I recently discovered I have mice or rats in my garage, where I had some stuff stored for space purposes, including a barely-used newly-seasoned frying pan. I found a bunch of rodent droppings in it (blegh), and I scrubbed it hard, twice, with soap and hot water, and washed it out.
I also re-seasoned it (stove-top method, not oven method, where the oil smokes and burns) since the seasoning was not that well done. I thought the soap/water/scrub would damage it, but I didn't see any visible deterioration of seasoning.
I have young children (two under 5 years old), and I'm not a food safety expert. Is this enough, or do I need to do something more to guarantee the sanity of my cast iron pan?
Edit: After doing some reading, I've found a few things to verify:
- Bleach dissolved in water, soaked for ~5 minutes, will kill everything rodent-specific. But what will that do to my cast iron?
- Droppings themselves are easily discarded, if not green (from poison)
- Rodent urine (which will exist anywhere droppings exist) will soak into the seasoning, even if it's sterilized now.
- Baking it in the oven for a couple of hours is probably a safe way to sterilize it. 350F seems okay. Is it high enough?
Based on all this information, I think the best approach would be to strip down and re-season the pan from scratch. That'll remove anything soaked into the existing seasoning, and it'll sterilize the surface.