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Jan 15, 2011 09:05 AM

Unrefrigerated cheesecake safe to eat?

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!

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  1. 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

      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. 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. 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.

        10 Replies
        1. re: bushwickgirl

          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

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

            1. re: marisold

              So, I did the same thing last night! Did you end up serving your cheesecake? Was there any problem?!

              1. re: Lovebeingmommy

                I accidentally fell asleep last night and forgot to put the cheesecake in the fridge too. Now I'm freaking out wondering if I should throw it away. Was yours ok?

                1. re: Yaks2much4u

                  The original post was in 2011...AND NO ONE HAS HEARD FROM HER AGAIN.But I'm sure it's fine.

                    1. re: Samalicious

                      I hope so because I'd hate to make someone sick from it.

                      1. re: Yaks2much4u

                        As long as it isn't ridiculously warm in your kitchen, it should be good to go. I tend to get in baking moods late at night, and with my eggless cheesecake recipe, it does best if it cools in the oven. I usually turn the oven off, crack it for about an hour, then close it and go to bed. I stick it in the refrigerator the next morning.

                        1. re: jw615

                          Well we had the cheesecake last night and it was good! :)

                          1. re: Yaks2much4u

                            Maybe she died...that's why she never came back?