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Feb 27, 2008 04:09 AM

Crockpot was off overnight


I was making split pea wsoup with ground turkey.

I had already sauted my vegetables and browned my turkey. I had added the peas and seasoning and had let them boil and even let them simmer for about 20 miinutes. But then it was about 10:30pm so I transfered everything to the hot pot. I thought I had it on "simmer" on the hotpot for over night cooking, but I awoke 8 hours later to find it was off.

Do I have to toss this stuff?

; 0

    1. re: TrishUntrapped

      second that - you have hot items placed in an enclosed environment for 8 hours, providing the perfect conditions to create a toxic bacteria soup.

      1. re: janniecooks

        Oh -- that is a vile visual.

        Thanks. It's gone already.

    2. I wouldn't toss it. I'd bring it back up to a high heat and let it cook at the high heat for about 5 mins. All your ingredients were already thoroughly cooked when you assembled it and I have never had problems with soup that was sitting for only 8 hours. If it were a shellfish or fish soup, I wouldn't, but something with thoroughly browned ground turkey, IMO you'd be fine (keeping in mind I'm not a health inspector).

      4 Replies
      1. re: Morganna

        Sorry but that's just not correct.

        Bacteria can produce spores and toxins that are very heat resistant and survive reheating and reboiling. They can make you very ill.

        It is VERY unsafe to eat food that has been sitting out, unrefrigerated, for 8 hours, even if it is subsequently reheated.

        If that were true there would be no need for refrigeration. You could just cook something, store it on the counter and then reheat it.

        hexepatty, you need to throw it out, I'm afraid.

        1. re: C. Hamster

          My experience doesn't hold with your statements, though perhaps the fact that I keep my home colder than most people (in the 65 degree range) helps. I do this a few times a year because I don't always remember to put dinner away, and I don't always think there's much risk from whatever it was I had. USUALLY I toss it, but in some cases, I don't because the risk is very low for a given dish.

          This particular soup is not -very- unsafe. It presents a moderate risk. If you're not immuno-compromised, a child, or elderly, then the occasional wandering bug is no problem for your system. All this paranoia about bugs gets right up my nose. We're sterilizing ourselves into immune deficiencies all over the place.

          The turkey was thoroughly browned, and that would have killed any bugs that -might- have been in it. Dried peas are not hot beds of bug activity. Sauteed vegetables, again, anything on them would be killed by that process. Assuming we're talking some canned or reconstituted broth (or homemade that had been properly stored) we're also talking about a very clean liquid. The longish boiling process to cook the peas in the soup would have killed any possible lingering bugs. The soup was then poured into a crock pot, and a lid was put in place. There were no living bugs at the point of transfer, and the lid on the crock pot makes the already low chance of the sorts of nasties you describe entering into the soup even less. Assuming her crock pot was actually clean when she put the soup in, there were no bugs living on the porcelain surface, either.

          The risk from reheating it to boiling is minimal, not "very unsafe".

          I'm not saying there's no risk at all, but even if there were some bacteria present, it wouldn't actually be a lot of harm to a relatively healthy individual (and actually can do some good by helping build up the body's defenses). Not in -this- particular soup, anyway.

          The toxins you allude to would have to have been present from the beginning in the turkey, because there's no way there were any bugs alive in the turkey after it being browned that could produce such toxins, and the bugs that produce those toxins do not typically survive in the air of the typical home. So there would be no opportunity for such toxins to develop after the point of the soup being cooked initially.

          I suppose I could get off my lazy bum and research this more thoroughly with references to support my claims, but honestly, I really should get to work.

          As I said before, if there were -fish- in the soup, I'd recommend tossing it. Fish is a different thing altogether.

          What I -should- have said was all the above, along with this "if you're a relatively healthy person, the risk of getting ill from this particular batch of soup would appear to be fairly low, assuming you keep a relatively clean kitchen in general. You need to decide if you'd like to take that risk." or something along those lines.

          1. re: Morganna

            "I suppose I could get off my lazy bum and research this more thoroughly with references to support my claims, but honestly, I really should get to work."

            Yes, facts to support your claims would be good because they would basically turn a host of widely accepted food safety practices topsey turvey. The 40-140 safety zone, for example.

            Plus your assumptions are sketchy at best. There are a whole lot of ways that toxin-producing bacteria (e.g., bacillus cerus) could have done their work, cross-contamination, for example.

            And the notion that a "risk" for a reasonably healthy person is minimal is essentailly saying that you might get a nasty case of diarrhea but you won't end up in the hospital. Because that's what happens with food poisoning. IMO the risk-reward calculus is not in the OP's favor here.

            1. re: Morganna

              Fish is a different thing?

              Turkey and poultry can easily easily harbor salmonella. With a nice warming up by browning, then an 8 hour sit in a closed pot... it sounds like a really bad idea to eat this in any way.

              Would you eat a raw chicken that had been left in the trunk of a car for 8 hours? Same deal.

        2. You Have maybe 5 Dollars worth of food there ........if someone gave you 5 dollars for the pleasure of making you very very sick would you take it?? Unless its Kobe Beef or truffles it is not worth it...

          1 Reply
          1. re: coffeecup

            That's my sentiment exactly. The peas, cheap! Celery/Onions/Carrots: cheap. Ground turkey... a freeby from family.

            What i'm now doing is researching CROCKPOTS! I want a new one (I was using boyfriends ANCIENT crockpot that has no timer settings!) Looking into this as we speak.

            Thanks everyone!

          2. Adios and Au revoir to Mr Tom and the Veggies. It was in the "Danger Zone" way too long.

            1. I agree with Morganna. If everything was boiled/simmered for 20 minutes, then transferred, hot, to the crock pot and covered, the amount of nasties present would be very small. Reproduction over the course of 8 hours would still result in a very small number of critters. Anyone who's ever tried to culture yeast (for brewing) in sterile conditions from very small colonies of starter knows how long it takes the little guys to build up to significant size colonies. Much longer than 8 hours. I'd have reheated and enjoyed, and I'd bet any amount of money I'd have done so in excellent health, including the next day.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Bat Guano

                Curious as to the source for your facts, as well.

                1. re: C. Hamster

                  Well, there aren't really any facts in evidence - just my opinion, which is based on having done similar things to what hexepatty was contemplating, i.e. reheating and eating, numerous times. I could be wrong, but it hasn't caught up with me yet.