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Feb 1, 2010 02:03 PM

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

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!


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  1. 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

      Totally agree, sorry. I would never chance it.

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

      1. 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

          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. "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:

          1 Reply
          1. re: todao

            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.


            1. re: jeanmarieok

              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: