If you put a dead animal in the freezer, wrapped in a plastic bag, lay the dead animal on top of the other food in the freezer, can the smell of the dead animal contaminate the other food in the freezer just from the odor?

  • 1
    Smells will travel from item to item in the freezer, yes.
    – Preston
    Sep 9, 2014 at 21:44
  • I just want to know why you are asking this. Strange question.
    – Cindy
    Sep 9, 2014 at 23:09
  • @CindyAskew Unfortunately, it seems plausible it's a dead pet :(
    – Cascabel
    Sep 9, 2014 at 23:51
  • 3
    If it is a dead pet, I am so very sorry for your loss. Unfortunately I was in the same situation a few years ago. No leeway on smell or contamination. Please have your pet buried or cremated as soon as you can. I'm sure that I speak for many others in the community, as well as for myself, when I express my sincere condolences. Much comfort wished. It's never easy. ...to God's ears.
    – Cindy
    Sep 10, 2014 at 0:55
  • People who work with dead animals, like taxidemists (sp?) often freeze roadkill to work on later, housemates are often not happy.
    – Willeke
    Feb 3, 2022 at 11:16

2 Answers 2


Anything you store in the freezer needs to be airtight, or odors will propagate. And they'll linger in the freezer itself, not just the other food, so you really want to avoid this.

If you're using plastic bags to store things in your freezer (and they're not zip-seal bags), make sure they're thick and tied off airtight. No harm using multiple bags to make extra sure!


I read this question differently, and it may not be the original poster's intent, but I wonder if @mandi porter was asking if bacterial contamination can be transported by odor. Of course, the smell is an indication of bacterial spoilage, but it is not where the bacteria reside.

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