missed a bag of groceries
January 8, 2012 4:34 PM   Subscribe

I just discovered a bag on the counter. 2 packages of boneless beef short ribs, 1 package of thigh-leg chicken parts, 1 envelope of bacon. It's been 2 hours. The animals were slaughtered yesterday. Cook now? Pitch? Bonus points if you can point me at the website about this that I used to have bookmarked.
posted by Mr. Yuck to Food & Drink (16 answers total)
 
if it were me, I'd cook all of it today and freeze whatever you can't eat in the next few days.
posted by royalsong at 4:41 PM on January 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I agree with royalsong, cook now and freeze any extras.
posted by Forktine at 4:44 PM on January 8, 2012


Is this the website you're thinking of? stilltasty.com
posted by phunniemee at 4:45 PM on January 8, 2012


2 hours? I'd imagine it's all fine, especially the bacon.

I probably wouldn't wait until the "use by" date to use it. If you're really concerned, smell it and inspect it for discoloration, and if it looks fine and you want to be extra-cautious, cook it to medium or well done instead of medium rare.

But it's just been 2 hours. That's within a reasonable margin of error.
posted by nadise at 4:56 PM on January 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's only been 2 hours. Depending on how it was slaughtered, meat that fresh could last longer. Go by smell, and possibly taste.
posted by WasabiFlux at 5:02 PM on January 8, 2012


Two hours is the maximum time a food should be out of the danger zone, but truthfully, I'd still use the meats. If you can, cook whatever you can cook now and then refrigerate the rest. I wouldn't even freeze it if you're going to use it soon. If you're not going to use it in the next couple of days, freeze it.

Here's the site I use.
posted by cooker girl at 5:03 PM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd definitely cook it all now - I try to keep fresh meat out of the fridge for less than half an hour total. But I also have a sensitive stomach and a tendency to worry.
posted by SMPA at 5:05 PM on January 8, 2012


"out of the danger zone" should be "in the danger zone," which refers to 40F to 140F.
posted by cooker girl at 5:23 PM on January 8, 2012


Two hours is the maximum time a food should be out of the danger zone

Two hours on the counter is not necessarily two hours in the "danger zone". Assuming it was ~35° F when it arrived on the counter, I would take your meat's temperature and make an educated guess at how long it's been above 40° F.
posted by pullayup at 5:24 PM on January 8, 2012


Those are all things that you cook (generally speaking) to well-done. You're not going to eat them medium-rare or anything.

The danger zone for food, according to the USDA, is 40-140F, and they recommend that meat and poultry shouldn't be held at these temperatures for more than two hours. Even by that rec, at two hours, you should be fine.

Stick them in the fridge, and make sure they're cooked all the way when you get around to cooking them.
posted by MeghanC at 5:24 PM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Two hours on the counter is not necessarily two hours in the "danger zone". Assuming it was ~35° F when it arrived on the counter, I would take your meat's temperature and make an educated guess at how long it's been above 40° F.

True, and that's why I personally would consume these meats. It doesn't seem to be enough of a "danger" for me and the meats were just processed yesterday. Talk about fresh!
posted by cooker girl at 5:27 PM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


We're assuming these were fresh and not frozen when you brought them home. Right?

I'd cook the chicken and not worry about the red meat.
posted by musofire at 5:39 PM on January 8, 2012


There is no way I would worry about eating them.
posted by carlh at 5:54 PM on January 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


2 hours? It's fine.

There are many, many rural people (or city people on bad bus lines) who live 2 hours from the nearest grocery store. Most of them do not keep their perishables in a cooler while they bring them home.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:55 PM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


You would want to leave it out on the counter for awhile before you cooked it anyway, to bring it up to room temp. It's fine. You would never have been born if this was a problem for your ancestors.
posted by TheRedArmy at 5:55 PM on January 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Two hours is fine. Pretty sure I've had meat in my car for about that amount of time on a cool day, and not had problems.
posted by yasaman at 5:56 PM on January 8, 2012


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