Author Topic: Vegetarian guests  (Read 2554 times)

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Dalek

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Vegetarian guests
« on: March 13, 2013, 02:04:19 PM »
I'm asking this question on behalf of my mother.

Is it rude to leave meat marinating in the refrigerator when you have vegetarian house guests? Is it rude to tell them not to put liquids in your refrigerator?

Mom had visitors last year for a little over a week. It was a couple in their 40s and their two teens. All are vegetarians. Mom had some meat in the refrigerator that was to be grilled later. One of the kids got sick from seeing the meat so her mom asked my mom to take it out of their sight. Now, I don't know if the girl threw up or just felt nauseous. Mom responded that if they would wait until the next day, she would cook it for herself and it would be gone.

When mom went to cook it the next day, she said it had a funky smell. The marinade looked a little diluted. Mom only ate a few bites as she thought it tasted funky.

The vegetarian family did store their foods and juices in the refrigerator, so mom doesn't want to take a chance on any cross contamination of food. Hence, she would like it if the family didn't store anything there. Also, mom does love her protein but she doesn't want to make anyone feel ill.

So.... would it be rude to have meat in sight and would it be rude to deny the family space on the refrigerator?
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Zizi-K

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Re: Vegetarian guests
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2013, 02:16:24 PM »
Perhaps more explanation is needed...if this family are guests of your mothers, what kinds of things are they bringing with them? I assume your mother is a good host and has a selection of beverages for them. If they need to bring something more specialized, like special lactose-free milk, then she should absolutely allow them to store that in her fridge. The meat problem could be easily solved by keeping the meat in a covered container, either one with a lid, or covered by foil. There is no possibility of "cross-contamination" when foods are stored properly. Is your mother suggesting that this family did something to her meat??? If so, she has far bigger problems than letting them store a bottle of something in the fridge!

CrochetFanatic

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Re: Vegetarian guests
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2013, 02:35:09 PM »
I'm wondering if maybe one of them sabotaged the meat in a PA attempt at showing displeasure when the meat wasn't removed upon request.  I don't want to make any assumptions, though.

I agree with Zizi-K about the foil idea.  And maybe keeping the meat on a top shelf to prevent anything from dripping on it (I don't know if they're solid shelves or the metal grate kind).  I don't think it's rude to keep meat in the fridge, and I think it sounds like a reasonable compromise to cover it with something to prevent them from seeing it.

But if someone tampered with her food, that is far from being okay!

WillyNilly

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Re: Vegetarian guests
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2013, 02:50:29 PM »
I'm a bit confused too - does your mother think the marinade was messed with?

In general - think it's a bad idea to store something like marinating meat just open in a fridge. That's just asking for something to fall into it! A covered dish is a better idea. If the issue was it was contained (say in a ziplock type bag) that still meant the meat was visible, wrapping foil, a paper towel, or even a regular dish towel around it or over it is a quick easy solution. But I don't think vegetarian guests get to dictate their hosts not have meat in the refrigerator just because they are staying there.

As for making space in the fridge for guests - I think reasonable accommodation is required. Not necessarily a whole shelf, but some space for their use if they have a special beverage, or perhaps took home leftover's from a restaurant meal for noshing on later. IMO part of cleaning up/readying for guests is cleaning out the fridge (and perhaps stocking it) so there should be ample space for special food for the guests since its just been cleaned out (or its full because its stocked with their special foods).

jmarvellous

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Re: Vegetarian guests
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2013, 03:32:04 PM »
I am a vegetarian, but I am completely at a loss as to what being vegetarian has to do with your mom's meat tasting weird! I can't think of anything we would put in a fridge under ordinary circumstances that a meat eater wouldn't also have in there once in a while. I mean, my almond milk is the least typical thing, but it surely doesn't funkify other foods!

Asking your mom to cover meat because they found it gross is a bit ungrateful and totally unnecessary -- we all see meat nearly every time we shop for groceries, and we can handle it -- but wise for sanitation purposes as others have said.

Color me befuddled.

Cat-Fu

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Re: Vegetarian guests
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2013, 03:56:34 PM »
I'm betting the meat just absorbed some fridge smell. I would think that asking the meat to be hidden would be kind of a weird request, but TBH usually I keep raw meat (especially if it's marinating!) inside an opaque plastic grocery bag in case of leaks so it's not like my veg guests have had anything to complain about. :P

I think offering a bit of fridge space is gracious, but not necessary.
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snowdragon

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Re: Vegetarian guests
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2013, 04:16:42 PM »
It sounds like your mom thinks someone sabotaged her meat. If I had any suspicion that these people had sabotaged my meat, they would no long be welcome in my home.  And I would say that for anyone I suspected of sabotaging anything in my home. My home is where I get to be safe, if someone can't allow me to be safe in my home, they don't get to be there

No they do  not get dictate the contents of another's kitchen. Nor do they get to make comments about it and be considered polite. No, it would not rude, IMHO, to deny them the right to keep their own stuff in the hosts refrigerator, or even access to it. But the host must provide sufficient  food and beverage to them.

PurpleyBlue

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Re: Vegetarian guests
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2013, 04:44:27 PM »
It sounds like your mom thinks someone sabotaged her meat. If I had any suspicion that these people had sabotaged my meat, they would no long be welcome in my home.

Oh, mine either!  But I can't imagine that a guest in someone's home would ever do anything to their food!

DavidH

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Re: Vegetarian guests
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2013, 04:54:06 PM »
For good hygiene, it is probably a good idea to have the meat covered and in a container that is not prone to leaking on something else in the fridge. The risk of dangerous cross contamination is more around raw mean coming into contact with a food that won't later be cooked, say by the marinade spilling. 

Whether or not they are being reasonable saying the sight makes them ill, since she knows they are sensitive to the sight of it, it is certainly nice in the future to put something opaque on it, say a paper towel. 

Since they are staying for a week, I think denying them space in the fridge is rude.  If the goal is to avoid cross contamination, it would be reasonable to ask that anything they put in the fridge be in a sealed container.

TamJamB

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Re: Vegetarian guests
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2013, 05:44:15 PM »
Snowdragon - I could have sworn you were the poster with a really gross story about how some vegetarian houseguests purposefully spoiled some meat at your home, but I couldn't find the thread when I searched, so maybe I was misremembering.

OP, I can't think of any way vegetarian food could be cross-contaminating meat in a fridge - short of intentional sabotage like in that other thread I can't find. The marinade may have just picked up some fridge smell. Definitely recommend that she cover her meat in the future.

A.P. Wulfric

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Re: Vegetarian guests
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2013, 05:55:56 PM »
I've had marinating meat go funky before too, and anytime food even seems a bit off to me, I can't eat it. I'm a bit paranoid that way.  As far as the guests, daughter needs to deal. She's a guest in someone's house, but removing perfectly normal items from the refrigerator is so far from being a good host that it isn't even funny.


TamJamB-is this the thread?  http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=23860.msg529347#msg529347   It wasn't snowdragon who posted, it was waterwren.  If i remember correctly though, they have some similar hobbies and interests, so I can see the error.

TamJamB

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Re: Vegetarian guests
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2013, 06:09:26 PM »
That's the one. I get Snowdragon and Waterwren confused for some reason.

Promise

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Re: Vegetarian guests
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2013, 06:35:04 PM »
If a houseguest told me that their child got sick looking at my meat I'd suggest then that the child should ask the parent to retrieve things from the refrigerator in the future. Noone gets "sick" from looking at meat. One might be displeased or not prefer to see it, but one doesn't get sick. This is a good group discussion with those children about tolerance of people who think and eat differently than you and how to be respectful.

snowdragon

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Re: Vegetarian guests
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2013, 08:04:50 PM »
If a houseguest told me that their child got sick looking at my meat I'd suggest then that the child should ask the parent to retrieve things from the refrigerator in the future. Noone gets "sick" from looking at meat. One might be displeased or not prefer to see it, but one doesn't get sick. This is a good group discussion with those children about tolerance of people who think and eat differently than you and how to be respectful.

Especially when you are a guest in someone else's home.

White Lotus

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Re: Vegetarian guests
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2013, 10:14:43 PM »
My stomach squicks at meat counters in stores, I avoid meat markets, and I would not care to see a hunk of raw meat out in the open in someone's refrigerator.  I am a grown up and were I a guest, I would deal, silently.  But I honestly wouldn't want to put my food in there or use that refrigerator, so I would, without comment, make arrangements that made me comfortable.  Coolers are cheap.  So is ice.
I absolutely cannot imagine someone doing something to the meat in that refrigerator.  What?  Why? 
Foods being marinated should be enclosed, not out in the open, I believe, from a culinary aspect.  I suspect refrigerator funk.  And I don't care for preachy anybodys, including other vegetarians.