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Food Safety: Big pot of chicken soup left out for 24 hours

Peter Feb 1, 2010 02:03 PM

All, I'm looking for some guidance here.

1. Throw together a huge pot of chicken soup Sunday afternoon. Carcass and all.

2. Let simmer for hours.

3. Turn off when one goes out for a 90 minute dinner.

4. Get home and forget to put it away.

5. Discover soup tonight, still on stovetop, about 23 HOURS after the heat was turned off.

So... if I bring this up to a rapid boil again, is it safe to eat? Or is this gonna make us all sick?

Thanks in advance for your guidance!

-Peter

  1. JerryMe Feb 1, 2010 02:18 PM

    Others might disagree w/ me, but um, no. You may not boil and expect a safe eating product. Um, just no. Cut your losses and let it go. Sorry.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JerryMe
      mcel215 Feb 1, 2010 02:21 PM

      Totally agree, sorry. I would never chance it.

    2. bushwickgirl Feb 1, 2010 02:33 PM

      No, no, no, chuck time, so sorry. Don't chance it.

      1. l
        lyntc10 Feb 1, 2010 03:25 PM

        Smell it, does it smell sour/bad? How warm is your house/kitchen/wherever you left the soup out. Personally, I wouldn't have a problem with boiling it for a few minutes (rolling boil) and then drinking it. Honestly, Americans get so worked up over expiration dates and refrigeration. I'm from France originally, never refrigerate my eggs (and eat them raw sometimes too!) and have never gotten sick. I've left raw chicken out at room temperature for a few hours and cooked it without any problems. There are 200 million starving children, so please, before you waste more food, at least try it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: lyntc10
          n
          Nyleve Feb 1, 2010 03:41 PM

          Agree agree agree. Here's what I'd do. Strain out all the solids and discard them. Bring the broth back to a boil and let it simmer for a good half hour. Done. Unless the soup had so badly turned that you could actually smell it, you will have killed any microorganisms by boiling the soup. You can now add new vegetables or noodles or freeze it in portions or do whatever you want do to with it. You can sue me if I'm wrong.

        2. todao Feb 1, 2010 03:40 PM

          "Smell" is not indicator that food is safe, and some microbes can survive even boiling temperatures. Even when the boiling occurs over several hours. Unfortunately, those are some of the most deadly. Unless you enjoy russian roulette, throw it away. If you need something to read:
          http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foo...

          1 Reply
          1. re: todao
            l
            lyntc10 Feb 1, 2010 06:24 PM

            smell is a good indicator. the smell comes from the bacteria. and those microbes that survive boiling temperatures that you mentioned, its one type, Clostridium perfringens, and only certain strains of that. Also, this bacteria is usually caused by food that is not cooked properly because it does not reach temperatures that are high enough.

            http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/Fo...

          2. j
            jeanmarieok Feb 1, 2010 03:45 PM

            No way would I eat it. Sorry!

            1 Reply
            1. re: jeanmarieok
              c
              cookie44 Feb 1, 2010 05:05 PM

              Personally, I would definitely not consider it safe.

              However, I would also refer you to this post on a similar topic with lots of responses and info: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/670447

            2. jfood Feb 1, 2010 05:25 PM

              flush

              1. shaogo Feb 1, 2010 07:12 PM

                At 24 hours, even though you can kill whatever is bioactive with a good boil, the by-products of the bacteria that developed can make people queasy, or worse.

                I abhor waste but just think that soup -- the kitchen's Petri dish -- is just too risky to consume safely.

                1. King of Northern Blvd Feb 1, 2010 07:37 PM

                  I offer nothing except to say that about 24 hrs has to be the point of no return....

                  1. m
                    miki Feb 1, 2010 09:08 PM

                    The guidelines I've been taught in safety classes are these: moisture vs. acidity. If something has a high acid content, say, tomatoes, then they are fairly safe. If something has a high moisture content, for example white rice or baked potatoes, it is NOT safe.

                    Your soup is high with the moisture and low on the acid. Throw it out. Sorry. I hate waste.

                    1. d
                      dmd_kc Feb 1, 2010 09:34 PM

                      As others have said, it's not even a close call. There's no way on this planet I'd try it.

                      Please chuck it and consider it an investment in forethought for the future.

                      1. j
                        janniecooks Feb 2, 2010 02:20 AM

                        toss it.

                        1. Peter Feb 2, 2010 05:28 AM

                          Thanks everyone for the opinions -- especially you, Miki, for putting it in terms I can apply in the future (acid/moisture).

                          The ironic thing is, of course, that this was chicken soup -- made for my wife with a cold. You know... 'cause chicken soup kills the germs. ;-)

                          -Peter
                          http://www.flashlightworthybooks.com

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Peter
                            m
                            miki Feb 6, 2010 09:59 PM

                            Peter, you make me fall in love all over again. : )

                            Chicken soup is a great thing for colds. Also mushrooms, from what I've been reading. You probably helped your wife feel better, just by trying. She's a lucky woman.

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