I've got some lamb riblets from a friend's pasture-raised lamb, which I received frozen; I brined the ribs overnight in the fridge and then put them in my sous vide setup at 145f for 36 hours. Unfortunately, I neglected to put plastic wrap over the water pot and due to evaporation my immersion circulator shut off at some point during the night last night. I don't know how long it was off for, but the water had reached room temperature by the time I found it.
I wouldn't serve these ribs to anyone else at this point, but I really don't want to throw them away and am wondering how much of a risk I'd be taking by eating them. They've got another 12 hours at 145f left, and then I was going to grill them before serving, so they should get re-pasteurized. The risk I see is if there were enough botulism spores to produce toxin that won't be destroyed by pasteurization. So I my questions are:
-- Does meat like lamb riblet generally contain botulism spores in the first place? It sounds like they're much more common in fruits and vegetables, or food that has touched dirt.
-- The vacuum bags didn't puff up at all. Does this mean that no significant amount of botulism grew?
-- Is botulism toxin just on the surface of the meat? If so, if I dipped the ribs into boiling water briefly to denature any botulism toxin on the surface, would I be making them safe to eat?
I know it's easy to say "when in doubt, chuck it", but I was pretty excited about these ribs and that'd be painful. So, how much of a risk is this?