Soon after slaughter, an animal's muscles stiffen due to chemical changes in the flesh. This stiffness, called rigor mortis, gradually disappears. Softening takes three to four days for beef, less time for smaller carcasses like veal, lamb, and pork.This softening is caused by enzymes in the flesh.
Green meat is meat that has not had enough time to soften. It is tough and relatively flavorless. Because it takes several days for meats to reach the kitchen from the slaughterhouse, green meat is seldom a problem with commercially available meats, except when meat is frozen while still green.The problem is sometimes encountered with game killed for home consumption, if the hunter cuts and freezes the meat when it is too fresh.
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