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Apr 17, 2012 03:12 PM

Food Safety - Leftover Bones

If serving a bone-in piece of meat, say bone-in shortribs, is it safe to finish roasting off those bones after the ribs have been eaten and then use them for stock from a food safety point of view? I would assume that in roasting the bones the temperature comes high enough to kill anything, and for my own family I would do this. Is this an acceptable practice when it comes to other people or a restaurant setting though?

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  1. If you do it right away, no problem.

    Yes, bacteria can develop in a short period of time, but if the bones go into the stock pot to cook quickly, it is fine. We do this for Tafelspitz stock ( photo ), which we freeze for later meals. This rich bone-stock adds a great deal of flavour when good marrow bones are not available.

    1. I save bones after serving and throw them immediately in the freezer. when i have a bunch saved up it all goes into a stock pot...

      1 Reply
        1. I do this as long as I haven't served the bones to people. Roast chicken, remove meat I am using, save and freeze or straight to stock pot with carcass. Have also done with ham bone. Have not done beef because we generally serve with the bone, which is generally chewed on.

          1. Fine for at home/family situation.

            Completely unacceptable for a restaurant to use bones which have been out to a table. Things which are common place in homes just don't pass muster in a public situation - the risks and responsibilities are greater.

            1 Reply
            1. re: meatn3

              Thanks. I had a strong suspicion that was the case.