Very good question. The stewing steak is almost certainly beef and Bowie cleverly uses this tin of beef stewing steak as a metaphor for life itself, while the paper bag not only acts as an ingenious receptacle for the tin of stewing steak and other assorted sundries (stolen or otherwise), but also as a sort of inverse Pandora's Box.
My interpretation is that this act of desperation amidst the noise and haste of "a national concern" took place in a Co-op in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch and that far from a happy ending, this tired and clearly terrified woman was later strip searched by a burly policeman who discovered a stolen melon shoved up her arse.
God's footballer hears the voices of angels
Above the choir at Molineux