1. Make sure that packaged meat isn’t past its “sell-by” date and that there’s not much moisture in the packaging.
2. Touch it if possible—it should be firm and not soft.
3. Look for bright red (not gray) meat. Vacuum-packed meat will be darker looking and should turn red as soon as it’s exposed to air.
4. Smell it if possible—meat should smell clean and bright, not like copper, soured yogurt or very runny cheese.