Meat roasts can be a significant expenditure, often providing the meat for a special meal. Whatever the occasion, when you have a roast to prepare, assess the meat to ensure its safety. Avoid illness by carefully examining the color, texture and scent of the meat. With just a brief check, you can know whether a roast is bad or whether it is safe to eat.

Assess the color of the roast before cooking it. According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, raw meat contains a protein called “myoglobin.” This protein makes meat tissue dark or bright red, especially when oxygen touches the meat during refrigeration. The color of a roast alone is not a reliable indicator of spoilage; however, a roast with a faded color or a noticeable darkened color may not be safe to eat.

Check the texture of the roast. Touch the outside surface of the roast with your fingers. The meat should not feel slippery, slimy or sticky to your touch. Instead, the meat should feel firm and moist.

Smell the roast. Fresh meat should not have excessive or noticeable smells. If you smell unpleasant or rancid odors coming from the roast, do not prepare the meat.

Check for color, texture and smell to determine whether the roast is fit to eat. If the color seems faded or very dark, the texture is slippery and the roast smells spoiled, do not prepare it. If the color alone seems slightly off, the roast is probably safe to eat. If the roast texture and smell seems bad, do not prepare the meat.