can I eat this, special lame-o edition
March 31, 2014 7:20 PM   Subscribe

Made white bean and kale soup (vegetarian broth) with small chunk of parmesan cheese rind. Left out on stove overnight and didn't see it before running to work this morning (as I said, special lame-o edition). Now need dinner. Should I risk the soup?
posted by chicainthecity to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Nope. Overnight and the work day? I'd have a hard time trusting this. Reading between the lines, I suspect you think a low animal product count makes it safer, but I don't really believe that to be the case. Many large food poisonings have come from vegetables.
posted by advicepig at 7:27 PM on March 31, 2014

Yeah, I think you're absolutely fine. Just heat it up.
posted by Diablevert at 7:27 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Covered or uncovered?

When my brother in law lived in a cabin in the woods with no refrigeration, the standard soup or chili preservation method was to boil it with the lid on, leave it covered, then boil it again the next night before eating. So he'd eat it.

I might, too, except for the kale.
posted by SLC Mom at 7:28 PM on March 31, 2014

Yes, heat it to a boil.
posted by essexjan at 7:29 PM on March 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

posted by chicainthecity at 7:30 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'd bring it to a boil and then consume it, preferably with more parm and some bread. I'm sure that this is not Official Food Safety rules, but it's the sort of boneheaded mistake that I make frequently, and I'm not yet dead.
posted by MeghanC at 7:30 PM on March 31, 2014 [3 favorites]

There was a FDA study that did attribute a lot of food poisoning cases to leafy greens --- but AFAIK it's raw leafy greens used in salads that are the problem. E. Coli dies at 160; boiling takes the the soup to 212. Just heat it to boiling for a minute or so you'll be sorted.
posted by Diablevert at 7:32 PM on March 31, 2014 [4 favorites]

I would eat this without even blinking.
posted by jon1270 at 7:35 PM on March 31, 2014 [5 favorites]

So, I lived in Indonesia last year and every single day our cook would make dinner. She would then leave those dishes on the table and we would eat them for breakfast and lunch the next day. Some of those dishes, vegetables, and many other things including meat (though I'm veggie) would sit out and be a part of the next evening's meal, or even breakfast the following day (that's about 1.5 days later. These dishes were never refrigerated, and we were always fine. In fact, this is how people generally eat across Indonesia. With dishes on the table which are covered with a cloth dome. Indonesia happens to be the 4th largest country on earth.

Maybe that's an extreme example, but here in the US I regularly leave things on the stove (covered) as long as you did and reheat them later. This is pretty common practice in much of the world. When I lived in Scandinavia, the family I lived with would leave the milk out. And, actually, we used to do that here too when milk was delivered. Long story short, I really have no idea when we got so paranoid about food being left out, or not being pasteurized, or irradiated, or whatever.

It's completely fine. Eat it.
posted by jardinier at 7:37 PM on March 31, 2014 [13 favorites]

I would and have eaten this exact thing after leaving it out all night.
posted by latkes at 7:37 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'd totally eat it with a big crusty slice of bread.
posted by Specklet at 7:40 PM on March 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

i would eat it.
posted by bruce at 7:41 PM on March 31, 2014

I have a friend who specifically does this with soup to build flavor, and a roommate who does something similar with cooked veggies. I'd probably eat it (after reheating well). This is based on zero science.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 7:49 PM on March 31, 2014

So you boiled it, and turned off the heat, but never uncovered the pot? I would eat it, just boil it again for a few minutes first.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:51 PM on March 31, 2014

If you don't eat it I will.
posted by theweasel at 8:13 PM on March 31, 2014 [7 favorites]

Boil it, then eat it. It's fine.

When I was a kid, we'd have a big pot of minestrone sitting on the stove for a week at a time. As long as it got heated to a boil daily, it was fine.
posted by pompomtom at 9:20 PM on March 31, 2014

I'd eat this even if it had meat in it. Nthing that many people around the world eat food left on the stove overnight.
posted by chaiminda at 4:35 AM on April 1, 2014

Did you eat it? Did you die?!

I'd be iffy about it myself, and I have a pretty iron stomach - 24h is usually about my boundary line for stuff like that, where I'd definitely toss it if it's been out much longer than 24h, but I forget things out overnight all. the. time. and eat them without problems (other than horrifying my roommates). So this is kinda grey zone for me. Bacterial toxins will build up at some point, and aren't killed by boiling.

In this case your ingredients are cheap and it's not much effort to make again, so I'd just toss it. Depends how much you value the cost/time savings vs. the risk of getting sick. I agree with others that it's probably fine, but I'm not sure you're gaining enough here to be worth the risk.
posted by randomnity at 11:49 AM on April 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Thanks, all! So very much appreciated your warm and thoughtful answers. In short, I boiled the hell out of it and ate a (small) bowl. And I seem to have lived to tell the tale.

Hopefully, though, this is one mistake I won't make again anytime soon.
posted by chicainthecity at 11:23 PM on April 1, 2014

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