Can I eat this? - chicken stock left out for 12 hours....
September 20, 2017 7:06 PM   Subscribe

I would ordinarily throw something like this out immediately but I am out of grocery money and this stock was made with a beautiful organic chicken and a pile of local veggies. Both were gifts. After eating the chicken for dinner last night, I slow-cooked the rest of the carcass overnight. This morning, I drained the hot stock into a pot and accidentally left the pot uncovered in the sink while I went to work. Temp outside today was a humid 75 fahrenheit and it's a shady kitchen. Keep or toss?
posted by lakersfan1222 to Food & Drink (32 answers total)
 
I will eat mostly anything but would not eat this. Nope.
posted by beccaj at 7:09 PM on September 20, 2017 [12 favorites]


It kills me, but toss.
posted by Liesl at 7:16 PM on September 20, 2017


Nope, toss. Poultry stock in particular will go bad very quickly. I mostly live in the "eat it!" camp, but not for this.
posted by rtha at 7:21 PM on September 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


Yep, stock is as good as a petri dish when it comes to nourishing bacteria. I feel your pain, but toss it.
posted by Knicke at 7:21 PM on September 20, 2017 [7 favorites]


This is a form of Metafilter Darwinism and I would lose, because I'd freeze it and continue to use it. You probably shouldn't listen to me, as you have gone through the trouble of asking this question.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:29 PM on September 20, 2017 [5 favorites]


Heck no. I know it's hard to think of wasting the money, but think of it as saving your copay for the ER and/or time off of work to live next to the toilet.
posted by AFABulous at 7:40 PM on September 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


Nope. Stock is the ideal medium for growing gross and dangerous things.
posted by mollymayhem at 7:42 PM on September 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


I'm willing to gamble a little bit, but not with broth. Toss it. I'm sorry.
posted by lazuli at 7:44 PM on September 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


Truthfully? I would probably eat it—just a bit at first as a test.

Regardless of the outcome, I wouldn't serve it to anyone and I definitely don't recommend that you try this.
posted by she's not there at 7:50 PM on September 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


Nonononononononooooope.
What we call stock is what other people use on purpose to grow bacteria in the lab.
posted by Dashy at 7:51 PM on September 20, 2017 [14 favorites]


Unfortunately, what you have is basically a pot of food poisoning at this point.
posted by mrgoat at 7:52 PM on September 20, 2017 [7 favorites]


As a diehard eat-it! person: No, hell no.
posted by bricoleur at 8:09 PM on September 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


you could see what grows in it, for science, but good lord don't eat it
posted by poffin boffin at 8:48 PM on September 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


No no no no no. I eat some skeevy shit but 75 degrees - shady or otherwise - is a far far cry from the upper limit of 40 and I have seen how hairy stock can get in just 24 hours. You cannot eat this.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:59 PM on September 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


I don't think it's safe. But Michael Ruhlmann apparently leaves his stock out all week. That article seems to suggest that letting stock cool overnight is probably safe if it's reboiled and refrigerated in the morning.
posted by pinochiette at 9:07 PM on September 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'll eat just about anything, but that's more or less the medium bioscientists use to grow bacteria (veal stock is where it's really at). Nope.
posted by halogen at 9:20 PM on September 20, 2017


The USDA says it's no good. "The Danger zone" is 40 - 140 F.

From the link:

Keep Food Out of the "Danger Zone"
Never leave food out of refrigeration over 2 hours. If the temperature is above 90 °F (you heated it, so although the room was 75, the soup was far hotter if it was simmering initially), food should not be left out more than 1 hour.

Admittedly I probably don't practice what I preach as far as only one hour, but all day seems pretty risky.
posted by Bistyfrass at 9:24 PM on September 20, 2017


I have eaten plenty of stock left out 12-24 hours, but covered, never even hesitated, it's delicious. See also that fancy cook guy linked above. This is why many experienced cooks laugh at the USDA 'danger zone', I could probably live off of soups that violate their rules indefinitely and not get sick from contaminated food.

Not covered makes it dicier though, for sure. I would happily re-boil for a good 30 min, drink a few ounces, refrigerate the rest and monitor myself for 12-24 hours. If no Ill effects present, I'd consider everything fine and consume the rest.

And yes at that point I'd never feed it to anyone else without complete and enthusiastic informed consent.

And finally, I do this stuff all the time, so I literally trust my guts. People have different sensitivities and immune systems, YMMV considerably.
posted by SaltySalticid at 9:39 PM on September 20, 2017 [10 favorites]


Ahahahaha, that Ruhlmann method. I know a family who followed that method with chicken stock and the entire family and their houseguest got food poisoning--really seriously too. They were all violently ill for days. You couldn't pay me to even taste your chicken stock.
posted by HotToddy at 10:19 PM on September 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


I might taste it if it had a layer of fat covering the top. Otherwise... nah. I eat a lot of things that haven't been properly refrigerated, but I wouldn't eat that.
posted by notquitemaryann at 10:21 PM on September 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


Me? I'd smell it. If it smelled OK I'd boil it for half an hour. Then I'd taste, freeze and use in other cooking where it was going to be boiled again.
posted by Thella at 1:28 AM on September 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


It depends on how much stock we are talking about and how long it took to cool down.

If you have a large stockpot of liquid at 200 degrees, you can't put that right into your fridge without letting it cool first. This can take hours. From my own experience brewing, I remember a large 8L stockpot of simmering liquid was after 6 hours still too hot to add a culture to it. In your case, for most of the 12 hours this was out, it's possible that it was above the danger zone.

If this is a 8+ liter pot, I think it's probably fine but I wouldn't feed it to anyone else before trying it myself. If it's 1L of stock, then no way.
posted by cotterpin at 2:15 AM on September 21, 2017


Chicken stock is a fantastic bacterial growth medium with a lot of similarities to the media that people who work in biology labs brew up when they want to grow a batch of E. coli. If you boil it thoroughly and keep it tightly covered, it'll last quite a while. Uncovered, at 75F, for 12 hours? No. Not safe.

Sorry.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 2:50 AM on September 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


I don't think it's safe. But Michael Ruhlmann apparently leaves his stock out all week. That article seems to suggest that letting stock cool overnight is probably safe if it's reboiled and refrigerated in the morning.

If you do decide to do this, note that Ruhlman and the food scientists interviewed both agreed that this is only even technically safe if you hold the stock at a full rolling boil for ten minutes before using it:
Why has the Ruhlman family survived? Because Mr. Ruhlman boils the stock before he serves it, Dr. Snyder wrote. Any active bacteria are killed by holding the stock for a minute at 150 degrees or above, and botulism toxin is inactivated by 10 minutes at the boil.

But quickly reheating a contaminated stock just up to serving temperature won’t destroy its active bacteria and toxins, and the stock will make people sick.

“If Mr. Ruhlman ever has a cup of his three-day-old stock without thoroughly boiling it first, he will probably only do it once,” Dr. Snyder wrote. “It is irresponsible of any cook to prepare food in a way that actually creates a new and significant hazard, even though the hazard may be eliminated in a later step.”



I spoke with Mr. Ruhlman about Dr. Snyder’s analysis of his stovetop-stored stock. “I agree that I should have been clearer about the importance of the ‘kill step,’ a good 10 minutes at the boil,” he said.
I probably wouldn't eat this (though to be honest, if I was in your economic situation I might). If you're going to, at least minimize your risk by boiling it for that long before you taste it or get it near your other ingredients.
posted by nebulawindphone at 3:37 AM on September 21, 2017 [3 favorites]


Personally, I would boil this well (as mentioned above) and then eat it. YMMV.
posted by woodvine at 4:45 AM on September 21, 2017


On eating: fuck no.

Please ice bath your homemade chicken stock people! Get out cool and in the fridge ASAP.
posted by AlexiaSky at 5:51 AM on September 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


Modern refrigerators should not be affected by still-hot food being put directly in the fridge. Food in deep containers should be repackaged into smaller containers with less volume so that the center gets cold fast enough, but leaving a big pot on the counter to cool doesn't prevent the center from staying warm, since it's staying warm on the counter.
posted by muddgirl at 6:02 AM on September 21, 2017


I have, on rare occasion, reboiled stock left overnight in a completely covered pot with a well-fitting lid that had cooled down from boiling while closed.

I would immediately dump this stock down the sink, because I grow overnight bacterial cultures for work on a regular basis (started from just grabbing a minuscule pinprick of bacteria on a wooden stick and swishing it in broth) and the only reason you can't see the bacteria clouding up that joint now is because it's an 8 liter pot instead of half a liter. If you gave it a few more hours and mixed it up the currently-multiplying bacteria would turn the whole thing cloudy with at least a cup of (semi)solid bacterial mass in there. Nope nope nope.
posted by deludingmyself at 7:55 AM on September 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


Me? I'd smell it. If it smelled OK I'd boil it for half an hour. Then I'd taste, freeze and use in other cooking where it was going to be boiled again.

Yes - I agree with this. Smell it and see.

I have left perfectly good chicken stock out of the fridge by accident and unfortunately the stock was DONE. But it smelt REALLY bad, acidic almost..... it was very easy to tell that I could not eat it under any circumstances!
posted by JenThePro at 9:14 AM on September 21, 2017


I would eat it. We survived for many years without refrigeration; boil it up and it should be fine. Don't do this if you're immunocompromised or very sensitive but the human body is built for survival.
posted by valoius at 11:58 AM on September 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


As has been repeated in these threads many, many times, smell is not a reliable indicator of contamination. I'd throw it out. People in the old days without refrigeration lived much shorter lives too.
posted by Aleyn at 2:56 PM on September 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


No. It would be different if the pot had been boiled for a long time while covered, and then never opened. What you're describing is just a petri dish. I'm sorry, it sucks to waste, but food poisoning is no joke.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:04 PM on September 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


« Older Finding what happened to person in prison   |   Recommend where to donate for Carribean Island... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.