My First Can I Eat This
February 3, 2023 10:10 PM   Subscribe

Fresh salmon, left out in cool (~55° F) weather for about 5 hours.

I forgot to pull my fish out of my otherwise non-perishable filled grocery bag.

I'm leaning towards dumping it, especially as I'm feeding it to other people. But it was very fresh, and the relatively cool ambient temperature and internet searches so far make think it's probably completely safe. If there's better data to move it to definitely completely safe I don't want to waste it.
posted by mark k to Food & Drink (7 answers total)
When are you cooking it? I think it’s fine but I wouldn’t keep it for too long.
posted by vunder at 11:06 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]

I'd probably cook it ASAP and eat it myself. I wouldn't feed it to other people or consider it completely safe. I lean conservative on these things for what it's worth.
posted by lookoutbelow at 11:51 PM on February 3 [4 favorites]

Best answer: You can eat it, no problem. For ekstra safety, you could steam it now and serve it cold, which can be very good. But it's fine.
posted by mumimor at 12:06 AM on February 4 [2 favorites]

Yes you will.
posted by ShaunMurfeey at 12:12 AM on February 4

I would not eat this, although I get why some people would. However, it's grossly irresponsible to serve it to other people.
posted by gnutron at 5:07 AM on February 4

The gamble here is about what the supply chain looked like to get the fish to you. If the salmon had come directly out of the water and then spent 5 hours in 55 degree weather, I'd happily eat it without a second thought. But if it spent the previous week sitting around in storage and transport at various unknown temperatures, I'd be second guessing eating it.

My guess, like many of these questions, is that you would be very unlikely to have a negative consequence from this, but if you do get unlucky, you will have a very miserable 8 or 12 hours.

Also, in light of different attitudes to fish freshness, I was reminded of a passage from this recent New Yorker article:

In Kivalina, fish are traditionally left to age on the riverbanks for at least several days before being eaten or stored in freezers. (“The Western people call them stinky fish,” a villager explained to me, “but here we call them ambrosia.”)
posted by Dip Flash at 6:44 AM on February 4 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: OK, thanks all. It seems likely safe but no guarantees. I was planning on feeding it to an Aged Parent tonight, so going to play it safe and get head back to the store.

I will take the advice to steam the stuff I already have today and eat it myself; I hadn't thought of that and it lets me avoid the trauma of tossing some likely very nice fish into the trash.
posted by mark k at 7:04 AM on February 4 [1 favorite]

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