What to do if you have eaten spoiled meat

In this brief guide, we will answer the query “I Ate Spoiled Meat, What Should I Do?” Additionally, the article will describe the signs of spoiled meat, as well as the risks of eating spoiled meat. Finally, you will find useful tips for preventing food illness.

I Ate Spoiled Meat, What Should I Do?

If you ate spoiled meat you should keep an eye on your symptoms; if you present abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, nausea, or vomiting, you must contact your physician for medical indications (1). 

Sometimes foodborne illness (diseases caused by food) can go away in a few days, but in many cases you can have a bacterial infection, and you will require antibiotics to get better (1,2).

In any case, a physician will give you the best indications according to your diagnosis.

In the meantime, avoid the following foods to minimize the risks of exacerbating the symptoms (2):

  • Raw or undercooked meats (including fish, shellfish, and beef)
  • Unpasteurized milk and unpasteurized dairy products (cheeses and yogurt)
  • Raw or undercooked eggs
  • Unwashed fruits and vegetables
  • Unpasteurized processes meats or beverages
  • Raw vegetable sprouts

What are the Potential Risks of Consuming Spoiled Meat?

The classical symptoms of a foodborne illness such as headache, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, and diarrhea, can go beyond just feeling terrible. Diarrhea, fever, and vomiting can cause dehydration (1).

Furthermore, there are people with higher risks, for example, children (especially under 5 years), pregnant women, elderly, and people with immunodeficiency caused by cancer, HIV and AIDS, transplants, or other immunological diseases (1,2).

In more vulnerable people, a foodborne illness can cause complications like dehydration, severe infections or sepsis, and even death (1,2).

What are the Signs of Spoiled Meat?

Bacteria can change different physical and organoleptic properties of meat, for example (3,4):

  • Pungent or sulfur odors.
  • Production of slime at the surface of the meat.
  • Discoloration, or presence of greenish, gray, or yellowish colors.

If you notice some of the above-mentioned signs, do not eat that meat, discard it and look for another food.

It is important to note that sometimes pathogenic bacteria do not necessarily cause visual or organoleptic changes (3,4). In the next subheading, you will learn useful tips to reduce the risks of contamination with pathogenic bacteria.

What are Some Tips for Preventing Foodborne Illness?

To avoid food contamination and bacterial growth, and therefore, foodborne illness, you should adopt hygienic food handling tips. For example (5):

  • Always clean your hands carefully with antibacterial soap and dry (preferably) with paper towels.
  • Separate raw meats from vegetables, cooked meats, and other foods.
  • You should always cook meat well until it reaches 62 °C internal (or 74 °C for ground meat).
  • After cooking, refrigerate your food within the first 2 hours. If the temperature in your city is above 32 °C or 90 °F, you should refrigerate your food within the first hour after cooking.
  • If you are going to reheat meat, ensure that your food reaches a cooking temperature (62 °C).


In this brief guide, we answered the query “I Ate Spoiled Meat, What Should I Do?” Additionally, the article described the signs of spoiled meat, as well as the risks of eating spoiled meat. Finally, you found useful tips for preventing food illness.


  1. Lee H, Yoon Y. Etiological agents implicated in foodborne illness world wide. Food Sci Anim Resour,. 2021;41(1):1–7.
  1. People at risk of foodborne illness [Internet]. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA; [cited 09 June 2023]. Available from: https://www.fda.gov/food/consumers/people-risk-foodborne-illness
  1. Wojnowski W, Majchrzak T, Dymerski T, Gębicki J, Namieśnik J. Electronic noses: Powerful tools in meat quality assessment. Meat Sci, 2017;131:119–31.
  1. Dalapati R, Hunter M, Zang L. A dual fluorometric and colorimetric sulfide sensor based on coordinating self-assembled nanorods: Applicable for monitoring meat spoilage. Chemosensors, 2022;10(12):500.
  1. Indrani TK. Safe Food Handling. In: Manual of Nutrition and Therapeutic Diet. Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.; 2017. p. 384–384.

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