymore? Is it still safe to eat or should you throw it out?
The good news is, even if there's a color change — which might not be as visually appetizing — the meat or poultry is still perfectly fine to eat if stored properly in the refrigerator or freezer and consumed within a safe period of time (up to two days for ground meat and five days for other cuts). What you really want to watch out for even more so than color change, is meat or poultry that has a bad odor or is sticky, tacky, or slimy to the touch. Let your other senses be your guide in these instances.