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Raw meats in the fridge - possible contamination???

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I opened up my fridge to see a raw turkey sitting in a pan. My roommate is thawing it to cook tomorrow. Can it contaminate the other foods in the fridge? My veggies are right below it



There's always meats in the fridge but they are wrapped in plastic. This turkey is just sitting in the open.
post #2 of 12
Yes, it can. Meat, especially raw meat, should go at the bottom of the fridge. Things that you intend to eat raw, or without additional cooking, should be at the top.

"I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine." Bruce Lee.

"On a large enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero." Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)

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"I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine." Bruce Lee.

"On a large enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero." Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)

Reply
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nomad888 View Post

Yes, it can. Meat, especially raw meat, should go at the bottom of the fridge. Things that you intend to eat raw, or without additional cooking, should be at the top.

Well, it is on the bottom shelf but there's 2 drawers below it. Do you say this because of liquid dripping?
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by federico View Post

Well, it is on the bottom shelf but there's 2 drawers below it. Do you say this because of liquid dripping?



That's the main reason, yes. I'd just keep it as low as possibe, and keep it and anything that is at risk from getting contaminated by it as covered as possible. Other than that just follow basic sanitation common sense and you should be fine. Often when people get what they think is a common cold, it is actually mild food poisoning. Happens much more frequently than most realize.

"I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine." Bruce Lee.

"On a large enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero." Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)

Reply

"I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine." Bruce Lee.

"On a large enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero." Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)

Reply
post #5 of 12
Doesn't it go in order from highest risk food at the bottom and then lowest risk at the top?



Also, not long after becoming vegetarian, I opened the fridge and there was a whole fish in there with eyes wide open and the stench was absolutely horrid.

I screamed.

post #6 of 12
It might not be the most pleasant thing for you (and me either!), but unless it drips on other things, or at the very least touches it, there's no problem of contamination.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Dude View Post

Doesn't it go in order from highest risk food at the bottom and then lowest risk at the top?



Basically, except you also want to consider the consequences of contamination to items, not just risk in terms of the chances of the food item causing the contamination itself. You don't have to be as careful, for example, with veggies that you know are going to be cooked. But anything you plan on grabbing and eating raw, right out of the fridge, should be kept the highest, and covered the best.



Even when something isn't actually dripping, you'll notice that a lot of refrigerators have old drips at the bottom of the veggie shelves from things that have dripped and gone down the back of the fridge, filling the shelf. Even if just a little bit, that kind of thing can be a bacteria breeding ground long after the contaminated food itself has disappeared.



Also keep in mind that harmful bacteria isn't just something that is rarely encountered. It is present in small, typically harmless amounts, on many things. If allowed to grow through bad sanitary habits, it can become harmful. Large quantities of leftovers, for example, can be a risk because they are frequently moved outside to room temperature, where bacteria can grow quickly, and also often in large containers containing large portions where the center of the food may take a long time to get cold even after being returned to the fridge. The risk can also be increased if the refrigerator is open and closed frequently throughout the day, not allowing it to maintain a consistently low temperature.



Be the most careful with liquids that are stored in bulk, moved in and out of room temperature frequently, and consumed without heating, such as milk, soy milk, and juice (especially if in an open pitcher).



No need to go paranoid or anything :P Our immune systems are just as prepared for mild food poisoning as for a cold or something. Just keep in mind that it's not some rare thing that only happens once in a while. Sickness comes from the kitchen very, very often, and just being somewhat mindful can pretty much avoid it.

"I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine." Bruce Lee.

"On a large enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero." Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)

Reply

"I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine." Bruce Lee.

"On a large enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero." Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)

Reply
post #8 of 12
Nomad has pretty much covered it. I wanted to say that with meats (this may help family members and you, who doesn't want food poisoning from meat drippings)... you put the meats that cook at a higher temperature at the bottom. I believe poultry should always go at the very bottom and if you have other meats, to put them above that. Meat drips A LOT, even when it's bagged up, so make sure your veggies are on the top. When the turkey is done thawing and it's cooked, make sure your roommate uses a spray that will kill the bacteria. I've had food poisoning TWICE from meat, it's dangerous and easier to get than people think.
post #9 of 12
Basically, the ServSafe recommended order of safe food storage in a refrigerator from top to bottom should be:



ready-to-eat food on top

whole fish

whole meat

ground meat and fish

whole and ground poultry (including eggs) on the bottom



Personally, I'd put the raw turkey below your veggies if possible. Nasty things can happen faster and easier than most people realize.

Becca

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Becca

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post #10 of 12
As long as the meat isn't dripping blood and whatnot on your vegetables, you're good to go as far as cross-contamination goes.
post #11 of 12
put your veggies in a pot with a lid.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoodedclawjen View Post

put your veggies in a pot with a lid.



Or the turkey in a deep pan, like those ment for casseroles, ect. That's what I make my mom do :P
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