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What Happens if You Eat Meat that Has Gone Bad?

By Elsie Goycoolea. Updated: January 20, 2017
What Happens if You Eat Meat that Has Gone Bad?

There are some foods that can be eaten past the due date and will not cause you any health problems. When you have bought good high quality meat from the butcher but you start to see that it is going bad in the fridge you might be tempted to eat it. Spoiled meat might start smelling rancid, look slimy and turn slightly grey and is not safe to eat. This is a sign that bad bacteria are starting to proliferate and may risk the onset of food poisoning symptoms.

In this OneHowTo article we answer the question: what happens if you eat meat that has gone bad?

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Spoiled meat

You are able to identify if meat has gone bad by looking at the expiration date on the product label. It is not recommended that you eat meat that has gone past due the expiration date. Alternatively, you can examine the cut for a rancid smell, a soft texture and change in color.

Bacteria in meat will start to double every 20 minutes at temperatures between 4.5°C (40°F) and 60°C (140°F). When you cook meat you can kill most of the bacteria but there are certain spores that can survive high cooking temperatures.

Equally, you shouldn’t leave cooked meat at room temperature for more than one hour and preferably freeze meat right after purchasing to avoid exposing it to warm temperatures.

Eating spoiled meat

Eating spoiled meat whether in a raw state or cooked form can lead to food poisoning. The body breaks down food aided by highly acidic juices in the stomach but some bacteria are not affected by this environment and will start to upset your inmune system.

Salmonella bacteria can be contracted from eating uncooked poultry and eggs and can take up to 72 hours to show any symptoms. Other strains of bacteria have a much longer incubation period.

What Happens if You Eat Meat that Has Gone Bad? - Eating spoiled meat

Symptoms from eating spoiled meat

As your body is trying to combat this external pathogen, you will likely experience some uncomfortable symptoms. These include, fatigue, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, gastrointestinal pain, chills and swollen lymph glands. The presence of these symptoms depends on the amount of meat consumed and the strain of bacteria in the meat.

While most symptoms would be experienced across the digestive tract, a strain of bacteria called Clostridium botulinum in meat may lead to symptoms including blurred vision, sensitivity to light, lack of eye nerve control and respiratory problems.

What Happens if You Eat Meat that Has Gone Bad? - Symptoms from eating spoiled meat

Treatment and duration

Food poisoning from eating spoiled meat will usually resolve after a period of 7 to 10 days. This is the time it will take for the immune system to combat the bacteria and eliminate it from the body. Younger and older people may take a little longer; as well as people that have a compromised immune system.

Your medical professional may prescribe medication to lower your temperature in case you have a fever. It is not common to take any specific drugs and recommended treatment include natural remedies including a high intake of fluids and eating foods gentle on the stomach.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to What Happens if You Eat Meat that Has Gone Bad?, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

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Gaurav
In India 99% of meat shops sell bad meat but people eat it without realising that it tastes bad because they do not know better. How do you control an epidemic of cheating when only a small proportion of the public actually knows what quality is?
OneHowTo Editor
Informing the public is vitally important, through NGOs, starting local campaigns and asking your political representatives to create laws to regulate health & safety even further. Organize protests, create awareness.
Hope this helps

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