Have you ever opened a pack of sliced ham, left it in the fridge, and when you went to eat it, it looked strange? If the answer is yes and you want to find out how to tell if ham has gone bad, don't worry.
At Enrique Tomás, we're going to give you some clues!
How Can I Determine if the Ham Has Gone Bad
Iberian ham is one of our most internationally recognized products, and to ensure its perfect flavor and texture, each piece has to be carefully nurtured and cared for over a long period.
At Enrique Tomás, we oversee our product from the beginning. We observe the gestation and development of the pigs, then the production and curing of the ham, and, of course, lastly, we take care of the transportation of the pieces to our stores and the conditions in which we store them.
If we go to all this trouble, it's because we want you to enjoy all the nuances when you take a bite. That's why we're committed to spreading the culture of ham so that you have all the necessary information and can store it properly.
If you're wondering how to tell if ham has gone bad, don't worry; we'll help you!
Boneless ham from Enrique Tomás
An Essential Example
For example, imagine you've bought a pack of sliced ham. The first thing you need to know is that while it's sealed, it won't go bad. Just store it in the pantry or any other dark, dry place with a temperature between 17 and 21°C. However, what happens when you open it? That's a different story.
If you've already started your pack of sliced ham and haven't finished it, it's important to store it correctly. It's best to put it in an airtight container to protect it from oxygen and then place it in the refrigerator. This will prevent the ham from going bad.
If, for some reason, many days have passed, and when you went to get your pack, the slices left are dry... It's better not to eat them, at least not with bread. If they've only lost some of their juiciness, you can use them to make creamy Iberian ham croquettes. However, if they've darkened and hardened significantly, it's best to forget about them.
It can also happen that you see whitish spots on your ham. But there's a small detail to consider. If you notice small white spots on the ham as soon as you open the package or when you've just bought your pack of sliced ham, they're not a sign of poor quality, but quite the opposite! These white spots are tyrosine crystals, one of the 20 amino acids that make up proteins, and they form during curing. If you see them, it means the ham has been properly cured.
Tyrosine in ham
However, if your piece has been open for a few days, and these white spots have appeared afterward... Don't eat it. In these cases, it's likely due to the so-called ham mite or 'hampster,' and it can be harmful to health. Painful as it is to say, it's best to throw it away because you probably have ham that has gone bad.
Finally, keep in mind that your sense of smell can also serve as a clue. If you notice a very strong odor, forget about it. Therefore, if you want to know if ham has gone bad, all you have to do is look at the color of the meat, its smell, or its juiciness.
Don't leave packs of sliced ham in the fridge for too long, and if you have any doubts or notice that your Iberian ham looks strange, get rid of it and buy a new package.
That's the only way to ensure you always eat top-quality meat!