Can I eat this? Idiocy edition
June 17, 2021 1:25 AM   Subscribe

I am a fool, who woke up this morning to find I'd left the door of my freshly stocked refrigerator ajar overnight.

It must have been like that for at least 12 hours. Yesterday I had my weekly food delivery, so it was full of delicious organic meats that cost me one whole arm and half a leg, which I do not have in abundance. I jabbed my meat thermometer in one of the steaks (Yes! Organic steaks! Please lord let me save the organic steaks) and the internal temperature was 49f. The middle of refrigerator itself was more like 59f.

I'm relatively laid back about things not being kept in perfect storage conditions, but we're talking stuff like fresh fish and a whole chicken. I'm not really up for getting raging food poisoning at the moment, and goodness knows what's happening with my immune system these days (long covid). I have un-fond memories of having terrible, hallucination inducing food poisoning as a kid from a chicken my grandmother stored in a cupboard (heh, different times). But I'm also mortified at the thought of having to throw away it all away when I cannot easily afford to replace it and, also, won't somebody please think of the animals.

Can it be saved?
posted by FifteenShocks to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am so very sorry.
I would toss the fish and chicken.
I am a little more risk tolerant about the beef. But I would store it in the freezer until it is used.
posted by SLC Mom at 1:40 AM on June 17, 2021 [4 favorites]

I would toss all the meat. I felt that way before getting to the part where your immune system is already dealing with long Covid, and that just intensifies my belief that this food would not be safe for you. 59 is not a safe storage temp for meat, and we don't know the history of temps during that 12 hours or when the temp got into the danger zone (above 40 degrees).

Depending on where you live, maybe you could set the meat outside for scavengers who are equipped to eat rotting meat.

If you absolutely are dead set on eating it yourself, I would cook it NOW, and make it well done.

Sorry. :(
posted by Flock of Cynthiabirds at 3:49 AM on June 17, 2021

Hey, do you have PayPal? (I'm not in the US so I can't use something like Venmo.) I know the food waste is heartbreaking, but you have to take care of yourself. Your body deserves good food. If you don't mind sharing an email address or something with me, I'd happily contribute some funds to restock your fridge.
posted by kate blank at 8:11 AM on June 17, 2021 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks folks. I'll throw it. Bar the steaks, which have gone in the freezer per SLC Mom - one day I might be brave enough. There's no local wildlife that would benefit (at least, that my neighbours would want encouraging!), though it was a nice thought.

Kate blank - you're very, very kind and your offer has cheered me up no end. Thank you. I've realised set delivery days and full slots mean I'd be S.O.L replacing it before next week's delivery anyway now though. I have some emergency bits and bobs living under a layer of frost in my freezer, so I'll just write this week off, work my way through that, and appreciate next week's delivery all the more.
posted by FifteenShocks at 8:56 AM on June 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

Honestly, I'd eat all of it provided it didn't smell/wasn't slimy/discolored, but I'd make sure it was cooked well-done.
posted by coffeecat at 9:02 AM on June 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

Nooooo, don't eat it, dropkick it to the moon. I'm so sorry that happened, but this made me feel better about my own similar and constant errors and everyone's responses made me feel much better about the world generally, so thank you for asking this great question. And kate blank is the best of persons.
posted by Don Pepino at 9:08 AM on June 17, 2021 [3 favorites]

Also definitely toss any cooked rice and beans if you're concerned about food poisoning.
posted by aniola at 9:30 AM on June 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

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