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October 8, 2009 9:11 PM   Subscribe

Can I store my leftover seafood outside overnight without it spoiling?

I'm staying in a hotel in Denver, where today it was 35 F during the day. I have some delicious leftover Vietnamese food that has a lot of seafood in it, but no room for me to put it in my minibar. Can I keep this on my window ledge outside overnight and eat it in the morning without having to worry about spoilage?
posted by prunes to Food & Drink (10 answers total)
I'd give it a go, just make sure it's bug and bird proof.
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 9:18 PM on October 8, 2009

Sure. But I wouldn't unless you're off the first floor. Otherwise I can guarantee a raccoon will get it.
posted by sanka at 9:18 PM on October 8, 2009

Absolutely. Cold is cold, be it in the fridge or outside. Looking at the weather forecast, it might get frozen a bit. You also run the risk of feeding some birds or other creatures.
posted by ssg at 9:19 PM on October 8, 2009

Eh - if it gets direct sun, it might be a bit warmer that I'd feel comfortable with. Why don't you take some stuff out of the minibar that doesn't need to be kept cold, store the vietnamese there, and then just put the minibar stuff back before you leave? Obviously only remove the shelf-stable things, like the liquors.
posted by foodmapper at 9:23 PM on October 8, 2009

The minibar fridge is likely just a "beverage cooler" fridge, not a regular one, and won't be cold enough to store seafood safely.
posted by HotToddy at 9:42 PM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Food safety says: Fridges keep food good between 0 and 4 degrees Centigrade. A quick google convert tells me that 4C = ~39.2 F.

No direct sun, cover it, animal proof it: and yeah, should be fine in the morning, be careful of the sun heating it up.

And reheat it to piping hot too, just to be on the safe side. (Food safety training: hot food should be above 60C -> 140F)

I've done food safety training level 1, work in a commercial kitchen. I wouldn't do this at work, but for personal consumption, go for it!

confirmed memory of correct temperatures here
posted by titanium_geek at 11:59 PM on October 8, 2009

Have you asked at the hotel lobby if they have a fridge they can bring to your room? Some hotels do have fridges for guest use ... mini fridges they'll bring to your room. Sometimes they charge a little nightly fee, sometimes they don't. Sometimes they don't have them at all. But I would ask just to see if they have them in case you luck out. Better than worrying about safety or birds.

I realize this is probably too late to help you, though. Did you do it? Was it still tasty? Is there a pigeon flying around with a belly full of yummy Vietnamese food?
posted by tastybrains at 6:50 AM on October 9, 2009

Response by poster: I did it and I'm eating it right now and it is delicious.

Thanks, everyone.
posted by prunes at 7:08 AM on October 9, 2009

When I stay in a hotel, I usually fill the sink basin with ice to chill bottles... that ought to work next time!
posted by aquafortis at 7:33 AM on October 9, 2009 [3 favorites]

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