what happens if you eat spoiled meat
Kristina Davis

What happens if you eat spoiled meat? There are tendencies where we consume damaged meat that is past its due date.

Aside from the expiration date, it can also be spoiled if it is not stored correctly or due to bad hygiene. That is why proper food handling is significant for people to learn to avoid food poisoning. 

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However, in case you unknowingly consume damaged food, you need to know what to do.

By identifying the signs of food poisoning, you can immediately do something to solve it and alleviate more symptoms.

What Happens If You Eat Old Cooked Meat

Eating spoiled food can be dangerous to your health, especially your stomach. You may have heard that food poisoning is due to the presence of E. coli or salmonella bacteria.

If you think you consumed it, here are some steps on what you can do to verify it.

1. Check the Expiration Date on the Packaging

What happens if you eat spoiled meat? One easy way to identify if you ate damaged food is by checking the expiration date.

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It is normally located on the packaging of the product. Expiration dates pertain to the period where the product can maintain its quality.

Once it is past the indicated due date, the food is already considered damaged and can no longer be consumed.

2. Check the Smell, Texture and Color

Another way to identify if the meat is damaged, you can check its smell, texture, and color.


A slice of fresh meat is usually red or pink. If it is black, gray, or green, then it is most likely spoiled due to bacteria.


If you try to smell it, rotten meat has a sulfuric smell.


Good meat should not have a slime texture. If you check it, you will see mold colonies that look like white or green spots. The mold causes the meat to have a slime texture and a serious indication that it is already damaged.

3. Disposing Spoiled Meat

The meat will surely spoil when it’s stored somewhere above 40 degrees F for more than two (2) hours. If you look at it, it may look fine, still good in color and smell, but it may contain food poisoning risk already.

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On the other hand, the meat will also be rotten if it’s stored in the freezer for more than a week, but some types of meat can sustain that long time.

We would recommend you follow the ‘first in, first out’ system which means that the food you stored first should be consumed before the new ones.

In case you need to dispose of spoiled meat, always wear a pair of vinyl or latex gloves before touching it. You need to protect yourself from the meat’s blood and juices since it already contains bad bacteria.

Do not leave the meat from its packaging. This will cause more problems if you mix it with other trashes.

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Place it in a garbage bag and tie it before putting it in the main trash bin. Make sure to not let it expose to the people and animals outside. You can also bury it with other trash so the animals can’t easily get it.

After disposing it, wash your hands with hot and soapy water to ensure that no bacteria will stay in your hands.

What Happens If You Eat Spoiled Chicken

what happens if you eat spoiled chicken

We all know that eating damaged food can bring consequences to our health. Solomon Branch (2018) mentioned in an article that many cases of food poisoning are due to contaminated meat.

Contamination is commonly due to poor hygiene, improper storage, handling, and cooking.

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To know what happens if you eat spoiled chicken, here are the common symptoms that you might have experienced.

1. Diarrhea & Abdominal Pain

Eating damaged food will surely make your stomach upset. You may feel abdominal pain due to cramps and experience diarrhea.

If you have diarrhea, check if the stool has blood because it’s an indication that it is caused by Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, or E. coli bacteria.

You might also hear rumbling sounds in your stomach that is similar to when you are hungry. Gases and bloating will be felt as well if you consumed damaged meat.

2. Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are also symptoms of food poisoning, but it is caused by a type of bacteria. These symptoms, as well as abdominal pain and diarrhea, usually appear six (6) hours after consumption.

3. Fever, Headache and Body Pain

Fever is a common symptom of food poisoning. This will be experienced if you ate meat contaminated with norovirus, E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria  and Campylobacter.

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If it is contaminated with S. aureus, and Clostridium perfringens, the fever will most likely not occur.

Headache is connected to having diarrhea due to dehydration. The intensity of a headache may differ for every person, but it may be influenced by the strength of your immune system.

Body pain is seldom experienced by people who consumed spoiled meat. This symptom is only felt if it is contaminated with monocytogenes (Listeria) which causes the disease listeriosis.

4. Discoloration of the Skin

Skin discoloration only occurs if you are food poisoned by hepatitis A virus which will result in yellow skin.

Visit Your Doctor

When you consume damaged food, you will most likely experience the symptoms mentioned above. Normally, you can be treated within ten (10) days, even without hospital treatment.

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However, if the symptoms persist and you don’t get any better, you should visit your doctor.

It is best if you have it checked by your doctor, especially if medicines like paracetamol and pain relievers aren’t effective. By doing so, you can confirm the type of bacteria that infected you, and you will receive the correct medication.

When it comes to food poisoning, children, seniors, and pregnant women have higher risks of getting infected. This will negatively affect their health, especially their immune system.

If you belong to these groups, it’s best to get yourself treated in the hospital to avoid further complications.

Final Thoughts

Consumption of damaged food is the least that we want in our everyday lives. This highlights the importance of proper food handling, storage, and cooking so we can maintain its quality and nutrients.

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However, during these unfortunate times, we highly recommend seeking help from your doctor and avoid self-medication. Your health is of the utmost importance than anything else.

We wish that this helped you understand what happens if you eat spoiled meat, so you can avoid it in the future. For more tips refer our Home Tips.