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Does beef mince really smell that bad?


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#1 Duncan

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 07:51 PM

I was making some bolognese, the onions were frying and I opened a packet of lean beef steak mince from Aldi. As soon as the knife went through the plastic film I smelt something, tearing it open I stuck my nose in...stinking...bad...intense, made me gag a bit. I sat the packet on a counter a took a deep breath. I thought maybe just some bad odour collected in the packet that will soon disperse. I pick it up a moment later for another sniff. No, bad idea. I drop the packet into the bin and wonder if I will be sick on top of it.

Still wanting my bolognese I go out to Tesco for some more mince. Opening this packet I stick my nose in expecting what I thought was the usual not too pleasant but also not too bad smell of raw beef. Bam, same smell again. Maybe not so strong, but very unpleasant.

Apart from being on the same street these shops are not related to one another, which leads me to believe that rather than them both selling rotten meat this is how beef mince smells. The odd thing is I have cooked with it many many many times before and never noticed this, and it really takes something very unpleasant to make me gag. I often see blood and guts and can look at them while wondering what to have for lunch, so for a smell to put me off is unusual.

So, have I suddenly become super-sensitive to the smell of raw beef, or was this indeed unusually smelly meat? I'm a male so I am not pregnant.

My girlfriend ate the mince (I was so put off I had something else, she said it smelt nasty but normal and said she would eat it) so I suppose we will see if it really was OK.

#2 Stephanie2008

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 08:26 PM

I hate the smell of all raw meat, but mainly mince and pork. I cannot open the packet. So I think maybe it was all right and you just really don't like the smell. I guess you'll see if your girlfriend ate it. :blush:

#3 Duncan

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 09:58 PM

Probably just normal then. Don't know where this sensitivity to it suddenly came from, just recently I was sniffing away at some raw pork and thought nothing of it at all.

I was doubtful that she should eat it, but she was certain it was fine, and is probably right.

#4 Echo

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 12:34 AM

I remember my mom making bolognese once, and the smell made me gag. To me, it smelled like vomit (literally), but my mom didn't notice any bad smell. To me, though, the smell was so bad I had to leave the room. I have such a vivid memory of this, and I thought it was just me being weird. But maybe there's a smell that is very strong to some people.

#5 Kell

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 07:21 AM

I hate the smell of mince until it's cooked (I have to get hubby to brown the mince for me when we're having it in a meal). I got worse with it when I was opregnant. I have a very acute sense of smell at the best of times, but when I was pregnant I was hyper-sensitive and it's stayed more pronounced (although not quite as bad as during pregnancy) even after having Xan. I hate to think what might happen if I get pregnant again - my nose might just explode!

#6 Heather

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 11:23 AM

I use mince all the time and I've never noticed a bad smell but maybe thats just me and everyone else has different reactions. The thing is I don't smell it I just use it with in it's dat time I do have a thing about that.

#7 Chrissy

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 12:25 PM

Mince smells like old socks when it's being cooked, but shouldn't have a strong smell raw. It should just be a meat smell, but not particularly strong or yucky.

The meat was probably 'on the turn', and your girlfriend was OK because it wasn't completely bad. Either that or she has an iron constitution! :)

#8 Kylie

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 12:28 PM

I have a very poor sense of smell, which is just as well by the sounds of it, because I use mince often.

#9 SueK

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 01:26 PM

I reckon the mince was on the turn - both times. I'm sorry but beef mince shouldn't smell of anything other than raw meat. Normally the smell would get worse once it was being cooked , like a sickly, sugary smell. I usually buy mine from Asda or Waitrose as I never have any problems with their mince. 3 times I've taken mince back to Sainsbury's.

Duncan - I think you should have taken the mince back to get a refund. Don't let them tell you it is the normal smell of mince cos it isn't :irked:

#10 Talisman

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 02:56 PM

Personally I find that all meat smells bad, but then again it is dead flesh, so what else can you expect? Its pretty revolting when you think about it (which is I suspect why most people don't), and one of the reasons why I became vegetarian 13 years ago. I never liked meat that much anyway and I don't think I am missing much - apart from blocked arteries from all that fat !

#11 Maureen

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 05:58 PM

Duncan, I am assuming this mince was not left lying around in the heat for a period of time? That would make it emit a bad smell, even the colour would be more brownish than pinkish/reddish. Minced beef has a particular smell, but it should not make you gag.

#12 Duncan

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 09:41 PM

Interesting mix of responses. I would have considered taking it back to the shop, had I not been starving and it been buried in the bin by the time I had finally eaten. Neither pack had been sitting about in my house for long, in fact just the time taken to cut an onion. Even in the shop I normally take the packets from the back of the chiller to ensure they are cold.

Cooked some chicken tonight - didn't notice anything with that.

#13 kezlehan

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 07:45 AM

Hmmm strange, I've never noticed this before. I have to say though, once you are cooking the mince, I LOVE the smell. Does that make me weird hahaa? But I can't say I've ever noticed a strong odour whilst it's still in the packet... I will investigate further next time I have mince :)

#14 pickle

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 12:14 PM

I am a meat eater and a lover of cooking, I would just say if any meat has such a strong gagging smell throw it away it should not smell strongly if it has been stored correctly either at home or at the store.

the only meat I am not fond of cooking is lamb it has a very strong raw smell

#15 bunnybooks

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 10:20 AM

I think raw beef in particular has a nasty smell, but beef mince when it is starting to cook is revolting. Steak doesn't seem to smell bad though... The smell of lamb makes me feel ill, raw or cooked.

#16 rubik

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 09:40 PM

The british beef mince smells bad, beacuse it contains a lot of blood, because UK farmers kill cows with electroshockk but witout knifing them! blood remains in cow's body and later smells badly! If you want to eat tasty beef mince and meat you should kill animals properly cutting them and remove out all blood from body! That's why british beef meat looks very red as it contains blood! Eat beef outside the UK as there are more tasty food!

#17 dawnbirduk

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 07:11 AM

Not a great meat lover but I do enjoy mince meals, I have a sensitive sense of smell and never had too much of a problem with the smell, don't particularly like it till its cooked, one possibility is that you were extra sensitive to smells on that particular day, it does happen,

The british beef mince smells bad, beacuse it contains a lot of blood, because UK farmers kill cows with electroshockk but witout knifing them! blood remains in cow's body and later smells badly! If you want to eat tasty beef mince and meat you should kill animals properly cutting them and remove out all blood from body! That's why british beef meat looks very red as it contains blood! Eat beef outside the UK as there are more tasty food!


But now however, I think I may have been put off :wink:

#18 ~Andrea~

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 05:54 PM

The british beef mince smells bad, beacuse it contains a lot of blood, because UK farmers kill cows with electroshockk but witout knifing them! blood remains in cow's body and later smells badly! If you want to eat tasty beef mince and meat you should kill animals properly cutting them and remove out all blood from body! That's why british beef meat looks very red as it contains blood! Eat beef outside the UK as there are more tasty food!


In the UK animals are first stunned with electric shock for humane reasons before they are slaughtered with a knife. (They are not killed by the electric shock - this is a legal requirement required to render the animal unconscious before slaughter). The same thing happens in the US. I am not sure where you are getting your information. Perhaps you could back up your claims.

#19 Abcinthia

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 06:19 PM

I hate the smell of mince until it's cooked (I have to get hubby to brown the mince for me when we're having it in a meal). I got worse with it when I was opregnant. I have a very acute sense of smell at the best of times, but when I was pregnant I was hyper-sensitive and it's stayed more pronounced (although not quite as bad as during pregnancy) even after having Xan. I hate to think what might happen if I get pregnant again - my nose might just explode!


Yes I'm the same.

I hated the smell of raw meat before I was pregnant but it has smelt worse since I was pregnant (over 4 years ago!).

I always get my partner to sniff meat for me. He has a pretty good nose and hasn't been wrong yet.

#20 poppyshake

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 02:49 PM

Mince can smell if it's getting a bit past it .. even when still within it's date it can change colour and smell. It begins to smell vinegary and goes brown. If it's a really strong smell I bin it but if it's just slightly smelly I cook it and it's always been fine and tastes normal. I'm a bit weird in that I like the smell of raw meat (and love the smell of a butchers shop) but raw fish that's not fresh is disgusting. I once had some from a fish and chip shop that smelt of ammonia .. vile.




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