Country: United States
Date: April 2008
Why does Hamburger turn brown when it's going bad?
Hamburger turning brown does not necessarily mean "it's going bad". What is
happening is that the iron in the meat is oxidizing. That may or may not mean
that spoilage is occurring. Obviously, one needs to use good judgment regarding
its "freshness" vs. "spoilage".
You might notice that hamburger turns brown when you cook it. Obviously,
that does not mean it is going bad. Meat will turn brown before
it is actaully "bad from bacterial action". Smelling the meat is a good way of
However, when in doubt, do not eat.
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Update: June 2012