Watching the S05E01 of the Walking Dead, Cannibalism seems to be the way that the members of Terminus survive. Why would they not turn as well eating human flesh because all humans are infected and turn when they die.

You can see Terminus members kill members of a group by hitting them with a bat and draining their blood. It does not apparently destroy the brain, so you would think the turning process would commence and anyone who ate the flesh would spur the infection and turn. Realizing all humans have this dormant infection latent within them already turning them into Walkers.

Is drying the flesh somehow stropping the turning like curing meats? Thus stopping infection or sickness in the person who consumes the flesh?

  • 1
    Related: movies.stackexchange.com/q/17576/49.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Oct 17, 2014 at 10:41
  • I see the point but it never really answers the question. It seems to be a biological issue and the above referenced link is to already turned humans or Walkers not freshly killed humans not yet turned. Oct 17, 2014 at 10:47
  • Meaning dormant infection not action as in Walkers Oct 17, 2014 at 11:04
  • I thought there was a scene where one guy tried eating zombie meat and died?? Am I wrong??
    – user27236
    Oct 27, 2015 at 17:30
  • What about the fact that the people who are Bob didn't die or turn from eating him?
    – Ashley
    Dec 29, 2015 at 10:23

4 Answers 4


First off, you have to die first for the infection to turn you into a walker.

Second, as far as I know, the people at Terminus were eating humans whom they killed and who haven't turned yet, and who probably can't turn anymore, since we could see in S05E01 that they chopped them and cut them up in portions.

This means that even if the infection was working differently with walkers, the eaten people were still carrying the same infection as the ones who ate them.


Cooking at the proper temperature will ensure that any potential virus is killed. This is why there are recommended temperatures for properly cooking steak and chicken; that heat kills viruses like salmonella and such. This is also why menus at restaurants mention properly cooked meals, and some will not serve "runny" eggs because of the risk of salmonella.

I'm sure if you cook a freshly killed human at the proper temperature, those viruses and parasites will also die from the heat.



They do but if your talking specifically Bob and Garrett they cooked the meat first so it basically deleted the disease so they didn't turn, if that's what you're asking.

  • 2
    You're going to need to provide some proof to back up your claim that the disease was sterilized from Bob's flesh when cooked.
    – MattD
    Jan 3, 2015 at 5:55
  • @MattD - As far as I know there is nothing in the storyline that presents the virus as anything other than normal (chemically). The idea that cooking kills viruses is something common knowledge/well accepted enough that I personally would think that a cite of it would be superfluous. That's not what's wrong with the answer...what's wrong with this answer is that in the storyline the virus doesn't kill people, it only reanimates them once dead. Feb 3, 2016 at 13:48

A few points:

1) The assumption that smashing someone in the head with a baseball bat doesn't destroy the brain doesn't make much sense. That's the whole reason getting smashed in the head with a baseball bat would kill you, is because that impact did enough damage to your brain that it didn't function anymore. The series uses melee weapons to the head as a fairly regular way to kill walkers.

...however, I'd point out that that's not relevant as well...because:

2) The virus doesn't kill. They all have it already. The virus only reanimates the nervous system of the dead, which has a tendency to rot pretty nastily, meaning you get a heck of a bacterial infection that kills you if you get bitten/scratched by walker (and presumably if you eat a nasty rotted one). Anything that stopped that bacterial growth (like we already do with butchered corpses of animals) would stop that meat from being dangerous, as the virus itself is not a danger to those that have it/contract it...only a danger to those that happen to be around them when it reanimates their dead body.

Yes, there are issues with this (Why are newly created walkers just as deadly as ones that have been rotting for a month? Why does getting walker gunk in your eyes not get you as infected as getting it in a scratch?) But these are the mechanisms of the story nonetheless, and those mechanisms would not make someone that ate properly cared for/cooked meat that happens to be infected with the same virus they already have anyway die from it.

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