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Stupid, slightly off-topic question: meat spoilage

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 01, 2012 at 6:49 PM

I made some beautifully browned, bacon-fat rubbed, gorgeously seasoned chicken last night...and I forgot it in the oven after the timer went off. (The timer also turns off the heat.) It stayed in the oven all night- maybe about 12 hours or so. I'm thinking Grok didn't have refrigeration and probably ate meat that was cooked the night before and left at room temperature but, let's face it, I'm not Grok, and I don't want to poison myself with spoiled chicken. So what do you think, Dr. Internet: eat the chicken or toss it?

Edit: Found another spoilage thread where a couple people mentioned "classes" that advised 3-4 hours. Others said that in many places lacking refrigeration, a day is acceptable. Others said that you should trust your nose; still others said you can't smell pathogens. In short- no consensus.

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on October 04, 2012
at 08:21 PM

I agree - I think if you're used to it, it probably won't affect you as much, but I have gotten pickier about these things as I have gotten older.

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4 Answers

4
1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

on October 01, 2012
at 07:04 PM

Properly cooked meat not contaminated (through contact) with a pathogen like E Coli, etc, is perfectly safe to eat after being locked in your oven overnight. Might be a little dry but you will be ok.

2
Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on October 01, 2012
at 07:38 PM

I'd eat it. If it was in the oven all night, chances are it wasn't at room temp all that long. Probably took a little while to come down, especially if the oven door was never opened.

Also -- just think about the millions of college kids who eat leftover Chinese food or cold pizza (with all kinds of meat toppings) that was sitting out all night the next morning, and never have any problems from it.

I'd be embarrassed to 'fess up to some of the questionable stuff I've eaten over the years and have never gotten sick. Then again, I might just be lucky, having inherited my father's iron stomach.

Either way, I think you'll be fine with the chicken. It's not like it was sitting out on a picnic table for 8 hours, where ants and all kinds of other critters could have gotten at it.

1
E45c5a1c8df73da5e03bb6e7e90f8420

(644)

on October 01, 2012
at 08:14 PM

All I know is that my roommate, who is Filipino, routinely leaves meat, both cooked and uncooked, out on the counter for hours-days. He also leaves out rice and a variety of other items that most people would store in the fridge. I think it is a cultural thing, as my best friend growing up was was Filipino and her family pretty much never used the fridge...they used to store meat in the microwave... so, I'd say it's highly unlikely it'll hurt to eat it, though personally I wouldn't....

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on October 04, 2012
at 08:21 PM

I agree - I think if you're used to it, it probably won't affect you as much, but I have gotten pickier about these things as I have gotten older.

1
363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on October 01, 2012
at 07:42 PM

I think that it remained uncut and sealed by the cooking process might help it out, but I know that I would personally avoid it. My husband would probably dive right in, and has in the past, and has been fine. I had an uncle who ate some Thanksgiving turkey that was thoroughly cooked, about 6 hours after it had been on the counter and became violently ill with food poisoning after that. It could have been some cross contamination with a cutting utensil, or something like that, but I have read that poultry allows for more growth of harmful bacteria on it, even after cooked.

I do think our ancestors probably had iron stomachs that could handle all sorts of rot and decay, but I think we're a little more delicate due to how we've been raised.

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