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Jun 5, 2006 09:23 AM

Please Help! Raw meat left on counter overnight

  • m

Last night (around 10 pm) I vacuum packed some raw pork tenderloins and some sausages that were meant for the freezer. When I came down to the kitchen this morning (around 7:00 am) I saw that the packages were still sitting there on my counter - I forgot to put them in the freezer! I put them in the freezer right away. My house is air-conditioned and the temperature at night is around 18/19 degrees celsius...Are they all ruined now? Am I going to have to throw it all out??? Help please!

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  1. oh, there is no doubt that they should be discarded. no doubt.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Karl S

      That's what I thought...I was just hoping...$20 bucks down the drain... :-(

      1. re: mg

        And if you do eat it you'll be acutely aware of every tiny tummy rumble, even if nothing happens. Not worth $20.

        1. re: Aromatherapy

          I have to agree, its got to go. If for no other reason than peace of mind. (although there are plenty of other reasons. If it were cooked, then maybe, but raw no way.

          Also, I would be more inclined to keep the sausage depending on what kind it was. (how was it cured?)

    2. b
      Becca Porter

      I did the same thing a few nights ago with a 3 pound package of sausage from Sams. I immedietely threw it away. I didn't consider keeping it even though it hurt to throw it away. Sorry.

      1. I know it hurts but really -throw it away. That $20 would seem like a crazy amount to save if you or someone you loved got sick from eating spoiled meat. Don't feel bad, we've all done something like that!

        1 Reply
        1. re: jackie

          Toss it. Sorry. I've been in the ER before with food poisoning. It is not worth it. It cost lots more than what I ate. Start over.

        2. b
          bruce in oakton

          How does the meat smell? Your house is far from hot. Somehow in New Zealand in the 1940s and 1950s our family and everyone else we knew managed to survive with neither refrigerator or icebox (Only the very well-off had refrigerators and there was no tradition of iceboxes.) Meat was kept, often for 24 hours or more in a mesh-windowed cupboard on the cool side of the house. We didn't eat pork in the summer,except for sausages which obviously contained some kind of preservative, but beef and lamb would be bought on Friday, kept in the cupboard/meat safe, and cooked and eaten on Sunday with no ill results. Rule of thumb used to be that if you had to put the meat/fish up to your nose to smell if it was 'off' it wasn't.
          I think we tend to over refrigerate. Presumably for legal reasons many products now carry the legend 'Refrigerate after opening' unnecessarily. Jam for instance!

          5 Replies
          1. re: bruce in oakton

            True, but meat went through less processing then. Today's supermarket meat gets cut at more points in the process, thus with more opportunity for pathogens to develop and await further cutting for more surfaces.

            1. re: bruce in oakton

              Unless you gobble up the pot of jam in a week or so it'll get moldy.

              1. re: Neilo
                bruce in oakton

                nope! I have marmalade in the cupboard that has been open for two months and there's no mould - and I'm still eating it with no adverse effects.

              2. re: bruce in oakton

                I was thinking that the fact that it was vacuum sealed, i.e., no exposure to air and that my house is air-conditioned might help...some people have suggested first smelling it and if that seems ok, then cooking one up for myself (well marinated and cooked) and tasting it.

                1. re: mg

                  I think the earlier suggestion is correct -- that bacteria has already been vacuum-sealed inside.

              3. How about splitting the difference? I'd save the tenderloins and throw the sausage out. A solid piece of meat is only going to be contaminated on the surface (if at all), and you're going to cook it, which will kill anything. Besides, if it was vacuum packed, there wasn't any air to promote the growth of pathogens.

                Sausage is always problematic -- I'd probably keep it, but I can't advise you to!

                4 Replies
                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  I'm with you Ruth. I'd keep and eat both.

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                    Staphylococcal food poisoning commonly just called staff is the most common form of food poisoning. "These organisms are Gram-positive. Some strains are capable of producing a highly heat-stable protein toxin that causes illness in humans." The toxin produced by the organism, not the organism itself, causes the illness. Cooking will not destroy the toxin. You will detect no smell associated with this. For more information please see:


                    1. re: jfish

                      True. Nothing is 100 percent safe. But I standby my assessment that the risk in this case is minimal.

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                        Risk analysis is an interesting mix of art and science. What would be an acceptable risk of food poisoning: 1 in 100 or 1 in 10,000 or 1 in 100,000? I don't know. What I do know is I try to avoid that risk which is easily avoidable. I would not eat the meat left out unless I could not afford to replace it and needed the protein.