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Cook it or toss it?

So, stupid me, I came home last night from the store... why I did this I have no idea... but I put a bag containing three 1 pound refrigerated packages of organic ground beef and two frozen packages of sausage links on the couch, where they remained for the next 10 hours until I discovered the bag this morning. Sausage and ground beef still cool to the touch. My wife says toss it, I say eat it. The sausage is Jones precooked sausage links... The ground beef is raw. What say you?

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  1. I say sausage fine......but cook immediately do not refreeze.

    Ground beef, does it smell? Is it slimy? What is it's color? If it passes those tests I would cook it immediately and and eat it in small well spaced batches, so if you do get sick you limit the affects. (joke, I think if it passes those tests you should be fine)

    7 Replies
    1. re: jrvedivici

      Why is the raw meat sausage fine and the ground meat not?
      Does it contain ingredients that would make it impermeable to bacteria?

      1. re: monavano

        The sausage was frozen, it would take several hours in normal room temperature to thaw. The sausage was also not raw meat, it was pre-cooked Jones sausage links according to the poster.

        1. re: jrvedivici

          I wouldn't eat it, but that's me and maybe I'm a little overly cautious.
          I wouldn't feed it to someone I love who is already leery.

          For me, it's just money.
          I'm not being glib. I'm not made of it nor do we have a money tree in the backyard.
          It would be really nice, though!

        2. re: monavano

          It's *pre-cooked* sausage, according to the OP.

          1. re: linguafood

            Right, I saw that when re-reading.
            It's not an easy call for the sausage as it is for the ground beef.
            I'm just a nervous nelly, especially with someone else's health.
            And my dogs ;-)

          2. re: jrvedivici

            The sight/smell/sliminess test sounds wise... I would also start by feeding it (well-cooked) to the most healthy member of the household first.

          3. I hate waste and mistakes too, but is the risk worth it?
            Honor your wife's wishes, and her health.
            Toss.

            1. I once left an unfrozen rib steak out overnight, a professional cook acquaintance at the time said there's nothing too worry about. I ate it and had no problems.

              Now is there a difference with your case as it's ground beef? I don't know. Is it extra hot in your place? I can't see it being an issue if cooked immediately.

              1. If the beef is still cold to the touch, should be fine, fry a small test patty and taste it. The pre-cooked sausage is probably loaded with preservatives, should also be fine. Now as to your memory issue.....wife wins!

                1. The process of grinding beef introduces the possibility of all kinds of nasties in the meat.

                  Bacteria grows exponentially in the danger zone (40-140 degrees).

                  I would definitely toss the ground beef.

                  I'd probably also toss the sausage like most people who have had serious food poisoning would. But its a closer call.