Left beautiful grass-fed beef femur marrow bones out approx. 11-12 hours (since purchasing at Whole Foods) -- Ideas about safety & dangers of making stock/bone broth?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 01, 2013 at 1:29 PM

'Doh! I feel very, very silly.

I've been wanting to make general stock/bone broth for bones/teeth/health very much, (apple cider vinegar/spices/vegetables, 24+ hrs, beef marrow bones) but never really found any high-quality or grass-fed beef bones.

I purchased some beautiful femur bones at Whole Foods last night -- they were grass-fed, and the animals were treated quite humanely. I was very, very happy.

...after returning home, I carefully refridgerated all the very beautiful groceries (beef shanks, mushrooms, kale...) ...but left the femur bones out.

This morning at 8:00-8:20 a.m., I noticed them inside a grocery bag and threw them into the freezer while deciding. They came from a freezer or refrigerated section with a door. It seems like they were just refrigerated to begin with, not frozen, but I could be wrong. I think they were removed from the freezer/refrigeration at the store around 9:00 - 9:40 p.m. last night.

They have been in the freezer for ~30-90 minutes now, and are looking fairly frozen. What would the dangers (or potential dangers) be of boiling/simmering these in a large stockpot? Whether or not I actually use these to make stock, or throw them out, I'd like to have more information about dangers / potential dangers, so I can become more knowledgeable.

I just sniffed at them and examined them. Compared to the beef shank, which was frozen within an hour or two of returning home, it has a faint, maybe musty smell. I'm not sure if this is from the bone, or from spoilage. The beef shank has no discernible smell and is very frozen. Everything is pink-coloured, though the top of one bone has some brown or light grey/blue or white (which might simply be the color of thawed bone -- not much experience with the appearance of raw bones.)

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2 Answers



on May 01, 2013
at 01:38 PM

Honestly, I'd throw them out - I used to work in foodservice and our rule was that if it was at room temp for more than 2 hours, it was dangerous. If they were at fridge temperature (around 40F) to begin with, leaving them out overnight would put them at room temp way longer than that.

If you really want to use them, maybe leave them in the freezer for 2 weeks? I know people do that with raw liver to kill any nasty things that might be lurking in it...



on May 02, 2013
at 06:28 AM

Better safe than sorry. Food-born illnesses are terrible and can be deadly. Don't risk it, and throw them out. I know it sucks when you buy some awesome amazing meat... and forget to put it in the fridge. It's disappointing and you feel like it's a total waste, but you just have to accept the loss and try to remember it next time. :) I've done this before... and yeah, a truly sad moment.

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