How to Dispose of Freezer Full of Rotten Meat

Everyone feels lazy cleaning or taking out the trash once in a while.

But, when the cleaning or trash involves a freezer full of rotten meat, laziness is the least of your concerns. The whole job can be quite unpleasant.

However, if you don’t want your house smelling like rotten meat or worse, don’t want to contract food poisoning through the spoiled food, you better get to disposing of that freezer full of rotten meat right away.

Here’s how you can go about it.

How to Dispose of Rotten Meat

When you have a carton of milk that’s gone past its expiration date, you can simply pour it down the drain and be done with it (although you should avoid doing so as disposing of milk this way can be bad for the environment).

But things are different when you’ve got a freezer full of rotten meat that is getting worse by the second and making it impossible to breathe through your nose.

It’s a lot harder and more dangerous too. So, here’s what you need to know when disposing of rotten meat.

Ensure Protection

First things first. You need to make sure you’re properly protected so that you don’t come into contact with the rotten meat or any of its juices.

As you’ll learn in a bit, this can be quite dangerous and harmful for you.

Therefore, before handling any of the meat, make sure you put on latex gloves to protect your hands.

Try to get long ones that go up to your forearms so that you’re properly covered.

Sometimes, when the meat has been rotting for too long, it can lead to an infestation of maggots and flies as well. Therefore, as a precautionary measure, cover your eyes and hair as well to prevent the flies from going there.

Try wearing old clothes that you can afford to throw away along with the spoiled food once you’re done handling it.

Additionally, if you find the smell too overwhelming, we suggest tying a bandana around your nose, or another good hack is to apply some Vicks below your nose.

Use the Right Tools

Once you’re all suited up, it’s time for the hard part. If you’re not comfortable using your hands, get a pair of tongs to help you move the meat.

If there are several other spoiled items along with the meat, get a big tray to keep all the rotten food together.

Make sure none of the rotten food or its juices touch any other food. If they do, you’ll need to throw that out too.

In fact, make sure the juices don’t touch anything or spill anywhere because that smell will take forever to go.

Coming on to the actual rotten meat, if it’s in a bag, don’t take it out of that bag as it makes it easy to handle. Transfer all the rotten meat to a garbage bag and then place it in another garbage bag.

This ensures that the juices don’t leak out, and all the harmful bacteria are contained.

Pro Tip: If you’re feeling too nauseous, try keeping a fan nearby to blow away the smell or take breaks in between to get some fresh air.

Disposing of the Bags

After you put the meat in the garbage bags, don’t leave it there beside your freezer or in the house.

Once it’s out of the freezer, it’s going to smell even worse, and the longer you keep it in the house, the worse your house will get.

Take it out right away and put it in your garbage bin. Make sure the bin is properly closed, or else the smell could invite other animals.

If you don’t have a bin and are just placing it outside, try to find and place a brick on the bag so it can’t be opened easily.

After that, dispose of anything else that you can that touched the rotten meat. Whatever you can’t throw out, wash it with hot and soapy water, and thoroughly disinfect it.

Also read: How to Dispose of Old Refrigerator?

How to Clean and Disinfect Freezer

If your freezer stopped working due to a power outage or you accidentally turned it off before going on a long vacation, that means your freezer works fine, and you don’t need to dispose of it.

You will need to thoroughly clean and disinfect it, though. Here’s how.

Cleaning the Freezer

To clean the freezer, start by removing the shelves, racks, and all other parts that can be safely removed.

Next, get a bowl with some warm water and mix some detergent, liquid soap, or something similar for a soapy concoction.

Use a soft cotton cloth soaked in this mixture to gently clean the freezer parts. Make sure to clean away all traces of the rotten meat and its juices. After that, rinse these parts under warm water.

Use the same soapy mixture and cotton cloth to clean the inside of the freezer while ensuring you get all the nooks and crannies.

Then, wipe everything clean with another cloth. That completes the cleaning part, but you still have to sanitize your freezer.

Sanitizing the Freezer

Cleaning the freezer might seem like you’ve removed all the rotten food juices and dirt. However, there might be some bacteria or viruses still thriving inside the freezer.

That’s why you need to sanitize the freezer to get rid of those bacteria and germs too.

One of the best ways to sanitize your freezer is with bleach. Take a tablespoon of bleach and mix it in a gallon of cold water.

Use this mixture to wipe all surfaces of the freezer. Make sure you wear gloves because bleach can be damaging to the skin.

If you’re feeling extra cautious, you can also go over the freezer once again with a baking soda and water solution.

Wipe everything clean with another cloth once you’re done. This will ensure that all those germs are dead and gone.

Getting Rid of the Bad Odors

Even after you’ve cleaned and sanitized the entire freezer, you might still notice a trace of that rotten meat smell.

This can seep into your other foods and spread in your house, making it impossible to eat anything without gagging.

Therefore, you’ll need to get rid of that bad odor too. Thankfully, there are several items you can use, such as:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Charcoal
  • Oatmeal
  • Lemon slices

Just place a bowl full of any of these items and leave them in the freezer for a while, changing the bowl every few hours.

These items should absorb the bad odor, leaving your freezer odor-free.

Additionally, you can also place these items anywhere else where you might feel an unpleasant smell lingering.

How to Dispose of Freezer

In case the food is spoiled because your freezer broke down, you might need to dispose of the freezer altogether.

However, you can’t just take your freezer out to the curb like the rest of your garbage.

A freezer contains various parts that can be recycled as well as several dangerous parts that are toxic. That’s why you need to contact a professional to handle the task.

Get in touch with your local waste management or even the manufacturer of your freezer to see if they handle the recycling of freezers.

You can also consider getting the freezer repaired and donating it to a charity. Make sure the freezer is in working order and clean again before you give it away, though.

Dangers of Rotten Meat and Other Spoiled Food

Sometimes people tend to cook spoiled meat anyway, assuming that the heat will kill all the bacteria and viruses.

However, rotten meat and other spoiled food items do tend to have some bacteria that release toxins that can survive the heat.

Sometimes, very rarely, healthy individuals can consume slightly spoiled meat without any aftereffects. But, most of the time, if you eat spoiled meat, you can get very sick.

Such foods contain various bacteria that could lead to a bad case of poisoning involving diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and much more.

The most concerning part is that these germs can be easily transferred. They can go from your countertop to your plate to your hand to ultimately your mouth.

That’s why you need to be extra careful when disposing of a freezer full of rotten meat.

How to Take Care of Your Freezer

Freezers aren’t exactly inexpensive, and cleaning out rotten meat is downright awful.

Therefore, the best thing you can do is to take care of your freezer so that it doesn’t break down and you never have to experience this kind of episode ever again.

That said, here are a few tips to prolong the life of your freezer:

  • Clean the freezer coils regularly
  • Avoid placing very hot items in the freezer
  • Don’t leave the door open too long
  • Make sure the gaskets are sealing properly
  • Change the filters
  • Place the freezer away from heat sources
  • Try not to keep anything on top of the freezer


Disposing of a freezer full of rotten meat is definitely off-putting.

However, considering how harmful that rotten meat can be for your health, it’s important to dispose of it right away and that too, in a safe manner.

Hopefully, now you know exactly how to do it and can easily clean and sanitize your freezer afterward, too.

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