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I cooked some bacon medallions yesterday, it was in date, didn't smell, and I had some of it, putting the rest in the fridge - by all accounts it was fine. This morning however, when I opened the container, at the very bottom on the last piece was a cluster of little, narrow yellow things.

As best as I can tell, they weren't moving. Weren't particularly furry, and neither changed shape when I mashed them between my fingers, nor melted when I put them in the microwave, so I'm reluctant to believe it's just oddly shaped fat.

Has anybody got any idea what they are? I don't want to throw away perfectly good bacon but I also don't want food poisoning.enter image description here

  • Hello, and welcome to Seasoned Advice. What was the source of the bacon? How was it packaged? – Daniel Griscom Jul 27 '18 at 11:00
  • Did you leave it uncovered at room temperature for a bit, e.g. to cool down? How long are the “things”? We need some kind of scale, please. – Stephie Jul 27 '18 at 11:08
  • I left it semi-covered (with lid, but gaps for ventilation) for about 30 mins to cool, but my kitchen window was open as it's been super hot where I am. – ZeroGodForce Jul 27 '18 at 12:42
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This looks like your meat was discovered by a female fly (probably something like a blow fly) who thought that the protein-rich “carrion” would make a great spot for her offspring and subsequently laid a cluster of eggs. During summer, it may take as little as a few minutes for an uncovered piece of meat to become a fly nursery. Especially in the height of summer, the females will sometimes be so desperate that they will lay their eggs on about everything that is available.

The eggs are just one to two mm long, opaque white to pale yellow and are laid in clusters, often dozens in one spot. If left at room temperature, they can hatch in as little as eight hours, giving you a wriggling pile of maggots. I am not sure whether the eggs can still hatch after their stint in the fridge, but just leaving the “unknown objects” out for a while could confirm my answer.

As far as food safety is concerned, I recommend you discard the rest of your meat. Flies do carry pathogens and transfer them to food by simply walking over it. (Remember, they consider dog poop, the decaying squirrel in the forest and your dish equally attractive and visit them indiscriminately.) And that’s not even including the “yuck factor”.

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    This sounds like the most likely cause. Wow that's super annoying, I was looking forward to that sandwich, and I hate to waste meat. But at least I won't spend lots of time mass-ejecting it later. Thanks a lot! – ZeroGodForce Jul 27 '18 at 12:45
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    I share your sentiment about discarding meat. I guess the food would be perfectly safe you fried the bacon, but not everyone is willing to potentially eat insects. For me it would be an especially hard choice because I've eaten all sorts of bugs in the past, but unintended fly eggs, yuck :-/ – JohnEye Jul 27 '18 at 15:09
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    @JohnEye Heat kills living things but doesn't necessarily destroy any poisons they might have produced. – David Richerby Jul 27 '18 at 15:38
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    @DavidRicherby Of course not, there's all the toxins produced by bacteria and so on, but let's be realistic, these are just some random fly eggs or something. If the meat was stored properly, it's pretty much impossible to be toxic. Valuable additional protein, maybe. – JohnEye Jul 27 '18 at 15:47
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    @ZeroGodForce - Please leave your bacon and eggs out of the fridge as an experiment, and report back what lifeforms you have incubated! – Nigel Touch Jul 27 '18 at 19:20

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