Philip King
Jolyon King
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There are many misconceptions when it comes to buying meat. One example is that people typically look for meat that is ‘red’ in colour when in fact, fresh meat is actually purplish in colour.








What does that mean about brown meat? Is it safe to eat?

We have put together a helpful guide on what to look out for when buying meat.


  1. The colour

The red colour comes from the meat being exposed to air and the pigments reacting with oxygen – similar to the blood inside our body. Our veins and arteries show a more purple colour to when we see our own blood.

Red meats should be dark in colour. Varying between purple, red and brown. If it is brown this just means, it’s been exposed to oxygen and is still safe to eat.

Game meant should be dark brown and pork should be a light pink colour. If pork is grey, avoid. This is from an immature breed and won’t taste of much.
Poultry can largely vary and this is down to the diet of the animal. The colour of fresh poultry can range from blue-white to yellow.


  1. The smell

Although the smell of raw meat isn’t usually pleasant, using your nose to determine if a meat is spoiled is often the easiest way. If the smell is at all pungent, then stay away!


  1. Cut and meat surface

Choose smooth cuts that are uniformly sized. Stay away from jagged edged meat. Especially with poultry as lower grades are not always butchered well.

When purchasing red meat take a look at the fibres. Coarse meat grains, with a lot of visible muscle fibres, means the meat will be tough but with lots of flavour. This are ideal for slow cooking and in stews. If you’re looking for a more tender cut opt for beef tenderloin.


  1. Fat and texture

Meat that has a large number of white flecks and fat streaks through the muscle will be juicier and tender. This look is referred to as marbling, we suggest choosing finer marling for a tastier cut.

The texture of your beef meat should be firm, dense and dry. Avoid if it looks like it’s going to fall apart. This is usually down to poor handling or poor quality. This is the same for poultry. Stay away from anything that is slimy or sticky.


  1. Sell-by date

The sell-by date is a manufacturers guide to when the food is at optimum freshness. If you’re not planning to cook immediately look to purchase meat with the latest best-before date.