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Left out overnight

d
dacog1020 Oct 28, 2013 01:12 PM

I cooked collard greens and ham hocks in a crock pot for several hours. WE had some leftover and I was going to free them. I put them into a freezer container and left it on the counter to cool... and forgot about them. They were left out for about 12 hours..... are they safe to put in the freezer to eat later???

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  1. LaureltQ Oct 28, 2013 01:18 PM

    It depends on how concerned you are. I tend to be a bit more willing to eat something that's been sitting out for a while than most, so I would probably consider it (heating up til quite hot before eating), but not feed to company.

    1 Reply
    1. re: LaureltQ
      fldhkybnva Oct 28, 2013 07:10 PM

      I agree, I have a high threshold for tossing but that's when I'm considering eating the food. This post reminded me of Thanksgiving when the collards often sit out for who knows how long and no one has gotten sick but of course it's a personal risk judgment.

    2. m
      MrsJonesey Oct 28, 2013 01:18 PM

      No. I'm sorry, but the rule of thumb is 2 hours at room temperature. It's not worth getting sick, no matter your time, expense, or how delicious they were.

      1. j
        jjjrfoodie Oct 28, 2013 01:20 PM

        Happens several times a year to me.

        I cook 4-6 days a weeks at home and never have gotten sick but hot summers and warm weather can be a cause for more caution.

        In fact I made a big pot of homemade Sunday Gravy/marinara on Friday nite (sic) and I let cool on the stove after dinner around 7pm only to go to bed and wake up to find it at 7am. Oops.

        I keep my house between 62 and 69F these days and just tossed it into containers and into the fridge and freezer.

        I bring to a boil when I reheat or nuke so I have little fear for what could have gone on in that short time frame.

        If in a restaurant or serving to guests? No. But for me at home alone or with the SO I have yet to have a problem. More than a decade and longer no food born illness for me.

        But I;m not a "skeered of that stuff" kinda guy. :)
        And I;m usually pretty vigilant.

        Some may fear monger but I say Eat away.

        1. boogiebaby Oct 28, 2013 01:29 PM

          If it were 5-6 hours, I'd say keep it but 12 hours is a long time at room temp. I'd toss it.

          1. h
            Harters Oct 28, 2013 03:17 PM

            We are forever doing exactly that - cooking something at dinner time then forgetting to freeze it before going to bed. We just freeze it in the morning. Wouldnt do it in hot weather, though - but this time of year in the north of northern hemisphere, I dont have a problem.

            1. MartiniGenie Oct 28, 2013 05:57 PM

              For the cost of what you have in the dish, you may want to ask if it is worth you or your family getting really sick? I will still throw out $1 worth of food to avoid the porcelain goddess.

              1. Monica Oct 28, 2013 06:00 PM

                I left out frozen whole chicken in my kitchen sink overnight...cooked it and ate it.

                1. ipsedixit Oct 28, 2013 07:12 PM

                  Are you asking whether I would eat it, or whether you should eat it?

                  Those are two very different questions.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    Fowler Oct 28, 2013 10:05 PM

                    Good point. And no one here knows if the poster has any type of immune issues that maybe even the poster does not even know they actually have.

                    "But hey, go ahead and eat it because I eat/ate (fill in the blank) and did not get sick so it must be safe!"

                  2. alkapal Oct 28, 2013 07:24 PM

                    i would.

                    just reheat very well when you thaw and eat.

                    1. Chemicalkinetics Oct 28, 2013 09:08 PM

                      It depends how much risk you want to take. Considering that you have put a lid and cap the container and that you may have added vinegar to your recipe (right?), you may be ok. However, I would actually bring the pot back to a boil before cooling it down and and put it in freezer. Basically, use the boiling to do one last disinfection.

                      1. mariacarmen Oct 28, 2013 09:25 PM

                        i would, no hesitation. we do this quite a lot of the time, unless it was very hot in the kitchen, and have never gotten sick. others will say why risk it. i don't feel it's that much of a risk. wasting food is anathema to me. and it's not about the money.

                        1. k
                          kudapucat Oct 28, 2013 09:26 PM

                          I regularly cook things in the slow cooker, then turn it off, and turn it back on 12-18 hours later, to eat again.
                          Of course, I don't open the crock from the moment it was boiling to the moment I reheat it, so chance of infection is low.
                          If you had the lid on the container, it should be fine. US regulations are possibly the strictest I've ever seen. The rest of the world is still alive - just make sure you cook it again before eating.

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