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How does one identify contaminated meat? We all will run into stale and contaminated or rotting meat of one kind or another. The question is rather than get rid of it what can it be safely used for? Could some of this contaminated meat be safely fed to dogs, bugs, worms, and/or frogs? Can we farm maggots and worms on this stuff? Could at the very least it be used as bait for traps for animals and bate to catch bugs or buried where a long term future garden will be planned? What are some of the things that need to be know to (yuck) intelligently recycle this natural resource? What are the dangers in handling and recycling this stuff?

Offered by Mike.

Contaminated meat can be very dangerous. Some of the toxins present during infection/ decomposition/ toxic contamination will withstand even extraordinary methods of sterilization. Heavy metal poisoning can not be removed by any ordinary decontamination scheme and the pathogens involved are down right scary. The best thing to do with contaminated meat is to destroy it by high temperature burning or bury it very deep underground away from water sources and not within 15 feet of your water table. As to reusing the contaminated meat, please remember that the so called mad cow disease is believed to have been spread mostly by using the discarded flesh, bone and blood of infected cattle as processed ingredients of cattle feed.

Offered by Ray.

A few hints as to what to look for or how to recognize disease or contamination. After you skin the animal, look at the flesh side of hide for small blue, gray, or yellow circles this indicates that the animal has a ring or tapeworm. It’s still edible with proper cooking to kill the worms and neutralizes the diseases that can be left behind by regular cooking. I have found the best way for me to do this is to boil the meat in saltwater and vegetable oil before frying or BBQ’ing or roasting to a turn on a spit over an open fire.

For detection on the heart and liver, I have found out that in some cases if the heart and liver look like they have been chewed up a little (about the way a squirrel nibbles in an acorn) this usually indicates that the animal is not only past their prime but had a disease that slowly starts at the heart and moves throughout their bodies. In this case the heart and liver need to be discarded or burned. If you only just discovered this in your meat house or butchering station, then discard as above and wash your meat house or butchering station thoroughly with hot water and wood ash. To look for meat contamination you need only to look at the hide, heart, and liver. Look to see if the pouch (organs) have come in contact with the meat or have been cut and the liquid has gotten on the meat. If you wash the meat in room temp to slightly warm water, there should not be any problems. If you plan to dry the meat then after you wash with water just cure the meat with some salt. The best way to do this is to dilute the salt in some water and soak the meat for about 20-30 minutes.

Offered by Matthew.