I forgot a pan with a little sausage grease in the fridge (1 1/2 to 2 weeks). The pork sausages had peppers, herbs and maybe onions in them, the grease is orange from the chilis and peppers. If I cooked them properly (350 degrees for 40-45 minutes) can the leftover grease have any risk of harbouring botulism? (I'm not going to eat it but would like to know how to I clean it safely). Would recooking the pan kill off any toxins, etc.?

It was a metal baking pan and a knife and fork. I am only worried about botulism and I don't know if normal washing is enough if by chance it was in the fat and whether it would contaminate the sink, etc. I read about bacon fat but wondered if sausages might be different with peppers and maybe onions in them.

  • 2
    Please clarify what you want to know. What type of pan are you referring to? No question that after 1 1/2 to 2 weeks it should be in the garbage but, if you're not going to eat it and you clean the pan thoroughly, why would any bacteria or toxins be a concern?
    – Cindy
    Aug 26, 2014 at 0:03

3 Answers 3


Discard the contents of the pan in the trash.

Wash the pan with hot water and soap.

All will be well once you've done this. There is no reason to be concerned about which particular pathogens you tossed in the trash and washed down the drain. You can safely assume it was a few of all of them.


A pan in the fridge for ten days?!

Bin the contents, wash the pan in hot soapy water, twice, and everythings dandy, believe me.

If you're truly paranoid, fill the pan with water, and a splash of vinegar,boil for 10 mins, then rinse with hot soapy water,again.

Vow to yourself never to do that again.


There is very little chance of bacteria with it being in the fridge. Yes, reheating the pan to a temperature over 175 will kill any bacteria that may exist.

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    This particular situation may or may not be safe, but the idea that heating over 175F makes things safe is very dangerous. Yes, it will kill most bacteria, but it will not necessarily destroy the toxins they produce. See for example cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/32167/…
    – Cascabel
    Aug 27, 2014 at 3:28
  • Good point. I know some toxins don't get destroyed by heating but some do. And this is not for eating, it's so I can feel okay cleaning it if there is a particular risk with sausage fat.
    – Padma
    Aug 27, 2014 at 20:50

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