If thrown away for reasons other than contamination and retrieved quickly after disposal, dived meat can be safe for consumption. However, many dumpster divers will refuse to dive for meat, given how easily it can become a host to disease if not taken under ideal conditions. Some vegetarian divers will also eschew dived meat, citing that even though it is removed from the auspices of capital exchange, eating dived animal products can be seen as lending validity to the exploitation of other species.
Should a diver retrieve meat from a commercial dumpster, they should be certain to wash the packaging thoroughly and to heat the meat to an appropriate internal temperature to reduce the risk of pathogens. The NDDIC recommends a temperature of 145 °F for roasts, steaks, and chops of beef, veal, and lamb; 160 °F for pork, ground veal, and ground beef; 165 °F for ground poultry; and 180 °F for whole poultry.<ref> "Bacteria and Foodborne Illness. "National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/bacteria/. Retrieved 22 July 2011.</ref>
"Meat is probably what bothers me most about dumpster diving, using so many resources and then throwing away perfectly edible meat is such a shame, more so I think than producing meat and actually eating it... What is the ethical choice here? Eat the meat (if it's good) or leave it even though it's good? When it is already a trash, is it more ethical to eat it and not let it go to waste?" - Opspin
- Still Tasty: Meat and Poultry, Fish and Shellfish: an on-line guide to keeping food past its expiration date