Spoiled meat harbors harmful illness-causing bacteria that can lead to food poisoning if consumed. Meat spoils when held at a temperature above 40 degrees F for more than two hours. The meat may look and smell fine, but it’s safety has been compromised. Meat also begins to spoil when refrigerated for too long, typically for more than seven days, but it depends on the type of meat and whether or not it’s cooked.

Things You'll Need

Put on a pair of vinyl or latex gloves before handling the meat. The gloves protect your hands from the meat blood and juices, which may harbor harmful bacteria.

Leave the meat in its original wrapping. If disposing of multiple meat items, such as from a freezer after a power outage, group them all together on a single tray so the juices don’t get on other food items.

Dump the meat into a heavy duty garbage bag and tie the bag closed.

Dispose of the meat in the garbage. Keep the garbage can in an area where animals cannot access it until your garbage pick up day. Alternatively, place a heavy brick or other item on top of the can to keep animals out until pick up day.

Wash your hands, the tray and any items that came in contact with the spoiled meat thoroughly in hot, soapy water.


  • Bury the meat if you don’t have regular garbage pick up in your area. Bury it deep enough so animals cannot access it.