Real talk though has anyone else just thrown away a whole Tupperware container bc you left food in there for way too long and now you’re afraid to open it?
All of you are so valid
FYI, that is generally speaking a safe protocol.
Couple of notes. Fungi and bacteria are the first lifeforms discovered to eat plastic. They both use a technique of creating biofilms on and in things to establish colonies; even bacterial and fungi that don’t eat plastic will burrow into it. Visual inspection is not generally good enough to preclude fungal “roots” in plastic. Though if the plastic has separated (forming like a bubble or a peeling away film) then microbials have almost certainly established “roots” in the material. The metabolism of microorganisms denatures plastic even if they don’t eat it; this produces toxic biproducts similar to burning plastic.
If something has grown in the tupperwear from it being left along in the wet and the dark with a growth medium for who knows how long then opening it is a bad idea. That will almost certainly aerosolize spores or bacteria that have had long enough time and sufficiently isolated conditions to evolve their own special adaptations.
“Cleaning” and reusing the tupperwear is ill-advised in that case as you’d need a lab to guarentee the plastic isn’t compromised and playing host to some nasty biofilm that is resilient against typical cleaning practices, and the plastic itself likely is coming apart in a way that will perpetuate toxicity–low grade at best– even if you did manage to santize the surfaces. Best case scenario, you’re eating microplastic and the tupperwear is shedding as it breaks down over years.
It ain’t worth it.
@venomtots what used to be a random post with no real direction is now actually validating and educational,
I already feel so much better about myself and all the Tupperware bowls I’ve sacrificed