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Left out overnight

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. 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

      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. 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. 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. 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. 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.