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uncooked beef left outside
December 25, 2009 8:33 AM   Subscribe

beef rib roast left out overnight at 50-60 degrees farenheit -- any chance it's still edible?
posted by LittlePumpkin to Food & Drink (25 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I eat it without even thinking about it.
posted by Max Power at 8:36 AM on December 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


err I'd...
posted by Max Power at 8:37 AM on December 25, 2009


Certainly edible without worry. Flavor will probably have improved, even.
posted by anadem at 8:52 AM on December 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Cook it to your liking and never think twice about it.
posted by Seamus at 9:13 AM on December 25, 2009


It's fine, don't worry about it.
posted by foodgeek at 9:24 AM on December 25, 2009


I wouldn't eat it. The USDA recommends that a food not be eaten if it is at an unsafe temperature (between 40 and 140 degrees) for more than 2 hours. They say that once food has been left out longer than that, it should be discarded.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/Basics_for_Handling_Food_Safely/index.asp

They're pretty clear about this... it's not worth the risk.
posted by kdern at 9:41 AM on December 25, 2009


Sorry - I used to know how to post a link.

USDA Food Handling Guidelines
posted by kdern at 9:50 AM on December 25, 2009


If we all followed the USDA food handling guidelines eating would be boring and tedious and involve lots of paperwork. Just make sure it's well-cooked.
posted by tehloki at 10:14 AM on December 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


The USDA operates on the basis of protecting people from potential litigation, so necessarily takes the most conservative possible stance on food safety.

It would break my heart to dump it. YMMV.
posted by Darth Fedor at 10:15 AM on December 25, 2009


I'd eat it.
posted by rtha at 10:28 AM on December 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Was it cooked and left out, or raw?

If the former, dive in. If the latter, toss it. I work in a restaurant kitchen, and you'd be astonished about how fast and loose all kitchens play with the danger zone--we push right to the edge, because throwing out product is throwing out profit.

No kitchen I have ever worked in, and no chef I have ever worked for or spoken with, would serve raw meat that's been sitting out for 12 hours. Sorry.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:46 AM on December 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


Advice worth what you paid (me) for it: The FDA guidelines and the states' laws on which they are usually based intentionally err toward a very conservative approach. Especially if you're not serving a high risk crowd--elderly, pre-K, pregnant, immuno-compromised, etc.--trust your gut: How does it smell? If you'd eat it, cook (if it ain't) and serve.

As for "storage" temp, anything under 70 works in your favor. Fridge temps should generally keep food at or under 40, but the real rush is to get things out of the bacteria-friendly 70-135(-ish) range.
posted by phrits at 11:06 AM on December 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


The USDA recommends that a food not be eaten if it is at an unsafe temperature (between 40 and 140 degrees) for more than 2 hours. They say that once food has been left out longer than that, it should be discarded.

Hahahahahahahahah.

I helped cook a standing rib roast last night. It was left standing at room temperature for an hour and a half. Then it was cooked for 4 hours... at 200F which means that at no time was the majority of the roast anywhere near 140degrees. Much of the roast never got hotter than 125. Then the roast was removed and let stand another 45 minutes. Then it sat out while we ate for another hour.

So that's, what, almost 8 hours where it was under 140 degrees. According to the USDA we should never have enjoyed quite possibly the greatest rib roast in all of recorded history. The USDA can suck eggs.

The title of the post, however, is "uncooked beef left outside" which I take to mean what it says; the beef was raw. In which case THROW IT AWAY. DO NOT EAT.
posted by Justinian at 12:49 PM on December 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


*shrug*

My mom commonly left food (yes even uncooked beef) out overnight when I was a kid. In an 130-year-old farmhouse that was full of mold and bacteria. Granted it was cold as hell in wintertime, too (the "summer kitchen", where most of the food prep got done, stayed a balmy 50-55ºF most days).

I ain't dead yet, nor even very close. I never got sick from eating it. If we followed all the USDA statutes, we'd eat nothing but bland grey shoe leather where beef is concerned. Carpaccio? forget it!

anyhow, use your sense of smell and instinct. That's what we evolved them for. If it's sticky and smells in the least bit funky, toss it. Otherwise prepare as usual.

Enjoy!
posted by lonefrontranger at 1:39 PM on December 25, 2009


I generally say, "why chance it?" and thats my advice again. But if you are going to go ahead and cook it, i'd do a few things:

Any bacteria is going to start on the surface, but a tied roast could have some bacteria tucked away. I figure you can probably remove most bacteria and toxins from the surface.

1. If the roast has been tied, I'd untie it to expose any pockets that might harbor bacteria.
2. I'd rinse it thoroughly with cool water and pat it dry with paper towels.
3. I'd rub it all over with salt, and then rinse and dry it again. (you can retie it, at this point)
4. I'd use a recipe that started it in a HOT oven and then turned it down, rather than one that started low and kept it that way.
posted by Good Brain at 1:55 PM on December 25, 2009


...Raw? Left outside? I would definitely not eat it. Throw it out, and chalk it up to experience.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:08 PM on December 25, 2009


To add my reasoning: just think how stupid saving that $X will seem if you get sick as a result. If you've ever had food poisoning you'll know it's not worth the risk.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:14 PM on December 25, 2009


The safe thing to do is toss it. I, however, would just cook for a long time a 250ish and hope for the best.
posted by jeffamaphone at 2:36 PM on December 25, 2009


The rate of bacterial growth (very roughly) doubles for each 10 degrees Celcius: if it was good for a day or two days in a ~5 degree fridge, it's arguably OK in a 15 degree (~60F) room for 12 hours.

Here's what I'd do:

- Find the person you know with the best sense of smell (my wife's SoS is much better than mine) and have her sniff-test it;

If there's any "off" smell AT ALL, toss it. But IF it passes the smell test, and

- carefully trim off the entire outside of the roast: say, a half-inch off every surface. You're going to sacrifice a significant portion of the roast, in the hope that you're trimming off any bacterial growth.

- and cook the HELL out of it.

That said, know that there IS a degree of risk to this: you take the advice of some stranger on the internet at your own risk.

But yeah, I'd HATE to waste that much food.

Good luck, and please let us know how it works out. (Otherwise we'll worry about you....)
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 2:51 PM on December 25, 2009


Wild horses driving flaming chariots couldn't keep me from eating it. In fact, send it over to me, I'll be happy to take it off your hands.
posted by TomMelee at 4:22 PM on December 25, 2009


I would eat it. Wouldn't eat my father in law's ham that was leftover and frozen since Christmas 2007, but I would eat your beef.
posted by saturnine at 6:22 PM on December 25, 2009


If it smells bad in any way, throw it out. Otherwise, eat it up.
posted by santaliqueur at 8:04 PM on December 25, 2009


You don't say how long "overnight" is. But I'd throw it out and not think twice about that! Why risk your health for a few bucks? Yuk.
posted by Taurid at 9:55 PM on December 25, 2009


Didja eat it?

2 things to worry about, bacteria pumping out toxins, and bacteria that would like to live inside of you. The bacteria that would like to live inside of you are going to prosper most at body temperature. At 50 degrees, you're probably ok.
posted by fontophilic at 9:08 PM on December 26, 2009


I'd be interested in seeing if the same "avoiding litigation" factor plays a role in the numbers marked on cooking thermometers. You know, the ones that say to cook your chicken to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, etc.
posted by carlh at 2:11 PM on December 27, 2009


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