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Improperly cooked meat this morning—toss it, right?

  • c

My dad used a rice cooker to steam two chicken legs (for 5 minutes, which seems a little short IMO) this morning, and forgot to chill them. They were left in the cooker, unopened, for about 6 hours today. We examined it now, and the meat actually looks done while the joints have some red bits. I am in favor of throwing them out because it completely goes against the standard "rules" for handling meat, but he says it is okay to reheat them thoroughly. What to do?

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  1. Its really up to you, you already know they've been out of the "safety zone" for quite some time. If it were me, based on the fact that I really don't enjoy throwing up, losing time from work and sleep, the fact that 2 chicken legs is less than $1 worth of food, as much as I hate waste I'd toss 'em. Maybe he doesn't mind being sick as much as I do.

    1. I'm somewhat lax with my "safety zone" rules in my own home, but even I would throw these chicken legs out.

      2 Replies
      1. toss now or regret eating them later (in the ER)

          1. TOSS!!!! ASAP!!!!!! There is nothing about eating that chicken that could possibly compare to the ER, or days of all sorts of stomach/digestive issues. Seriously. Although groceries are costly, the cost of being very ill because of not cooking/cooking food the right way is more costly and painful.

            I have had hospital grade food poisoning 2ce in the last 10 years. Each time, not my fault- we dined out. Awful, awful, awful doesn't even begin to describe what happened. The most recent round was this Fall with a 4 year old and a 5 month old home with me and I couldn't get off the floor.

            DON'T do it!!

            1. Definitely...emphatically...chuck 'em.
              I rarely throw food out...honestly, sometimes I live a bit on the edge. But this one's a no brainer.

              But chicken legs steamed for only five minutes are scarcely cooked at all, let alone cooked 'adequately'. Left unchilled for 6 hours...forget it. In the trash they go. :-(

              1. I don't know about a food safety issue, but from a food taste issue I would toss.

                1. I would fully cook them and eat 'em, but that's just me.

                  1. I know he's your dad & maybe it's hard to contradict your dad, but... I might suddenly get really klutzy and those might find their way to the floor...

                    1. Throw them away.

                      Cooking them again won't necessarily make them safe

                      1. Back when I lived near Philly, I ate food off some random truck and contracted Campylobacter. I just remember feeling lousy, and my fever continued to climb. When it hit 105 degrees, I called an ambulance.

                        I fully recovered, but they did say I came really close to dying. And the week stay in the hospital was not too pleasant.

                        I'm pretty lenient with food, but even I'd toss those legs!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: MarlboroMan

                          toss toss toss. too many compromised issues.

                          initial cooking just enough to get the bacteria really warmed up and going

                          long time in a moist warm environment.

                          poultry is especially prone to problems because unlike meat the germs/bacteria/whatever penetrate deep into the flesh.

                          I mean if you are 15 and dad is 45 you are probably going to loose the argument, hopefully thats all you loose.

                        2. Thanks for all your responses. It went down the garburator (yes, another battle to be fought), and I made linguini and a fish paté sauce to accompany. I also managed to find a Harold Mcgee article (below) that promptly settled the debate.


                          1 Reply
                          1. re: calf

                            I'm glad to hear it. As someone who actually got a very mild case of salmonella just after college (from slightly undercooked dark meat), I don't recommend ever risking it. Worst experience of my life. Worst illness of my life. I wanted to die for the better part of a week.

                          2. Just love your bacteria incubator!

                            1. From wiki

                              Known risks[edit]

                              In January 2013, the UK's Food Standards Agency warned that two-thirds of all raw chicken bought from UK shops was contaminated with campylobacter, affecting an estimated half a million people annually and killing approximately 100.[11]

                              1. I rarely agree with the tossers when this sort of subject crops up - but here's an occasion when I do.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Harters

                                  Has anyone ever been married to someone who thought that the item turned into a poisonous pumpkin the moment after the "best by" date? Did the said spouse come from a military family? Is she perfect?

                                2. I would have tossed them, but if Dad really wanted to eat them, I would have let him.

                                  1. this is probably the first "should I toss it" thread that there was vehement agreement that the OP should toss it.

                                    (glad to know you did)