The Biohazard Report
Our fridge's current biohazard rating: 6.
10 is where someone opens the fridge and a small phone on Bill
Clinton's desk rings -- Martin
It's evil. I don't know what it is, but it sure is evil.
Crazy things that have happened to food in my new place since I
The first discovery was some takeaway containers in the fridge
which contained unidentifiable stuff that was positively evil.
It had mould of different colours growing on it which defies
description. Back in these days the B.R. was up around 8.
15-Jul-1999: Discovered an abandoned packet of
biscuits in the cupboard under the sink. Noboby claimed them
and they hadn't gone soggy, so they're mine now.
16-Jul-1999: I found a carton of cream which had a
use-by date of the third. Luckily it hadn't been opened, or
it would have been pretty ripe.
17-Jul-1999: Today I threw out the rotten orange,
which someone else had named Ralph. RIP.
17-Jul-1999: My three housemates and I had a freezer
cleanout today. We got rid of a mountain of ice and several
ex-food items which previous housemates had left in there. I
ate the frozen pizza which nobody owned up to.
18-Jul-1999: I discovered that the cheese I'd last used
about 3 weeks before had gone a bit dry and mouldy. I cut off
the offending bits and the rest tasted fine.
Cherry has learnt that if you leave a McDonalds thick-shake
sitting around in your room for long enough, it will develop a
"clear film" on the top.
Damn bananas... stupid things keep going off on me.
The fridge doesn't stink as much since Cherry cleaned up the
blood under the vege drawer which had leaked from her cats'
04-Aug-1999: That sausage had been hanging around in
the fridge for almost a week. I decided to play "culinary
roulette" by eating it. (Well, not quite. That would involve
eating one of six sausages, one of which is known to be off.)
Things were pretty quiet (so to speak) in the stench
department, but now they're "warming up".
05-Aug-1999: The infamous tomato incident.
07-Aug-1999: Let's see... I bought the salmon
pâté almost two weeks ago, used some of it in a
sandwich and then used it as dip at a party one or two days
later. That was the Friday before last. No wonder it had
mould growing on it.
It took me four days to finish the pizza from that party,
which probably didn't (or should that be "did") help the BR.
10-Aug-1999: My guess is that the bread on top of the
fridge appeared around this time. Nobody is sure, and nobody
is game enough to ask the bread.
12-Aug-1999: If corn looks bad, then it is. Trust
People have a habit of buying food in this place, then
forgetting about it. Like the bag of rolls which lurked on
top of the fridge for about 2 weeks until I threw them (and
the mould) out.
03-Sep-1999: I finally threw out the capsicum (green
pepper) and the box of instant noodles it was on top of. The
capsicum was starting to look like Jabba the
HuttTM and it had oozed. (Just like
those crappy Star Wars
toys you can get.)
03-Sep-1999: M² found some bowls of chopped
cheese & vegies that Cherry left on his shelf in the
fridge weeks ago. NO, we didn't try to make something with
03-Sep-1999: Rockmelons (cantaloupes) take a long
time to go bad. I didn't give this one the chance.
03-Sep-1999: Time to ditch the polony I think. How
many weeks ago was the Use By date?
11-Sep-1999: I found a jug and and a bowl of potato
soup in the fridge. The soup was impressive, but the thing in
the jug was art. I couldn't even figure out what it was
supposed to be, but there was at least six kinds of mould in
18-Sep-1999: M² found some more takeaway Chinese
that he had forgotten about. It *looked* ok, but that's not
neccessarily a good indicator.
28-Sep-1999: I don't make lunch and take it to work
as often as I'd like. I guess this is why I have to keep
throwing out things like the rest of the sliced roast pork.
29-Sep-1999: Where did that messy looking puddle at
the bottom of the fridge come from?
- 17-Oct-1999: Threw out another stale roll.
28-Oct-1999: I decided to clean out the bottom shelf
of the pantry today. This was prompted by the potatoes which
were looking like they were about to take over. Some of them
had tendrils over 40cm long growing out of them...
30-Oct-1999: My housemate kindly informed me that the
milk had seemed dodgy when he bought it. It did smell a bit
funny, so I threw it out. Surprisingly, it didn't taste bad
when I had some on my cereal yesterday morning...
1-Nov-1999: I still haven't chucked out the choc
milk. I don't want to know what it'll be like a month after
it's a month past its use-by date.
That was the 10th.
- I chucked out the choc milk. I don't quite know why.
We've got to start throwing out the kitchen rubbish more
often. Can you say "maggot motel"?
22-Nov-1999: Steven went insane yesterday and cleaned
out the fridge. M²'s comment was: "Oh my god! Somebody
broke in and committed a cleanliness!" We lost a lot of old
friends that day... the fridge looks kind of barren now.
28-Dec-1999: There was this 3-litre bottle of milk,
see, and as near as I can work out, it originally got left out
of the fridge because it was off and bulging. It was still on
the kitchen floor when I got back from a week away!
3-Jan-2000: The lettuce looked too mushy to even
consider taking it out of the bag. I forgot when I defrosted
the ham. I took one look at the mould on the bread and gave
up. End result: a fairly bare fridge.
10-Jan-2000: Just when you thought it was safe to go
back into the pantry... I have discovered that it is a Bad
IdeaTM to keep (or should that be
"leave") potatoes in a plastic bag. Instead of sprouting like
the last lot, they went mushy, grew chunky mould, developed
black bits and oozed dark brown slime through
the bag & all over the shelf.
10-Jan-2000: There is a cooked sausage on a plate on
the top of the microwave oven. I thought about throwing it it
out, but then I got a hold of myself: you know how
manufactured meat gets when it's cornered.
10-Jan-2000: I guess I was lucky that I checked the
biscuit before I ate it; suffice to say that I plan to
maintain a better seal on the next packet.
26-Jan-2000: It's fun being able to take a Tupperware
container (which was in the fridge, sealed) containing
ex-food, show it to a group of six people and have only one of
them be able to identify what it was. And he's my housemate,
therefore having a rough idea of what I eat... (For the
record, it was Braised Steak and Vegetables [translation: dog
food for people], but it ended up looking more like cotton
2-Feb-2000: There was this banana on top of the
fridge, you see. One day I took it onto the front porch where
a bunch of people were standing and held it up for them to
see. Then I realised: "hey, this banana smells like booze! I
think it's fermented!" I then put it back on the fridge ready
for the next party.
10-Feb-2000: A bit of mould on cheese is fine, but
when the whole thing ends up looking like camembert then it's
time to say goodbye.
20-Feb-2000: I learnt from the last jar that jam is
not mould-resistant. What surprised me was that this
jar still developed a colony whilst in the fridge. (Photos
23-Feb-2000: More spuds. They're a tuber; you'd
think they would remain sane in a cool, dark pantry.
15-Mar-2000: Lettuce, ham, cheese. What sane person
has time to make their lunch before work?
6-Apr-2000: Isn't it funny how milk doesn't smell
much different when it first goes off, but when you try to
pour it onto your cereal it's more like cheese with salad
6-Apr-2000: My (drunken) housemates decided to finish
off the carton of goon that's been hanging around in the
fridge since before I moved in. Which was almost a year ago.
18-May-2000: Damn bugs. They got into the biscuits
AND the Weetbix this time.
22-May-2000: I decided that the the two tomatoes in
the bag were too dodgy to bother with, so I heaved them.
27-May-2000: A big day.
Mum gets into my car, smells something strange (I wondered
what that was) and opens the glovebox. Inside there was a
banana, in a shopping bag, which had been there for
several weeks. It had leaked.
I decided that, even though you're supposed to leave
cooked rice in the fridge for a while (to dry out) before
you make Fried Rice with it, over a week was pushing it.
I know for a fact that the pot of sour cream has been in
the fridge since the 7th of April. It still didn't smell
1-Jun-2000: The Great Cheese Project status report:
my nutty housemate has taken pictures of the cheese, some of
which will appear here shortly.
9-Jun-2000: I have discovered that stale & mouldy
rye bread bounces well.
10-Jun-2000: It's funny how onions go sort of
flexible when they go off. It's always just one though.
GCP update: some of the mould is red.
11-Jun-2000: The rye bread doesn't bounce too good
any more. So I threw it out!
7-Jul-2000: I didn't know anything could grow on
salami. But it can!
15-Jul-2000: It's got to the stage where some food
ends up smelling like the fridge after only being in there for
17-Jul-2000: My housemate cleaned out his shelf in
the fridge today. The casualties included two-week old bacon,
a dogdy half-frozen carrot and fruit that had a vintage of
about a month or so ago.
5-Aug-2000: "How did fruit juice go off in your
fridge?" Let's just say that the normal laws of preservatives
do not seem to apply to our fridge.
17-Aug-2000: Armageddon. The fridge was so badly
iced up that there was no alternative. It simply had to be
cleaned, and due to the standing apathy wave in our household,
I was the one to do it. So, armed with a flour scoop, a metal
spatula, a hot water bottle, Pine-o-cleen and plenty of elbow
grease I set to the task. After a titanic struggle, the
fridge was clean but the "quest for 0" had failed. Oh, well.
Maybe in another 18 months.
8-Sep-2000: Now we know all about the
auto-liquification properties of tomatoes, thanks to my
housemate. Lucky the bag didn't burst, that's all I can say.
11-Sep-2000: Wow. Turns out there is such a thing as
a banana which is too far gone.
16-Sep-2000: Started an eat-athon today, as I'm going
away for 2 weeks and I'm too cheap to let my housemates eat
all the food. Bacon and eggs for lunch...
16-Sep-2000: Discovered a new friend today. I can't
believe that I forgot about yoghurt, but I did.
Unfortunately, the fungus found it first. It was also
curdled, and smelt less than it does when it's fresh, which is
strange. But I suppose it starts off cultured anyway, now
it's just more so. I put it out the back with Ralph;
hopefully they'll become friends.
5-Oct-2000: I got back from Sydney yesterday, and
today my housemates showed me some of the "new developments".
Included were a carrot that looks more like a mummified penis
and a tub of sour cream which actually went orange. Yes,
7-Oct-2000: The fridge cleanup-and-sort-out were
completed today, with noted casualties being a bag of
tomatoes, half a jar of jam with no lid, and an almost-liquid
capsicum. I also discovered that unlike other vegies which
tend to wilt, shrink or go floppy, broccoli doesn't change
much even after a couple of weeks.
3-Nov-2000: The mythical, rarely-explored top shelf of
the fridge got cleaned out today! Something like four or five
half-empty jars of dip/salsa got turfed out, along with a
rather sorry-looking minijar of jam. A kind of experiment
reached its conclusion when the full tin of mussels was
chucked: it had been in there more than a week and still
didn't smell or look much different to when it was opened.
Another victim was a half-can of tinned fruit salad (which was
completely unrecognisable, for the record).
9-Nov-2000: Potatoes don't like plastic bags I guess.
Not only did they have black mould *and* white mould on them,
they had leaked juice. That's right, kiddies: potato juice.
13-Dec-2000: We discovered what was contributing to
the noxious stench in the fridge. Rotten watermelon; 90%
water, 10% bacteria heaven.
14-Dec-2000: Brown liquid, aka celery sticks.
14-Dec-2000: Some rice was discovered today which,
according to the relevant housemate, looked like a "fuzzy green
meteorite". It smelt like saké and emitted a green gas
when the container was rinsed.
14-Dec-2000: The above housemate tried to throw out
two peaches which I had forgetten about, but I intercepted one
and ate it. I'm not fussy.
30-Dec-2000: Ladies and gentlemen, the impossible has
occurred. Coke has gone off in our fridge.
Stay tuned for the half-lifes of various vegies. Thanks to Lee for the
There are others, out there, like me. This is strange but
true. Here are some of their exploits.
The Amateur Mycology Association
This group has been established (informally, of course) to further
the study of fungi in the home environment. Some of the
interesting mould I have found on cheese in our place includes:
Other mould includes:
The standard blue/grey/green "spreading" mould. A thick
coating of this forms
- Small brown spotty mould. Graduated around the edges.
- "Powdery", patchy pinkish-red mould with white spots in it.
- Dark green splotchy mould
- White, fuzzy mould like fine cotton wool. Ralph now has a beard.
- Black spot
A strange, volcanic-tube-style mould growing up from around
- Weird yellow mould which likes to colonise multigrain bread.
- Grey mould which grows upon mushy, fridge-bound stuff.
Last modified: Mon Jan 1 20:23:04 WST 2001