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Nov 29, 2011 07:51 AM

I left the braised beef out overnight can I still eat it

I should know this, but for some reason I don't. The braised beef was out of the fridge for 12 hours in our 70 degree house. I have seen food out at picnics for a long time, then wrapped and eaten later, but I'm wondering if the 12 hours is too long and if I need to throw it away. It's about 2 lbs of excellent short ribs and I'm so sad to toss them.

Then again, 200 years ago they didn't have fridges or coolers, what happened to the meat in that case?


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  1. I think if you give it the sniff test and it passes you should be ok. Then bring it back to high heat. Love short ribs. Since the ribs came out of the fridge at about 34 degrees, they probably stayed cold for a long while.

    1. This probably belongs on the General Topics board... and I'm not a food safety specialist, so you follow my advice at your own risk... but I say if you heat it through (it's braised, it's not like it was medium-rare to start with) and hold it at the high temperature for a minute or two, you'll probably be fine. If the sniff test fails, throw it out.

      1. Sure, sniff it to check but I think it should be fine. Unless you have heavy contamination with weirdly virulent species of bacteria and fungi and other stuff in your place and you've been rubbing your nose with your fingers and then sticking them into the beef mix. :-)

        I routinely leave out pots of braised stuff, soups, stocks, etc on the stove top - left covered after a strong heat/boil at least once a day - for even a couple of days and they're fine.

        1. I agree with all of the above (including the disclaimers about not being a food safety expert). I leave soups and stocks out overnight routinely. Sometimes I will do so with any meat and bones still in there and just fish them out the next day.
          Generally what I try to do is cover the stuff with a tight fitting lid right at flameout. As long as the lid is not disturbed I don't worry about it.

          A boiled potato that has been sitting out is probably far more risky in terms of food safety issues than a pot of stock and the like.

          1. If it was at a high temp before it was covered originally there is probably no bacteria. It's basically pasteurized.

            As above. Sniff test should be fine.

            I really wouldn't worry too much about it.

            I'm not a food safety specialist either but once in a while I do play one on the internet.