Can I Eat This: Gratin left out overnight
August 6, 2017 5:56 AM   Subscribe

I made this delicious summer squash gratin last night and left it on the counter to cool. I accidentally left it overnight. Is it still ok to eat?

As is frequently the case with these types of casseroles, the dish was too hot to put in the fridge even after sitting out during the meal. So of course, I forgot about it on the counter overnight. It was left out, uncovered, from about 9 pm to 8 am. I had used brown rice and doubled it, and replaced the milk with some half and half, which you may feel increases or decreases the risk of poisoning. The dish is vegetarian.

I would eat this. Would you?
posted by stripesandplaid to Food & Drink (8 answers total)
I think it depends somewhat on how warm it was in the room where it was cooling. But if it smells okay, I'd eat it.
posted by bunderful at 6:09 AM on August 6, 2017

I would also eat this assuming it smells okay (no obvious dairy spoilage smell).
posted by terretu at 6:17 AM on August 6, 2017

I'd eat it. But I tend to be a bit daring in such matters.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:18 AM on August 6, 2017

Because it had rice in it, I'd say definitely not. Improperly-refrigerated cooked rice is actually a major cause of food poisoning. Here's more info from the last rice-related "can I eat it" post.
posted by belladonna at 6:33 AM on August 6, 2017 [6 favorites]

The milk (or half-and-half), the cheese, the rice --- all add up to a Heck No for me. Especially if it was left out without air conditioning, but even if the room never got above the mid-seventies: sorry, too risky.
posted by easily confused at 7:06 AM on August 6, 2017 [5 favorites]

I've been eating that kind of thing in that situation for decades, never an issue.

I'd eat it, but make sure I reheat thoroughly. Sounds tasty!

Often I intentionally leave stuff like that out overnight if I know I can finish it the next day, but I do keep it securely covered in that case.
posted by SaltySalticid at 8:21 AM on August 6, 2017

I often leave stuff almost like this out and then put it away in the morning, which is bad food safety and wrong and very cavalier and I wouldn't feed it to a guest but we are willing to take certain chances ourselves. BUT the rice actually crosses a line for me and I wouldn't eat this.

And everyone else: over 40 degrees is over 40 degrees. Doesn't matter if the A/C was cranked, 65 and 85 are effectively the same thing. Visible spoilage will happen faster at 85 because of fermentation and decomposition, but your standard botulism etc really only care whether it's over 40 and none of those things can be reversed by an extra-vigorous reheat.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:19 AM on August 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

I would not eat it, but regretfully. It sounds delicious!
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 12:50 PM on August 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

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