When there is fear of that which is decaying the individual may be experiencing Seplophobia.
An individual with this fear may have a profound struggle dealing with decaying food left over in their fridge. They may be inclined to have someone else purge their cooler and they likely would dispose of containers holding decaying food. Again this would not be a chore they would likely be able to do on their own.
Other symptoms may include dry mouth, extreme nausea, air hunger, trembling, fainting, weeping, panic attack, vomiting.
This phobia may prevent the one who fears from being able to work in food service or in the trash business. It might even prevent them from being able to take the trash out on their own. While decaying material is normal it is still something that is feared among seplophobes.
Those who seek out a therapist can find help in dealing with their fear.
The ultimate fear that may trigger the fear of decaying matter can be something as small as germs to something as ominous as personal death. The fear of decaying matter may simply be symbolic of the primary or originating fear.
Education and behavioral therapy can be a powerful combination in confronting fear and managing reaction to that fear. Retraining the mind to respond first in a rational way can also be a huge help. In the case of most phobic response an individual will typically rely on the emotional part of the brain – this is what allows exaggerated response.