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Unrefrigerated cheesecake safe to eat?

marisold Jan 15, 2011 09:05 AM

I made a beautiful pumpkin cheesecake last night, set it out to cool, and then forgot about it and went to bed with it sitting out on the counter. When I discovered it this morning, I immediately put it in the refrigerator. I'm looking for reassurance that it's safe to serve my dinner guests tonight. I can't stand the thought of wasting all my time and food, but I don't want to poison my friends, either!

  1. bushwickgirl Jan 15, 2011 09:39 AM

    How cool/cold was your kitchen and how long was it left out? Cheesecake should not be left at room temp for more than 6 hours max and that's a real stretch. I have left slices out overnight, wrapped, with no resulting digestive problems, but I play fast and loose with food safety rules sometimes. So it's about the time it sat out unrefrigerated and the temp of your kitchen. I understand your unwillingness to toss your cheesecake, but a possible food borne illness effecting your guests is something much greater than time and money.

    Here's a short thread with varying opinions:


    1 Reply
    1. re: bushwickgirl
      marisold Jan 15, 2011 09:45 AM

      We keep our house cool, especially overnight; the thermostat is set to 62. I'm not always a real stickler for food safety rules, either, because I grew up with farm grandmas who left food on the kitchen table or stove top from lunch to supper with no ill effects. I've also eaten plenty of cookie dough throughout my life with no problems and I don't intend to stop that! However. . . it is different when guests are involved.

    2. ipsedixit Jan 15, 2011 09:42 AM

      You're fine.

      Lots of bakeries leave out baked cheesecakes at room temp for the entire day with no ill effects. And most bakeries are open something like 10-12 hours.

      Serve and eat with no qualms.

      1. bushwickgirl Jan 15, 2011 09:51 AM

        I am persuaded by ipesdixit's comment; never having worked in a bakery but having baked cheesecakes in restaurants and left them out for hours to cool off without a problem, I really think it'll be ok. Since it seems like it was pretty cool in your kitchen, I have to say I'd personally have no qualms about eating it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: bushwickgirl
          marisold Jan 15, 2011 10:55 AM

          Thanks to you both for reassuring me--I felt like it would be fine, but there was that slight doubt. I really didn't want to resort to make-your-own sundaes, which was Plan B!

          1. re: marisold
            bushwickgirl Jan 15, 2011 10:59 AM

            Mm, cheesecake, make your own sundaes, make your own sundaes, cheesecake...a tough choice!

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