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Author: Subject: could you eat rotten meat if you boiled it long enough
gregxy
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[*] posted on 18-8-2009 at 09:27
could you eat rotten meat if you boiled it long enough


This is kind of a strange question but I have wondered about
it for a while.

I did a web search and most of the people say that boiling will kill the bacteria but that toxins produced by them will remain. However I think that those toxins will be protiens which will be deactivated (denatured) by the boiling.

One exception is "mad cow" disease, since the prion that
causes it will resist boiling.

There seems to be much concern over botulism, but the
bacteria only produces the toxin under anaerobic conditions
and the toxin is destroied by heating to 160F.

I have seen dogs eat some really disgusting things without
much ill effect.

Boiling would probably drive off some of the smelly amines
and make the meat more palitable.
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hissingnoise
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[*] posted on 18-8-2009 at 09:59


I take it that by more palatable, you mean marginally less nausea-inducing. . .
Carrion crows eat meals we'd rather not think about but that's their business entirely!
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JohnWW
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[*] posted on 18-8-2009 at 11:15


Some of the bacterial decomposition products of animal proteins are not volatile (unlike the simple amines produced), even with dry reheating as distinct from boiling, unfortunately, so there would still be some unpleasant taste. These are ptomaines, which are alkaloidal and which if in sufficient amount could cause poisoning, although fortunately they are easily detectable by their odor and appearance. See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foodborne_illness
http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1E1-X-ptomaine.html
http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/p/ptomaine_food_poisoning/intr...
http://www.answers.com/topic/ptomaine
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gregxy
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[*] posted on 18-8-2009 at 12:02


However, from what I can tell, the articles say that the ptomaines are harmless, (although foul smelling).

There are some protein toxins which are heat stable:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterotoxin
However these only seem to be produced inside the gut.

It may depend on what was growing on the meat, the
temperature etc.
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[*] posted on 18-8-2009 at 13:56


Traditionally, tough game animals were hung for the meat to be aged. One hears of advice to hang a bird carcass by the neck until the body dropped off. Jugged hare was aged so long that it had to be retained and cooked in a jug.

Presumably, in those times, people had techniques that avoided poisoning themselves.
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wpenrose
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[*] posted on 25-8-2009 at 10:26


In pre-refrigeration days, rotten meat was the norm for most people. By rotten, I mean something you or I wouldn't eat, but not necessarily turned to black goo.

The solution was onions, garlic, leeks, spices (for the wealthy) and long cooking. Virtually anything in rotten meat is edible, if not palatable, but a little chili powder will fix it up in a jif.

Dangerous Bill
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hissingnoise
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[*] posted on 25-8-2009 at 11:44


It's likely that condiments owe their popularity from prehistory to the present to malodorous amines like putrescine and cadaverine.
Salt was used as a form of currency at one time by dint of its great ablility to mask and modify. . .
Real Indian curry powder is part condiment, part anaesthetic for the palate!

[Edited on 25-8-2009 by hissingnoise]
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JohnWW
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[*] posted on 25-8-2009 at 14:57


Quote: Originally posted by hissingnoise  
(cut) Salt was used as a form of currency at one time by dint of its great ablility to mask and modify.(cut)
Common salt, NaCl, including as concentrated brine, was once extensively used, and still is used, as a preservative to prevent meat in containers from putrefaction without refrigeration. It is still used in bacon and ham and "corned" beef. Sodium nitrite is also commonly added as a bactericidal preservative, but it reacts with amino-acids to form nitrosylamines, which if consumed too often can be carcinogenic.
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hissingnoise
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[*] posted on 26-8-2009 at 02:35


Nitrite is also a colour enhancer in highly processed meats, so that pleasing pinkness tells you nitrosamines are present. . .
Hazards to health abound!
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Mr. Wizard
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[*] posted on 26-8-2009 at 22:11


Quote: Originally posted by hissingnoise  
Nitrite is also a colour enhancer in highly processed meats, so that pleasing pinkness tells you nitrosamines are present. . .
Hazards to health abound!


They used to put a few drops of formaldehyde in old hamburger to pink it up. I was told this by a cook who used to be a butcher. I used to wash dishes at the restaurant he cooked for during summer vacation circa 1964. I remember him saying they would put ice and formaldehyde into meat as they ground it up, increasing the sales weight and making it more red. he called it 'shotgunning' the meat. Nasty business.

I forgot to mention this was considered bad, and not done by reputable butchers.

[Edited on 27-8-2009 by Mr. Wizard]
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UnintentionalChaos
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[*] posted on 10-9-2009 at 11:02


Quote: Originally posted by Mr. Wizard  
Quote: Originally posted by hissingnoise  
Nitrite is also a colour enhancer in highly processed meats, so that pleasing pinkness tells you nitrosamines are present. . .
Hazards to health abound!


They used to put a few drops of formaldehyde in old hamburger to pink it up. I was told this by a cook who used to be a butcher. I used to wash dishes at the restaurant he cooked for during summer vacation circa 1964. I remember him saying they would put ice and formaldehyde into meat as they ground it up, increasing the sales weight and making it more red. he called it 'shotgunning' the meat. Nasty business.

I forgot to mention this was considered bad, and not done by reputable butchers.

[Edited on 27-8-2009 by Mr. Wizard]


Nowadays, they just gas it with carbon monoxide, which makes it retain that cherry red color by binding to the hemoglobin.




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JohnWW
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[*] posted on 10-9-2009 at 21:45


That would be a dangerous thing to do! BTW I thought that CO-poisoning victims turn blue, not cherry-red.
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[*] posted on 10-9-2009 at 22:49


CO poisoning victims have distinct pinkish/redish tint, CO2 victims turn blue.

Skin discoloration caused by carbon monoxide poisoning: http://www.codoh.com/newrevoices/nrtkco.html
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[*] posted on 11-9-2009 at 08:46


I heard it was SO2. Also a preservative used in lots of dried fruit.

Tim




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entropy51
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[*] posted on 11-9-2009 at 09:01


CO is indeed being added to the atmosphere of packaged meat at a 0.4% concentration to keep it pink. It has been declared GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the US FDA. See here http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/fcn/gras_notices/80488...

John, why would you think it was dangerous?? The small amount of CO added to the package reacts with the myoglobin in the surface layer of the meat. There is no CO around when the package is opened and no carboxymyoglobin remains after the meat is cooked. If there was a danger to anyone it would be the factory workers handling the gas mixture.




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[*] posted on 18-10-2009 at 05:33


Not all microbial toxins are rendered harmless by boiling. Staph aureus while various strains produce a whole host of toxins the toxin associated with food poisoning can be denatured via autoclaving say. However this isn't always irreversible it will quite readily renature upon consumption and still induce the dreaded "two bucket disease" as the victim spends the next 8 hours expelling the toxin from both ends. This makes that particular toxin troubling to the food industry as all cells could have been killed but if the toxin had been produced...
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