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meat on counter question

gardengirl Mar 24, 2009 11:14 AM

I filled my slowcooker with short ribs this morning before I left for work. I asked my husband to set it to cook before he left about 1 hour later.

Guess what, he forgot.

So, the meat has been sitting on the counter in the slowcooker for 5 hours now.

I think I know the answer to this.

But, is there any saving this meal?

Do I need to toss the whole thing???

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  1. HaagenDazs RE: gardengirl Mar 24, 2009 11:18 AM

    Will you die? No.

    Will you get sick? Probably not.

    Is it worth it? Up to you.

    Next time buy yourself a plug in timer like the ones used for lights when you go on vacation. These work wonderfully for crock pots when you don't want them on for extended periods of time.

    1. alwayscooking RE: gardengirl Mar 24, 2009 11:22 AM

      I'd eat it.

      I'm (and everyone else in the house) healthy and have good immune systems.
      It was covered and, in these cases,I always think about the olden days without refrigeration.

      You'll get tons of time/temp responses though.

      2 Replies
      1. re: alwayscooking
        HaagenDazs RE: alwayscooking Mar 24, 2009 11:25 AM

        I agree. There's not any significant rotting or putrefaction going on at this point. The final dish will probably be fine. I wouldn't save it for later though, it's tonight or nothing.

        1. re: alwayscooking
          sfumato RE: alwayscooking Mar 24, 2009 02:46 PM

          I'd eat it, but that's because it's cold here and we have stone countertops. I might not eat it if my house had been really warm that day- like if this happened in the summer in our un-airconditioned kitchen.

        2. C. Hamster RE: gardengirl Mar 24, 2009 11:32 AM

          Meat doesn't have to be "rotting" or "putrified" to make you really sick.

          If it's held between 40-140 for 2 or 3 hours, it's suspect. More than that and it's dicey.

          If the meat was COLD when you put it in and it was kept covered, I might eat it. It's on the edge of yes and no for me. If it wasn't cold when placed in the slow cooker, I wouldnt eat it.

          But DO NOT cook it in the slow cooker. It needs to be brought up and out of the danger zone as soon as possible. Sear it, put it in a closed pot with liquid and braise it at 300-325 till it's done.

          Yeah, you probably won't die from food poisoning, but your first bout with it probably make you feel, as I do, that it's just not worth the chance.

          1 Reply
          1. re: C. Hamster
            chez cherie RE: C. Hamster Mar 24, 2009 11:50 AM

            i concur with c.hamster. while i'm not sure i would take the risk to cook it after it sat out for that many hours, i definitely would get it out of the danger zone as quickly as possible, and the slow cooker will not do that.

          2. Sam Fujisaka RE: gardengirl Mar 24, 2009 11:48 AM

            It will be fine. Just slow cook it when you get home.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Sam Fujisaka
              C. Hamster RE: Sam Fujisaka Mar 24, 2009 12:04 PM

              Slow cooking it will be a recipe for food poisoning, IMO. A slow cooker takes it's sweet time getting the meat up to a very low cooking temp. That's more hours in the unsafe temp zone. Slow cooking is exactly the opposite of what needs to be done to save it, safety-wise.

            2. j
              JennyHunter RE: gardengirl Mar 24, 2009 11:52 AM

              I'm glad it's not just me. I posted a similar question around Christmas time about a pot of roux and chicken broth I accidentally left out overnight in order to finish off for gumbo the next day. After getting a ton of responses from here, I went ahead with and everyone was fine. I think we might over-react a little bit in the US. Restaurants might need to be a little more careful and diligent, but you'll be fine. Just cook it when you get home.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JennyHunter
                maisonbistro RE: JennyHunter Mar 25, 2009 04:20 PM

                Well, I am one of the people who told you not to use it, and I will repeat that statement here. If you are unsure of something, like meat that has been left in ambient indoor temperature all day, do not use it. Food poisoning is not something to roll the dice with. And like C. Hamster said, once you've had, you'll understand. Making yourself sick or worse yet your whole family and/or guests isn't worth saving $10, $20 or any amount of money. Food poisoning does happen - and it's not pretty.

              2. g
                gardengirl RE: gardengirl Mar 24, 2009 12:04 PM

                Thanks everyone. Very helpfu! I think I decided to skip it because it I'm not going to be home for a little while anyway. I have a small baby at home and the idea of potentially being sick and trying to take care of her scares the bejeesus out of me. So, I will instead reprimand the husband and start thinking about when I can look back on this and laugh at the time we threw away a whole pot of short ribs.

                1. ipsedixit RE: gardengirl Mar 24, 2009 11:06 PM

                  Eat it.

                  There are worse ways to die than death by braised short ribs ... (if we could all be so lucky).

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    C. Hamster RE: ipsedixit Mar 25, 2009 08:03 AM

                    You usually don't die from bloody diarrhea, but it is very unpleasant. Hopefully you will be near a toilet when it happens. I wasn't. : - (

                    1. re: C. Hamster
                      HaagenDazs RE: C. Hamster Mar 25, 2009 08:05 AM

                      If you weren't near a toilet it sounds like there were some other factors affecting your food safety... camping? 3rd world country?

                      1. re: HaagenDazs
                        C. Hamster RE: HaagenDazs Mar 25, 2009 11:42 AM

                        Unfortunately, I was on the 3rd hole in a golf tournament ..... Something I ate the night before ruined the outing.

                        1. re: C. Hamster
                          HaagenDazs RE: C. Hamster Mar 25, 2009 11:46 AM

                          Ooh - that sucks just the same, you're right.

                          1. re: HaagenDazs
                            C. Hamster RE: HaagenDazs Mar 25, 2009 01:15 PM

                            It was embarassing yes, but I was shooting par until the "event" happened!

                            So I was equally mad and embarassed.

                            My golf partner gave me a large pack of baby wipes for my bag at Xmas, just to prolong my misery.

                  2. jfood RE: gardengirl Mar 26, 2009 11:11 AM

                    Process in the Insinkerator. Out they go, unfortunately.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: jfood
                      HaagenDazs RE: jfood Mar 26, 2009 11:13 AM

                      Not sure it's the brightest idea to drop a bunch of beef bones down your disposal, but... it's not my household pipes or disposal that will be ruined.

                      1. re: HaagenDazs
                        jfood RE: HaagenDazs Mar 26, 2009 04:01 PM

                        fair point, jfood does not put short rib bones down his disposal either.

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