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Feb 18, 2012 03:25 AM

Left noodles boxed up on the kitchen counter all night. Is it okay to eat?

okay, so last night I ordered my favourite noodles, and they are sent to me in the traditional shaped noodle boxes. Once it got to me, I found out I wasn't as hungry as I thought. So I closed the box back up and left it out over night on my kitchen counter.
My kitchen is pretty damn cold, but not as cold as a fridge.

Anyway I came downstairs today and was sooo hungry and rushing that I had a chopstick full of the noodles, THEN remembered the rule about noodles and rice being left out and that you shouldn't eat it. I haven't had much, but I ate some :(

Will I be ill? Or will I be okay?


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  1. As the time passes while you wait for sufficient replies to enable you to make a decision,, the noodles deteriorate (even if you've now put them in the fridge).

    Decide now what you want to do!

    1. Eat em. What the rule about leaving out noodles and rice? I leave out rice overnight all the time and it has spoiled only maybe 2-3 times in my lifetime.

      1 Reply
      1. re: RealMenJulienne

        I remembered reading about rice and food poisoning, so paged through my books. Here's what Harold McGee says: most raw rice has dormant spores of Bacillus cereus, which produces powerful gastrointestinal toxins, some of which survive cooking at high temperatures. In cooked rice left out for several hours at room temp, the spores germinate and the bacteria multiply, so toxins accumulate.

        A mixture of rice vinegar and sugar acts as an antimicrobial.

      2. Whenever I read/hear about rice/noodles or lots of other cooked foods, especially Asian/E. Indian foods which have not been refrigerated for a few hours I always ask myself 'what did/do people do when there was/is no refrigeration available? I've seen Chinese restaurants pre-prepare large bins of cooked rice and leave them on a counter all day. By the time the last of the rice was served the bin contents had been sitting uncooled for twelve+ hours.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Puffin3

          That's just gross. Sushi rice has vinegar added to it to prohibit bacteria growth, but rice just sitting around all day? You couldn't pay me to eat that, and I'm pretty sure any health department in the country would frown on that, to say the least.

          1. re: purple bot

            That happens all the time purple bot. What do you think makes the best fried rice?

            1. re: purple bot

              Chinese restaurants won't have sushi rice and won't have vinegar in their rice, Japanese restaurants will. Perhaps ignorance is bliss. This has happened for 2000+ years before rice cookers had warming features, and before rice cookers all together, and before refrigeration, and before health departments existed. Its not just 'left' on the counter with no regard whatsoever, its left there so the rice cooker can be emptied and filled again because the rice has to be washed and soaked, if its left on the counter at all. Often it is left in the rice cooker with the warming feature. If it is on the counter, it is covered and a large vat of rice stays warm for a very long time. Its left also for fried rice as ipsedixit points out. They know what theyr'e doing, rice has been treated this way for a very long time.

              1. re: TeRReT

                I'm aware that sushi rice isn't in chinese restaurants, just giving an example of how some cuisines get away with leaving rice out all day without growing toxins. I maintain that it's not safe to leave rice sitting around all day at room temperature. Eat whatever you like, that doesn't mean it's a good idea. If you haven't gotten sick, consider yourself lucky. See susans post above for more info....

          2. If you have to question it - throw it out. Food poisoning is not fun.

            1. I wouldn't eat (any more of) it. Bacteria love to grow in relatively warm, wet areas. Why take a chance?