Undercooked pork – when meat goes bad

“I think the red dye must have faded,” I told my husband as I stared at the package of hamburger. It had only been in my refrigerator one day, but it had gone from red, to brown, to gray. At that point it went from the fridge to the garbage. I draw the line at eating anything that looks like something I dug out of the cat’s litter box.

I could understand meat metamorphosis if I didn’t have a refrigerator. That was the case in Shanghai recently, when Miss Chen got up to go to the bathroom during the night and found that a slab of pork on her kitchen table was glowing blue. Perhaps it is the tradition in China to hold a wake for dead pigs before eating them.

Photo from Slash/Food

At any rate, since the FDA was not available to slap a quarantine on Miss Chen’s apartment building and surrounding neighborhoods, local authorities did the next best thing. They sent a swarm of reporters and leading scientists the next night to examine the radiant ribs—which were still on her table. In China, quantum physics is not nearly as exciting as raw meat.

The air of excitement and the unspeakable stench were palpable. In the end it was determined that the ghostly glow was caused by phosphorescent bacteria. Yes, they discovered that raw meat attracts germs like flies to poop.

Meanwhile, I had underestimated the amount of garbage we can fit in a tall kitchen garbage bag before having to take it outside. The next morning, the smell of dead cow residing in my trash brought tears to my eyes, and my neighbors threatened to call the Homeowners’ Association. Since being on the HOA’s hot list holds all the appeal of an IRS audit, we sent the offending meat by-products to the local landfill, where even the seagulls wouldn’t touch it.

Moral of the story: take care when you buy meat from a place that also sells car tires. And if your pot roast starts glowing in the dark, send it to China. The physicists there have way too much free time on their hands, and the seagulls will thank you for it.