Can I Eat This: Soup avec Drainplug
October 18, 2017 2:00 PM   Subscribe

Good news: Homemade veggie stock is delicious. Also, I just found my drain stopper that's been missing for a month. Bad news: Today I boiled a pot full of frozen veggie scraps from the last month. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to me, this bag of scraps also contained this black plastic InSinkErator drain plug. After 45 minutes of boiling, the drain plug does not appear malformed/melted in any way. Can I eat my delicious soup stock or will it kill me?
posted by HeroZero to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
To clarify - is the entire stopper plastic, or is it a metal stopper with a rubber gasket? (the link is a little unclear). I assume you've actually tasted your stock and that it is in fact delicious? I would think there'd be a distinct aftertaste.

I'd think that if it smells and tastes fine then there's nothing that's going to kill you outright, probably not worse than, say, microwaving food in plastic containers and eating it (which I do and will probably regret someday). Still, considering how easy stock is to make, I'd toss this batch and feel less cancerous as a result.
posted by theweasel at 2:17 PM on October 18, 2017

Boiled rubber is non-toxic.
posted by redorangeyellow at 2:23 PM on October 18, 2017 [3 favorites]

I wouldn't really be that worried about the plastic. I would be worried about how clean the stopper was before it made its way into the pot, though.
posted by darksong at 2:33 PM on October 18, 2017 [44 favorites]

45 minutes of boiling will kill any harmful microbes, and none of them present would be growing and metabolizing in the freezer. Even if the plug was coated in a thin veneer of the relatively few metabolic products of aerobic bacteria that a) can hurt you and b) don't break down with heat, it wouldn't pose much risk. The dose makes the poison and all that, not to mention such a scenario is vanishingly unlikely.

TL;DR: I'd eat it. No problem. Rubber is food safe, and that thing is designed to have boiling water poured over it and not degrade.
(Also: really, only 45 minutes? I'm a huge fan of this method but I let it go for 2 hours minimum for maximum flavor and mouthfeel ;)
posted by SaltySalticid at 2:51 PM on October 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'd be worried that the stopper had been impregnated with a biocide to prevent it from developing a nasty and repellent biofilm -- which would be almost inevitable at the bottom of a kitchen sink without such treatment.

Triclosan remains the most popular choice for that sort of thing as far as I know, and I wouldn't be willing to eat stock that had been boiled with a triclosan-treated object.

If the manufacturer were to be willing to assure me that the stopper wasn't treated, and was made from some relatively benign substance, I would eat the stock.
posted by jamjam at 3:07 PM on October 18, 2017 [9 favorites]

Dude... it's a drain plug made of God knows what, treated with God knows what. Drain plug stock. USED drain plug stock. From a DRAIN.


Live dangerously. Go out and get all kinds of NEW vegetables and boil stock out of that. Try to remember not to stir it with the toilet plunger.
posted by tel3path at 3:38 PM on October 18, 2017 [60 favorites]

Oh, fine. I threw it away, you COWARDS.

(I learned quite a bit. Thanks y'all!)
posted by HeroZero at 3:43 PM on October 18, 2017 [11 favorites]

I vote eat it, if only so an InSinkErator Sink Stopper becomes the secret, family stock ingredient -- part of an oral history destined to become so mangled, a century from now your descendants will be boiling ink-spotted erasers.
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:43 PM on October 18, 2017 [50 favorites]

Some people use cheap off brand stoppers in their stock, but I can totally tell the difference with InSinkErator.
posted by bongo_x at 6:39 PM on October 18, 2017 [28 favorites]

Today, I've secretly switched the InSinkErator Sink Stopper with Folgers Crystals! Let's see if bongo_x notices.
posted by bile and syntax at 4:33 AM on October 19, 2017 [7 favorites]

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