Would you eat this thing?
April 19, 2012 6:47 AM   Subscribe

I purchased a two-pack of turkey soup. The soup is vacuum sealed in an airless plastic pouch. I accidentally left one unopened pouch out of the refrigerator for 12 hours in 70+ degree house. Still good?
posted by jsturgill to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Stock is a wonderful growing medium for bacteria! Your batch of soup has been sitting smack dab in the middle of the danger zone for some time. I'd toss it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:53 AM on April 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

Toss it. Lack of air makes extra nasty bacteria.
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:55 AM on April 19, 2012

Does the pouch actually say "keep refrigerated" anywhere on it? Many vacuum-sealed pouch-foods don't need refrigeration.
posted by pipeski at 6:55 AM on April 19, 2012

If this is a processed food you purchased, it was sterilized inside that pouch. Just bring it to a boil and simmer it for a few minutes to kill anything bad, but there is no way 12 hours out of the fridge has hurt it. Keep in mind refrigerator storage, by itself, does not prevent spoilage either, it just retards it. And that spoilage is chemical as well as biological. So leaving it out 12 hours might be equivalent to refrigerating it 3-4 days, that's all.
posted by beagle at 7:02 AM on April 19, 2012

Yeah, the package says "keep refrigerated."
posted by jsturgill at 7:11 AM on April 19, 2012

You can't kill bacterial waste products.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:14 AM on April 19, 2012 [4 favorites]

Unless the pouches are sold in the non-refrigerated section of the store, I'd toss it. Poultry stock in particular is *fantastic* at going bad if you even look at it funny.
posted by rtha at 7:20 AM on April 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

Oh, and I'm usually in the "oh, just eat it!" camp. Not this time, with this food.
posted by rtha at 7:20 AM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Does it have some type of dairy product in it? If so, I would definitely toss it.
posted by theuninvitedguest at 7:42 AM on April 19, 2012

Microbiologist here: Toss it.

"Keep refrigerated" suggests that it was not pasteurized or heat sterilized such that it would be stable at room temperatures. This was probably to maintain its flavor without lots of preservatives. Take a picture of the label for us.

Soups a lot like Lurea Broth in content; mostly proteins and salt.

And if you do end up consuming it, do return to share your anecdotal findings.
posted by Mercaptan at 8:15 AM on April 19, 2012 [4 favorites]

Also some light reading about why I say "suggests" rather than anything more definitive.
posted by Mercaptan at 8:20 AM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Food mantra: If in doubt, throw it out.
posted by phoebus at 2:59 PM on April 19, 2012

Question: wouldn't active bacteria release gases that would noticeably alter the appearance of the bag, which is otherwise empty of air?
posted by jsturgill at 5:01 PM on April 19, 2012

Some would, but there are many that won't - depends on the nature of the bug.

When you got it from the store, was it refrigerated then? If it was, then I'm Nthing toss it.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:05 PM on April 19, 2012

While food that smells bad or releases gasses are usually spoiled, pathogenic bacteria can be present in food that smells fine or hasn't released any gasses.
posted by Mercaptan at 8:03 PM on April 19, 2012

Tossed it. Thanks.
posted by jsturgill at 7:59 AM on April 20, 2012

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