Why is there a leathery "skin" inside chubs... is it fresh?
The leathery skin is completely natural side effect of the high pressure pasteurization process that we use to ensure safety and not a sign of un-freshness. What is happening is that the proteins under pressure are linking together in a fashion similar to a hard pressed hamburger patty.
Wait! Why don't other brands that use HPP have the same leathery skin?
This is because we HPP in final packaging and do not touch the product afterwords, while other brands may HPP the raw ingredients before processing so the grinders break up the meat.