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Can I still eat the ham?
December 21, 2008 8:22 AM   Subscribe

Can I eat ham that wasn't properly refrigerated? I got a fully cooked ham from my employer, put it out in my car trunk during the day, and forgot about it when I got home. Over the next few days, I didn't remember it at all. The whole time it was refrigerator temperature outside, and the trunk of my car was probably the same temperature. All that changed when I had a freak 60 degree day on Friday, and then it was back to being 20 outside. I remembered the ham last night as I was putting something else in my trunk. Did that 60 degree day ruin my chance of eating the ham?
posted by deezil to Food & Drink (23 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Yes. Throw it out.
posted by halogen at 8:31 AM on December 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yup, most likely it's as good as trash.
posted by proj at 8:53 AM on December 21, 2008


DTMFA.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:57 AM on December 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yeah, Do Not Eat.
posted by rossination at 9:17 AM on December 21, 2008


Fully cooked - not a country ham? If your profile is right, it wasn't 60 for long. Sniff it, and if it smells okay, go ahead and eat it. If it's a country ham, you might not even need to sniff it.

But IANAD, and it's not my fault if you get explosive diarrhea.
posted by dilettante at 9:33 AM on December 21, 2008


All that changed when I had a freak 60 degree day on Friday, and then it was back to being 20 outside.

That's means a full day of bacteria growing, which means game over for the ham. DNE.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:34 AM on December 21, 2008


Does it say "keep refrigerated" on the package? If so, toss it.
Does it say "refrigerate after opening" on the package? If so, it's probably ok to eat.
Did your boss cook it and present it wrapped in tinfoil on a plate? DON'T EAT IT.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 9:39 AM on December 21, 2008


I wouldn't eat it. I've had food poisoning and it is no fun. No fun at all.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 9:43 AM on December 21, 2008


Another vote for "it depends on the kind of ham."

Some are wrapped and cured to last forever, like country ham. Others, not so much.
posted by NikitaNikita at 9:46 AM on December 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hmm, I wouldn't eat this. But, to really answer, we need a bit more information:

* Was your car in the sun the entire time?
* What type of ham?
* What does the label say regarding refrigeration?

Good luck!
posted by richardhay at 9:51 AM on December 21, 2008


Expand list
* Was your car in the sun any time?
* Is it black or, say, silver?
* Did your employer maybe cook the ham at home and there is no label...?
* If yes, does s/he usually keep her/his counter clean and hands washed?
etc.

Fact is, the problem isn't so much the 60F freak day (think basement: one day at 60F - no problem, I'd say) but the likely random sub-or around-freezing-point situation on all the other days. Refrigerated is good, shock-frozen is better, but uncontrolled demi-glace storage really isn't.
posted by Namlit at 10:16 AM on December 21, 2008


I say it depends entirely on the ham. Read the label, and find out what it says about refrigeration. Is it sealed up?

As others are saying, if this was a home-cooked ham, dump it.
posted by Netzapper at 11:29 AM on December 21, 2008


man up and take a chance
posted by 29 at 11:46 AM on December 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


It may be OK to eat. But seriously, with Christmas only a few days away, are you sure you want to risk food poisoning? I say its not worth the risk. Go buy another ham already.
posted by Effigy2000 at 12:42 PM on December 21, 2008


Does it say "keep refrigerated" on the package? Yep, sure does.

Was your car in the sun the entire time? Only for half the day

What type of ham? City ham

Is it black or, say, silver? Silver.

I'm thinking dump it, but if these answers change your opinions, let me know.
posted by deezil at 3:16 PM on December 21, 2008


I'm with 29. Ham is already decomposing flesh from a dead animal so, give it a whirl.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:20 PM on December 21, 2008


City hams are not cured for preservation. Would you eat a ham that had been left out on your counter for a day?
posted by Megafly at 3:28 PM on December 21, 2008


City hams are not cured for preservation. Would you eat a ham that had been left out on your counter for a day?

Yes.
posted by squorch at 5:12 PM on December 21, 2008


I think this is the first "Should I eat it" post I have ever thought, no, toss it. But I would probably sniff/taste it before I made the final call.
posted by bystander at 7:42 PM on December 21, 2008


Please carve into it and report back.
posted by airplain at 7:59 PM on December 21, 2008


The smell test works really well. If it smells appetising, it's probably still fine.

I've had food poisoning from bacon before (which I didn't sniff, so I can't say if it was obvious/detectable or not), and it was no fun, so if you're not sure I'd err on the side of never ever going through that again. (Passing out while throwing up makes for a truly horrific mess.)
posted by The Monkey at 10:09 PM on December 21, 2008


Passing out while throwing up makes for a truly horrific mess.

Wow, that's an epic statement.



What I'm doing is cutting it open tonight, and if it smells bad, it's going out to the trash where the dog will probably get into it, if it smells okay, then I'll taste test it.
posted by deezil at 6:21 AM on December 22, 2008


My wife thinks I'm crazy for some of the things I'll eat (food old, not properly refrigerated, etc) but I would definitely just take the lump and throw it out.
posted by atm at 12:57 PM on December 22, 2008


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