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How to Dispose of Spoiled Meat

Discover how to safely dispose of spoiled raw meat so that it doesn’t get you sick or stink up your kitchen.

Have you ever had the stench of spoiled raw meat coming from your freezer or refrigerator? The smell can be horrible and, if you don’t dispose of the meat properly, it can linger in your home for days.

To keep yourself and your family safe from food poisoning and rid your house of stench, you should put on protective clothing, throw away the spoiled meat immediately, and disinfect everything the meat came into contact with.

In this article, we will cover everything that you need to know, and answer the questions that you may have, about how to dispose of raw meat appropriately.

Should I Wear Protective Clothing When Disposing of Raw Meat?

To dispose of raw meat, you do not need to buy a hazmat suit, we can tell you that. However, you should wear protective plastic gloves and clothes that are easy to wash.

Throw away your plastic gloves as soon as you discard of the spoiled raw meat. To be extra careful, wash your clothes as soon as you have disinfected the fridge, freezer, and all surfaces that have come in contact with the meat.

Put the clothes in the washing machine and use laundry soap or household detergent (go for one with bleach). Then choose the warmest setting available for the material you are washing. In most cases, that’s a temperature of 60-90°C (140-194°F).

Do I Need to Throw the Spoiled Raw Meat Away Immediately?

Any countertop or kitchen utensil that comes in contact with spoiled meat can become infected with pathogenic bacteria that can lead to food poisoning in you and your family.

It is important that the spoiled raw meat go directly from where it was into a garbage bag and then into the trash. You want the meat to touch—and drip on—as few surfaces in your home as possible.

If your meat was in the refrigerator or freezer, do not put it on a countertop. Conversely, if it was on the countertop, do not try to put it back in the freezer or refrigerator in hopes that it will keep there.

What Should I Put Raw Meat in to Dispose of It?

The best thing to do is wrap the spoiled meat in as many layers of plastic as you can, then put in a heavy-duty garbage bag.

Keep the raw meat in its original container (either in the store packaging or in the sealed bag). Then place it in an additional disposable bag, such as a freezer bag, to add a layer that will prevent the juices from dripping onto the floor.

Once your spoiled meat is double-bagged, you can place it in a plastic garbage bag and proceed to the next step.

Where Should I Discard Spoiled Raw Meat?

Never, ever put spoiled meat in the garbage disposal. This will only lead to foul smells and noxious gases.

Discard spoiled meat in a plastic bag in an outdoor trash bin. Make sure the spoiled meat is sealed tightly in the bag to prevent bacteria from spreading. And put the lid on the garbage bin when you dispose of it to prevent attracting any wildlife.

It’s best to avoid leaving your meat in the garbage can for any period of time in the hot weather months—especially in the heat of summer. Hot weather combined with spoiled meat results in a grotesque smell.

Instead, if your meat is spoiled on the counter, place it in a freezer bag, seal it tightly, and store it in the freezer until garbage pick-up day. In the morning of garbage pick-up day, place the meat in the garbage can. It should not thaw completely before your garbage men can come to pick it up.

Can Consuming Raw Meat be Dangerous?

Eating raw meat isn’t only unsafe, it is virtually guaranteed to make you sick. Contrary to what you may think, cooking meat doesn’t make it safer, either. The heat kills the bacteria but doesn’t remove the toxins they’ve left in the meat.

The juices left over from raw meat can contain harmful bacteria that put your health at risk, too. Therefore, it is important to wash all surfaces that the meat has come in contact with, including the refrigerator, freezer, countertop, body, or any clothing you are wearing.

How Do I Clean My Freezer, Fridge, or Countertop After Disposing of Raw Meat?

If there are remnants of the spoiled meat on the countertop, or in the freezer or refrigerator, clean them thoroughly before they are touched by other household members or come into contact with other foods.

Clean all surfaces that have come in contact with the spoiled meat or its juices with dish soap and warm water. Once you’ve rinsed them well, wipe them with a chemical detergent that can remove the meat odor, such as a tablespoon of bleach mixed with a gallon of water.

(Alternatively, you can try using a homemade cleaning solution of equal parts water and distilled white vinegar.)

You should wear gloves while washing any surface that your raw meat came into contact with to prevent it from getting on your skin. Additionally, make sure to wash the cloth that you used to clean up the juices before using it for another purpose.

How Do I Get Rid of a Lingering Bad Smell from Spoiled Raw Meat?

If the meat was on your countertop, the smell should dissipate within a few hours. To help speed up the process, you can open windows and turn on your ceiling fans to air out the kitchen. 

Since a freezer or refrigerator is a closed space, the smell takes a lot longer to dissipate.

In these cases, you can smash a dozen charcoal briquettes—yes, the same kind you would use to fire your grill—into powder and spread them out on a couple of sheet pans. Put the sheet pans on two different drawers of your fridge, then close the door and let them absorb the smell overnight.

If necessary, repeat for up to a week. This is a sure-fire way to get rid of any lingering smells (pun intended).

Can I Put Raw Meat in A Compost?

The simple answer to this question is “yes,” you can put raw meat in compost; however, it’s a little more complicated than that. 

Spoiled meat will eventually break down in compost, but it can attract unwanted critters and cause a horrible odor.

Before putting spoiled meat in a compost pile, check with your local laws. Some towns will not permit meat in the compost pile due to the danger of attracting wildlife.