Can I still eat this?
December 18, 2008 5:39 AM   Subscribe

The other day I bought a package of a popular brand of vegetarian breakfast link "sausage." I bought it in the late morning and I forgot it in the cab of my truck for about seven hours on a day that saw temperatures reach the mid-60s. It's been in my freezer for a couple of days now, but should I just toss it? Or do you think it's safe to eat since it's not real meat?
posted by NoMich to Food & Drink (23 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I can't say whether or not it's safe, but I'd eat that.
posted by The Straightener at 5:45 AM on December 18, 2008


The only thing I might be concerned about is most of those products contain egg whites.
posted by adustum at 5:54 AM on December 18, 2008


I'd eat it. I used to toss those things in my backpack and eat them raw after they'd thawed out. Not exactly the same thing, but I never died. :)
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 5:58 AM on December 18, 2008


Check your ingredients. If there aren't any egg products in there, the odds of bacterial growth go down somewhat, as most of the bacteria we worry about was in the food all along. Even then, as long as it's properly cooked, this isn't really a risk.

You might worry some about spoilage, but I doubt that the package had a chance to do much more than thaw unless it got to more than 60 in your truck.

I wouldn't eat that, but that's because I think vegetarian "sausage" is nasty. If I were inclined to eat it in the first place, I'd do so now.
posted by valkyryn at 6:00 AM on December 18, 2008


Sounds safe enough. Personally, I might chicken out at the last second and chuck it, but it's probably safe.

We really need a separate site devoted to CanIEatThisFilter, though.
posted by softsantear at 6:09 AM on December 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I eat that all the time. It'll probably be more nasty than anything, and have all those bubbles and boils on it. I'm pretty sure I've consumed it in similar situations.
posted by cashman at 6:11 AM on December 18, 2008


See if you can tell from the packaging whether it's precooked. If so, then the egg whites as such aren't a problem.

I'd cook it a fair bit to make sure it's really heated through, but it may be OK.

Also, trust your nose. Spoiled soy is pretty bad smelling.
posted by amtho at 6:13 AM on December 18, 2008


I would eat them, but I don't have a sensitive stomach at all.

From a logical perspective, those things are usually pretty salty, are often pre-cooked, and are pretty processed. I think it would be okay to eat them.
posted by needs more cowbell at 6:48 AM on December 18, 2008


i DO have a sensitive stomach. i'd still eat it.
posted by timory at 6:54 AM on December 18, 2008


Well, the cab of your truck could have gotten a lot warmer than 60 degrees. They probably thawed completely, and will have little ice pools on them when you take them out of the freezer. But I'd still eat 'em.
posted by abirae at 7:09 AM on December 18, 2008


Oh! Links! I thought they were patties. Yeah, I'd definatly eat those. I snack on them raw from time to time so they must be pre-cooked. Don't judge me.
posted by abirae at 7:11 AM on December 18, 2008


The food safety people always say "When in doubt, throw it out."

I'd probably eat it though, but I'll eat just about anything.
posted by jefeweiss at 7:16 AM on December 18, 2008


It's still got emulsifiers and soy proteins. It's an iffy call. Question is - is your health worth 6 bucks? Or maybe you just need to toss it and get a nice fresh pack. Just saying - I wouldn't.
posted by watercarrier at 7:22 AM on December 18, 2008


Just reiterating here - seven hours at 60 degrees then refrozen.
posted by watercarrier at 7:23 AM on December 18, 2008


It's fine, for sure. You could probably go another ten hours and it would still be fine.
posted by dskinner at 7:26 AM on December 18, 2008


You're definitely going to be okay if you eat that sausage. Eat the sausage, eat the sausage.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:32 AM on December 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


If it smelled okay (which I'd expect it to,) I'd eat it.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 8:20 AM on December 18, 2008


I took these camping and ate them after several days of being stored at air temperature. No problem.
posted by Lleyam at 8:22 AM on December 18, 2008


60 out side meant that it got a lot hotter in the trunk. For seven hours. I wouldn't eat it but I'm a chicken about iffy foodstuff.
posted by pearlybob at 9:28 AM on December 18, 2008


Dude, they'll be fine. That's what you get for being vegetarian—almost no food safety worries! For real safety, fry 'em up on a low heat for a while so they get cooked through again, or boil 'em, but they should be totally OK.
posted by klangklangston at 10:10 AM on December 18, 2008


Safe. It's nothing like real meat. It's be safe for longer than that; it's vegetable matter. You'd leave tofu out for that long, right?
posted by abcde at 12:12 PM on December 18, 2008


Throw it out.
posted by Zambrano at 12:25 PM on December 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Not really an answer, but whether it's meat or not is pretty much irrelevant--assuming it was cooked properly in the first place. Temperature and moisture content are much more influential on bacterial growth than the protein source..
posted by nenequesadilla at 8:50 PM on December 18, 2008


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