A craving for pork roast quickly falls by the wayside in the presence of spoiled meat. Signs of spoilage are rarely subtle, and when pork goes bad a combination of indicators is usually present. Although these indicators are physical, storage times must also be taken into account. Where and how long a pork roast remains in a certain environment is an important factor that helps to determine if the meat is unsafe to eat.
Although color is not necessarily an indication of spoilage, pork usually undergoes fading or darkening, depending on the original color of the meat. An off odor often accompanies the color changes when pork goes bad. In some cases, the bad pork may feel sticky, slimy or tacky when you touch it. If any of these indicators is present, or you suspect that the pork has not been stored or handled properly, throw it away.
Raw or cooked, pork roast should not be left for more than two hours outside of refrigeration. Once the two-hour mark hits, bacteria growth becomes an issue. If the air temperature is 90 F or above, pork roast may be subject to unsafe bacteria growth after one hour. Once this short window of time passes, discard the roast, even if there are no physical signs of spoilage.
Raw and cooked pork roast both have a limited shelf life inside refrigeration. Although the temperatures in the refrigerator do not kill bacteria, they do slow its growth. Raw pork roast keeps up to five days in the refrigerator before bacteria begin to become an issue. Cooked pork roasts last up to four days. If you do not cook or eat the refrigerated pork roast within these safe time frames, discard it.
Whether it is raw or cooked, pork roast does not go bad in the freezer. Freezing brings bacterial growth to a halt as long as the temperatures are below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Although freezing stops the pork roast from going bad, quality may suffer. Raw pork roast may display changes in taste and texture within four months of freezing; these changes may occur in cooked pork roast within two months.
- Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images