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Food left out overnight


adegiulio
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I made some bean soup yesterday (beans, bacon, chicken stock, seasoning). I left it on the stove to cool a bit before sticking it in the fridge, but of course I forgot about it. It was covered. Is it still good to eat today?

"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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I made some bean soup yesterday (beans, bacon, chicken stock, seasoning). I left it on the stove to cool a bit before sticking it in the fridge, but of course I forgot about it. It was covered. Is it still good to eat today?

Damned if we didn't do the same thing! In our case, yellow split peas, smoke turkey, chicken stock, etc. I saw it this morning, and was bummed. But I quickly decided to believe that all would be well.

As Daniel would say, Hell Yes, I'm going for it!!!!!

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Double Hell, yes--I do this all the time--I just hope I see the pot before the hub does because he gets all worried about safety--the lingering consequence of having a mother who was a danger to all in the kitchen.

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I am also frequently guilty of this (by the time the soup/stew/whatever cools down I've forgotten about it and gone to sleep). Recently, I've been telling myself that it's actually a critical "ripening" stage :wink: .

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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Good article explaining the basics:

CALCULATING THE TOTAL GROWTH OF BACTERIA IN COOKED FOOD

USING THE FDA CODE CONTROLS

O. Peter Snyder, Jr., Ph.D.

Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management

http://www.hi-tm.com/Documents2001/time-te...lculations.html

The safety time is based on a ten generations of bacterial growth. The four hour limit reccomendation is the absolute worse case. Since your soup was hot to start with it will have few pathogens - only those which fall in from the air or a dirty spoon. The article shows its probably safe to leave it (and most food) at room temperature for about 16 hours under normal conditions. Eat and enjoy.

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Although in practice, I would tend to heat it up again and eat it, other eGulleters have pointed out that it's not just the bacteria, but the toxins they create that are a problem. Reheating would kill bacteria, but not rid the food of whatever toxins they produced.

Proceed at your own risk! :blink::biggrin:

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I was always taught that if that happened to bring the soup up to a roiling boil for a few minutes to make sure any bacteria was killed of.  Anyone know if this is necessary?

The vast majority of bacteria will be killed at temperatures well below boiling, but boiling would pretty much insure sterilization. To illustrate, when milk is heated to 161.5F for 15 seconds, there is a 5-log reduction in micro-organisms in the milk (ie only 0.00001 of the microrganisms remain). However, even though the risk of bacterial infection is pretty much eliminated by boiling, some bacteria, like some types of Staphylococcus, can produce protein toxins which are themselves heat-stable and are not inactivated by boiling.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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It was covered.

If it was covered before it got below 140C and was not reopened after, it was probably quite sterile this morning. Bacteria do not difuse the way air molecules do. Anyways, we get a bit crazy about food safety and refrigeration in occident. In many countries refrigeration is not widly available and it is perfectly ok to keep a pot of food at room temp for a full day, reheat it and eat it.

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It should be good to go. Just re-boil it. The levels of toxins required to kill you would have needed a high bacterial/viral load to begin with, so the first tasting would probably have been the worst.

Remember, that when you place something in the fridge it does not instantly cool throughout. So, it does sit there for a few hours (depending on the container) at elevated temps. As well, the fridge does not stop bacterial growth, it slows it down. How slow depends on the fridge config and how long you leave it open.

Anyone can get a little crazy when it comes to food safety. My wife goes CDC on me, when I'm making anything poultry based.

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I made some bean soup yesterday (beans, bacon, chicken stock, seasoning). I left it on the stove to cool a bit before sticking it in the fridge, but of course I forgot about it. It was covered. Is it still good to eat today?

Bring it to a boil, yes, to kill the bacteria. Then simmer it for fifteen minutes to destroy any toxins made by the bacteria. This reply may be too late, bit it is good info for the next time (I majored in Bacti in college).

Ray

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Then simmer it for fifteen minutes to destroy any toxins made by the bacteria.

Wait, so you're saying that it is possible to destroy the toxins produced by the bacteria? I have not heard that before. I thought the toxins were fairly safe from the effects of heat.

"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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Then simmer it for fifteen minutes to destroy any toxins made by the bacteria.

Wait, so you're saying that it is possible to destroy the toxins produced by the bacteria? I have not heard that before. I thought the toxins were fairly safe from the effects of heat.

Bacterial toxins vary in their thermostability. Some are destroyed by boiling and some are not. As I pointed out above, some bacterial toxins (such as those produced by Staphylococcus aureus) are extremely heat-stable, and will not be destroyed even by hours of boiling.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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It was covered.

If it was covered before it got below 140C and was not reopened after, it was probably quite sterile this morning.[...]

Quite sterile? I would strongly disagree with that. But total sterility is not necessary for safety. We take in all sorts of bacteria all the time, just by virtue of breathing.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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It was covered.

If it was covered before it got below 140C and was not reopened after, it was probably quite sterile this morning.[...]

Quite sterile? I would strongly disagree with that. But total sterility is not necessary for safety. We take in all sorts of bacteria all the time, just by virtue of breathing.

Obviously sterility is not necessary for safety. But If a soup is heated to a boil for a while, it will be sterile exept mayby for a few spored that will only proliferate in anaerobic conditions. It would be as sterile as somehting done by home canning at 100C. Then if you close the lid, and the lid is closed tight enough, you may be able to prevent contamination, hence conserving sterility.

I woudnt consider the pot steril for any food safety application, but I say there is some probability that it still is.

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