contaminated food

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82riceballs

Senior Member
English - USA
Hi all,

I'm wondering how to say that some food has been 'contaminated', e.g. like if you leave something moldy in your refrigerator and then the mold 'contaminates' other food in the refrigerator that isn't sealed.

I know that generally 'contaminate' is translated as 污染 but that seems too serious for my situation ? Or am I misinterpreting the word ?

e.g.
沒有密封的食物都被(媺孢子)污染了,變得有霉味
沒有存放在玻璃容器裡的食物(像是只有包在塑膠袋裡的食物)也都被污染了

Any help is appreciated- thank you!
 
  • SimonTsai

    Senior Member
    Taiwanese Mandarin
    I do not see anything wrong with the use of 汙染.

    Also, we usually say 黴菌 rather than 孢子. (There doesn't exist such a term 微孢子, I suspect. I googled it and found 'microsporidia'. )
    這些食物因為沒有密封,被附近已經發的食物汙染。​
    這些未經密封的食物,如果與已發的食物放在一起,即使在冷藏室,仍很可能被 (菌) 汙染。​
     
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    SimonTsai

    Senior Member
    Taiwanese Mandarin
    I have not ever seen the character 醭. It seems to be outdated and refers specifically to a variety of mould that grows in alcoholic drinks or soups or sauces or vinegar.

    There is a difference between 發 and 發. implies being mouldy because of moist weather. For example,
    最近老是下雨,下得我骨頭發,全身沒力。​
    [...] but that seems too serious [...]
    Just to let you know that the following is legitimate:
    幹!死 gay!把你的髒手拿開!真是!誰知道我的桌椅是不是已經被汙染?​
     
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    retrogradedwithwind

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    长醭啊,搜了一下,济南、洛阳方言里有。北京河北东北等地应该也有。还是使用比较广泛的方言。还是个活词汇啊。实际用起来,和发霉区别不大。
     

    albert_laosong

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    长醭啊,搜了一下,济南、洛阳方言里有。北京河北东北等地应该也有。还是使用比较广泛的方言。还是个活词汇啊。实际用起来,和发霉区别不大。
    haha, it was only used by my grandma's generation, and yes indeed they didn't use word as new as 发霉, they used 长醭(bu)。I had totally forgot about this ancient word until it re-appeared here:), I have never heard it again since my grandma passed away 30 years ago.

    As for the question in the original post, I think 污染 is the only suitable word here, it's not a serious or formal word, it's used quite often in everyday oral Chinese.
     

    hx1997

    Senior Member
    汉语普通话 Chinese - Mandarin
    Certainly, but 感染 makes me think of viruses or bacteria rather than molds. :D
     

    hx1997

    Senior Member
    汉语普通话 Chinese - Mandarin
    感染 is usually used for patients or wounds, I don't think it's appropriate here.
    No, I don't think it's good either. An organism gets a 感染, food doesn't. But it's understandable, and there are people who use it this way.
     
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    albert_laosong

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    No, I don't think it's good either. An organism gets a 感染, food doesn't. But it's understandable, and there are people who use it this way.
    Yes, on second thought, I think 感染 is ok in some situations.

    污染:
    这面包被(油)污染了,没法吃了。(感染 is not ok here if it's 油)
    这些油把这面包污染了,没法吃了。(感染 is not ok here)

    感染/染上:
    这面包也感染上/染上这些霉菌了,没法吃了。(污染 is not ok here)
    这面包也被这霉菌感染上了,没法吃了。(污染 not seem ok here either)

    沾上/染上:
    这面包也沾上/染上这些油了,没法吃了。(neither 污染 nor 感染 is ok here)
     
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    hx1997

    Senior Member
    汉语普通话 Chinese - Mandarin
    这面包也感染上/染上这些霉菌了,没法吃了。(污染 is not ok here)
    这面包也被这霉菌感染上了,没法吃了。(污染 not seem ok here either)
    I'm not comfortable with 感染 there. I prefer 染上/沾上. (Actually you can say 这面包也被这霉菌污染了, no?)
     
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    albert_laosong

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    I'm not comfortable with 感染 there. I prefer 染上/沾上. (Actually you can say 这面包也被这霉菌污染了, no?)
    污染 sounds like a physical process only, things got dirty by touching with dirty things , while 感染 feels like the molds originated in some pork and then gradually they spread and contaminated the bread adjacent.
     

    stephenlearner

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Yes, on second thought, I think 感染 is ok in some situations.

    污染:
    这面包被(油)污染了,没法吃了。(感染 is not ok here if it's 油)
    这些油把这面包污染了,没法吃了。(感染 is not ok here)

    感染/染上:
    这面包也感染上/染上这些霉菌了,没法吃了。(污染 is not ok here)
    这面包也被这霉菌感染上了,没法吃了。(污染 not seem ok here either)

    沾上/染上:
    这面包也沾上/染上这些油了,没法吃了。(neither 污染 nor 感染 is ok here)
    感觉太像译制片里的台词了,好别扭。我有点想笑(别介意啊)

    我们一般就说:这东西/面包”坏了“,”变味了“,”馊了“,”发霉了“,”长毛了“,等等。如果是书面语,就说”变质了“。
     

    albert_laosong

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    感觉太像译制片里的台词了,好别扭。我有点想笑(别介意啊)

    我们一般就说:这东西/面包”坏了“,”变味了“,”馊了“,”发霉了“,”长毛了“,等等。如果是书面语,就说”变质了“。
    我挺介意,因为这里说的是contaminate,你没有看题,说的这些和本话题无关,还要笑别人。。。
     

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語

    stephenlearner

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    我挺介意,因为这里说的是contaminate,你没有看题,说的这些和本话题无关,还要笑别人。。。
    Sorry for that. I did not mean to.
    However, I did read the post 1.
    The point is that we don't translate a text exactly word-by-word. If you do that, it will definitely cause problems: the translation would not read like Chinese, but like the original language.
    Nobody would say "食物被污染了" in everyday speech. Have you heard of anyone talking that way? This is why I suggested the OP say ”坏了“,”变味了“,”馊了“,”发霉了“,”长毛了“.

    Even in writing, I doubt we would say "食物被污染了". I think we probably would say "食物变质了“, or "食物因受xxx影响而变质了".

    On second thought, I think we can use "食物被污染“ in a context of larger dimension. For instance, a factory which produces bread or other foods, we can say "这个工厂的食物被污染了" or "三号仓房的食物被污染了". For some bread in your refrigerator, I would not say "面包被污染了”, nor would I encourage other people to say it.

    Remember, this is for writing. Even in a food factory, workers would not say "三号仓房的食物被污染了", but rather "三号仓房的食物发霉了 or 长毛了 or 变味了 or 坏了", when they talk to each other.
     
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    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    「倉房的糧食發霉了 (turned moldy)」和 「倉房的糧食被污染了 (got contaminated)」都是正確的句子。 兩者表達不同概念,不可相互代換。
     

    stephenlearner

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    「倉房的糧食發霉了 (turned moldy)」和 「倉房的糧食被污染了 (got contaminated)」都是正確的句子。 兩者表達不同概念,不可相互代換。
    They could refer to the same matter with different emphases. The former "仓房的粮食发霉了" gives more of the suggestion of the result, while the latter "仓房的粮食被污染了" gives more of the suggestion of the cause.

    I don't think, however, in daily life we would pay attention to the cause of food being moldy in our refrigerator. When we see it turns moldy, we just say "哦, 发霉了“. We would not think in our mind that "it turns moldy because it is contaminated", so we would not say "哎呀,东西发霉了,因为被污染了” or "东西被污染了. We would just say what we see or smell. I think this is more result-oriented.
    发霉。
    长醭。
    我们擀面皮的时候,妈妈会说“先撒点醭,然后再擀”,醭即面粉。
     
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    albert_laosong

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    The point is that we don't translate a text exactly word-by-word. If you do that, it will definitely cause problems: the translation would not read like Chinese, but like the original language.
    I wasn't tranlating the original post, or anything. I was just working up some contexts in Chinese to compare 污染 and 感染。What made you think I was translating?

    Nobody would say "食物被污染了" in everyday speech. Have you heard of anyone talking that way? This is why I suggested the OP say ”坏了“,”变味了“,”馊了“,”发霉了“,”长毛了“.
    I just counted, four Chinese including me have said "食物被污染了” in this thread.
    actually no one questioned 污染,Some of us were just not sure about 感染。

    On second thought, I think we can use "食物被污染“ in a context of larger dimension. For instance, a factory which produces bread or other foods, we can say "这个工厂的食物被污染了" or "三号仓房的食物被污染了". For some bread in your refrigerator, I would not say "面包被污染了”, nor would I encourage other people to say it.
    I placed one jar of olive oil beside the bread that wasn't fully covered, then somehow the jar tipped over, the oil spilled and contaminated the bread, it wasn't eatable anymore, then how would you say contaminate here in Chinese? ”坏了“,”变味了“,”馊了“,”发霉了“,”长毛了“,“变质了”?

    Remember, this is for writing. Even in a food factory, workers would not say "三号仓房的食物被污染了", but rather "三号仓房的食物发霉了 or 长毛了 or 变味了 or 坏了", when they talk to each other.
    food goes bad or goes moldy or turns sour after too long time in storage or due to some other reasons, but fresh food can become uneatable too by just being contamiated by other things. it's two different scenarios, can't you see that?

    我们擀面皮的时候,妈妈会说“先撒点醭,然后再擀”,醭即面粉。
    This is a good one, but in my dialect(河南话)the elderly would say "面醭”, and they would say "长醭” when something goes moldy a little, say"长毛" if it becomes much worse.
     
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