The Intolerant Chef asks: "How long can raw meat be kept in the fridge before being harmful? I remember my mother washing slightly bluish looking chops in vinegar and water to remove the stickiness and smell before cooking them. They were then fed to my father, never us children or her."
I assume your father was well insured.
Generally, fresh meat can only be kept for a few days at refrigeration temperatures. It is hard to butcher meat without getting bacteria on its cut surface and bacteria love a warm, protein rich surface.
Note: these are bacteria introduced during the butchering process and not endemic to the meat as such. When the meat is 'hung' after slaughter, the surface of the carcass is dry and intact and no bacterial degradation takes place. Once the meat is sliced or minced, bacteria is introduced and all bets are off.
Chilling meat slows bacterial growth but doesn't stop it. Freezing it stops the growth. As does drying.
Bacterial growth results in the breakdown of proteins which in turn produce the unpleasant smells that we associate with 'off' meat. Rubbing the meat with vinegar may reduce the bacterial load and reduce the smell. Traditionally curry was also used to hide off meat.
It would be the thorough cooking afterwards that killed the bacteria and made it safe for your father to eat.
Probably with lots of sauce.