What Does It Mean When Pork Smells Like Eggs?
pork smells like eggs

What we put in our bodies is very important, so we need to be careful when purchasing food. Sometimes, food comes with a certain odor, and we do not know what it means. 

Before you decide to take any action, you should know that if your pork smells like eggs, it could come from a number of reasons, and some might not be bad. 

In this article, we will go over those reasons and how to manage the situation. It will help you determine if your pork is safe for consumption or not.

Reasons Why Your Pork Smells Like Egg

Before determining what to do with pork that smells like an egg, you need to figure out the cause. 

1. Boar Taint


Boar taint is one of the major reasons why your fresh pork has that rotten egg smell. Boar taint is the unpleasant smell, or sometimes taste, that becomes evident after cooking the raw meat of non-castrated pork. So when you’re cooking your pork shoulder and you smell egg, it’s due to boar taint.

Your fresh pork has that bad smell from boat taint because of an increase in skatole and androsterone in the fat of male pigs. Skatole is a chemical compound that gives the meat a fecal flavor, while androsterone gives the meat a sweaty or urine flavor. 

The female pig also has the skatole compound, so they can be affected by boar taint, but this is less common. 

Ways to Identify Boar Taint

The main difference between boar-tainted pork and bad pork is that the boar-tainted pork has a bearable smell. The fresh meat will have a rotten egg smell but not in a way that will make your eyes water or your stomach churn like rotten meat in some cases. 

Also, with boar-taint, it is not until you begin to cook the pork that you smell the eggy smell. With rotten pork chops, the unpleasant odors come out as soon as you open the packaging. 

How To Prevent

Unfortunately, there’s little to nothing you can do about the boar taint of your fresh pork. It all lies with the person that produces the raw pork. They can prevent unpleasant odors from their pigs by vaccinating and neutering them, among other processes. 

One way you can avoid buying pork with a weird smell is by getting it from a place where they castrate their male pigs. 

Is Boar Taint Safe For Eating? 

Yes, boar-tainted ground pork is safe for consumption. The pork smell doesn’t cause any harm to you in any way. It just smells bad, and in many cases, the flavor of the meat might mirror the unpleasant odors. 

How to Mask the Boar Taint When Cooking

If you’re trying to get rid of boar taint, it’s quite hard. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to completely eliminate the smell or flavor. These methods of cooking we’re about to discuss, however, will make the pork bearable to eat. 

1. Cooking the Pork in a Slow Cooker 

We recommend using a slow cooker because you will cook the fresh pork for about ten to twelve hours. Also, many people have found that using beer as a liquid (mixed with water if you prefer) has helped reduce the flavor of boar taint. 

2. Marinating 

Marinating the pork with spices like garlic, paprika, oregano, etc., for a period of time can also help get rid of the eggy smell and flavor. 

3. Smoking

Much research has been carried out to find out the best way boar taint can be masked while cooking. Smoking the fresh pork and adding spices was one of the best ways to mask the boar taint. So it might be a good idea to use the smoking method in your cooking process, and don’t forget to add spices to the meat and season well.

2. Rotten Pork 

Rotten Pork

One of the reasons why your pork smells like eggs is because it is rotten. Before you cook any meat, pay attention to the smell and appearance of the meat. This is what will tell you if you have bad meat or not. 

Ways to Identify Rotten Pork

1. Appearance

Fresh pork is pink with white fat marbling, so if you notice any greenish or yellowish color on your meat, know it’s a sign that the meat has gone bad, and you should get rid of it. 

Note that some meat might have a darker or pale pink color, but it doesn’t mean it’s bad. If you see mold on your pork, do not buy it because it’s a sign the meat is bad. Boiling or cutting away the affected part doesn’t solve the problem. 

Also, before buying packaged pork products, look for the expiration date. If the pork packaging looks swollen, it might be due to gases produced by bacteria. It’s best to avoid buying those, but if you’ve bought them already, confirm the meat is bad before tossing it away. 

Pay attention to the space you’re selecting your pork from. If it’s filled with flies or strong odors, it indicates something is not right. Also, the smell from the environment can affect the smell and taste of your meat, so be wary. 

2. Texture 

Pork shouldn’t feel slimy to hold. If it feels dry, mushy, and sticky, then it’s a sign that the meat has gone bad. Fresh pork feels wet and firm to the touch. 

3. Smell

The smell of spoiled meat cannot be mistaken because of how foul it is. If you perceive any ammonia smell, it strongly indicates that your pork is bad. The smell of ammonia can sometimes make your eyes water. The pork might smell eggy or sour. 

The smell of spoiled meat is unbearable — you’ll know it’s time to throw it away.

Is It Okay To Cook Bad Pork?

Many people think it’s okay to cook spoiled meat because the hot water will kill the bacteria and get rid of the smell and odor. This is false. Cooking the meat can enhance the bad smell of pork. Some people have zero consequences from eating bad pork, but the chances of getting sick are high. The best thing to do is to get rid of the meat. 

3. Vacuum Packaging

The meat is vacuum Packed .

Vacuum packaging is a means of preserving food by removing the air from the food before sealing. The oxygen removed prevents the growth of bacteria that causes the food to spoil quickly. In most cases, when vacuum-packed porkl smells eggy, it’s due to the lack of oxygen or improper packaging. 

Can I Eat Vacuum Packaged Pork That Smells Like an Egg? 

The pork smell doesn’t come from the pork itself but from the packaging. If the pork doesn’t have signs that hint that it’s bad, you can cook and eat them. 

Don’t skip any step in the cooking process. First, wash the meat thoroughly, or soak it in salt and cold water for a period of time. If it no longer smells after washing, you can cook it. Note that if the meat starts to smell while cooking, it’s a sign it has gone bad. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does fresh pork smell?

Yes, fresh pork has a smell. Don’t be alarmed if yours smells, as long as it doesn’t smell unpleasant. There may be a hint of metallic smell from the blood, but that indicates fresh meat. Anything other than that is not normal. 

Can pork last for a week?

No, pork cannot last for a week. Although it might keep for that long, the ideal duration should be for about five days. Also, it depends on if you have fresh or cooked pork. Cooked pork should stay in the fridge for two or three days, while fresh pork can last for five days in the fridge. You shouldn’t keep raw pork for more than two days. 

According to USDA, you should refrigerate raw pork at 40°F immediately after you buy it. If there’s an expiration date on your pork product, make sure the days you’re preserving the meat don’t go past the date on the packaging. 

What are the symptoms of eating spoiled pork? 

The early symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, etc. Later signs are fever, fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, etc. 

Trichinosis may cause these symptoms. It is a foodborne disease that you can have from eating uncooked or spoiled meats (especially pork products). Symptoms of trichinosis can last for weeks, usually beginning two weeks after eating the infected meat. 


Eating unsafe food can damage to your health, which can lead to more complications. So, when your pork smells like eggs, follow the above tips before determining if it’s safe.

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