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  #1  
Old 10/21/08, 04:47 AM
 
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Ground beef left out overnight - quick advice needed

Due to (what I am assuming was) a miscommunication with my mother, who lives with us, about 3 lbs. of thawing beef chuck was left out overnight on our counter top. We don't have our heat on yet, so it was in the low 60's F, around 17*C all night long. When I smell the beef, it smells fine. It probably completely thawed to the core late last night, so it was sitting thawed on the counter top for about 5 - 8 hours.

My gut reaction is to not waste... cook the heck out of it and use for spaghetti sauce or something. I don't want to kill my family, though. What would you do?

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  #2  
Old 10/21/08, 04:52 AM
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Well, the sanitation rules say to throw it away. I grew up with meat thawed in the sink overnight every night. No one died from that. If you stuck it in the fridge immediately when you found it out, and cook it to death when you cook it, I would bet it will be ok. But then there are those rules. You do what you are comfortable with.

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  #3  
Old 10/21/08, 04:55 AM
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My thought is if it was frozen when it was set on the table last night, it should be fine to cook it the way you described, but if it was already thawed before it was left out, I would not eat it.

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  #4  
Old 10/21/08, 04:56 AM
 
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Is there any way you can cook it right now? I have done this a time or 2 and brown it thoroughly immediatly in the morning.

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  #5  
Old 10/21/08, 05:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michiganfarmer View Post
My thought is if it was frozen when it was set on the table last night, it should be fine to cook it the way you described, but if it was already thawed before it was left out, I would not eat it.
It was thawing during the evening.
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Old 10/21/08, 05:17 AM
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Your nose and tongue are powerful weapons. If it smells OK, cook it up now. Once cooked totally take a small taste - how's it taste? If it passes the smell and taste test, I'd eat it as meat sauce or chili or some such item (giving it a double cooking). Freeze the extra.

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  #7  
Old 10/21/08, 05:18 AM
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Cook the heck out of it.

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  #8  
Old 10/21/08, 05:23 AM
 
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I would throw it out. Ground meat is the most contaminated kind of meat there is. If it was a solid piece of meat, I would cook and eat it. Not ground meat. It is not worth getting sick.

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  #9  
Old 10/21/08, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booklover View Post
It was thawing during the evening.
...and it sat out all night after it was thawed? I wouldnt eat it..cooked or not.

I just would not chance it. food poisoning can paralize you. a pound of burger isnt worth the risk. throw it out.
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  #10  
Old 10/21/08, 05:33 AM
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I'd throw it out and not think twice about it. I wouldn't take chances with my family's health over some hamburger.

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  #11  
Old 10/21/08, 05:36 AM
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Keep in mind the people who suffered food poisoning because the food they ate looked, smelled and tasted fine. I'd throw it out. Better safe than sick.

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  #12  
Old 10/21/08, 05:52 AM
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If you have cats or dogs I'd not waste it but give it to them.Don't feed it to you human family.

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  #13  
Old 10/21/08, 05:54 AM
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I would not even think twice about it, throw it out, or dog food.

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  #14  
Old 10/21/08, 06:48 AM
 
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It's gone! Sitting on the curb with the trash. We don't have animals, so it really went to waste.

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Old 10/21/08, 07:03 AM
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I do feel better safe than sorry and I am sure we have all been there done that at one time or other. It was not too long ago that due to a miss communication with my own brain that I left a great pot of homemade chicken noodle soup out on the counter. My dogs loved it.

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  #16  
Old 10/21/08, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Dog food
Dogs and cats can get (and die from) food poisoning also.
Toss it, is saving less than $10 worth the chance of giving your family food poisoning?
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  #17  
Old 10/21/08, 07:14 AM
 
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If in doubt, throw it out! Food poisoning definitely not worth the misery! I know that's hard to do - and I've had to make the choice myself. But always a good lesson learned.

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Old 10/21/08, 07:18 AM
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I would have eaten it. Look at it this way, any food-poisoning specie of bacteria that couldhave started growing on the beef, would have been killed during the cooking process. In other words, dead Salmonella, e-coli, etc. do not give a person food poisoning. And if by chance, botulism toxin could have been produced overnight (which I doubt) it too would have been inactivated after being cooked at boiling temp for 10 minutes. The only way the hamburger could have hurt you is if you had eaten it raw or undercooked.

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  #19  
Old 10/21/08, 07:31 AM
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I'd have eaten it, too, in the days pre current refrigeration, the whole earths population didnt drop dead from warm meat. Cooking kills bacteria. you'd have had more reason to be concerned if you made that spaghetti sauce and left it in an aluminum pot in the fridge..dont ask me how I know that. 20 years later and I still refuse to even consider using aluminum anything to cook with.

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  #20  
Old 10/21/08, 07:36 AM
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Dog food.

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  #21  
Old 10/21/08, 07:39 AM
 
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Cat food.

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  #22  
Old 10/21/08, 07:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabin Fever View Post
I would have eaten it. Look at it this way, any food-poisoning specie of bacteria that couldhave started growing on the beef, would have been killed during the cooking process.
That is correct IF the hamburger was cooked completely through.

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  #23  
Old 10/21/08, 07:46 AM
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i would of cooked it,, if it was thawing it was still cold,, I would of cooked it made meat balls, something and then froze them..

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  #24  
Old 10/21/08, 07:50 AM
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We'd have eaten it too. I always cook meat thoroughly though. Growing up it was the norm for food to be left out on the stove (except in the hottest summer months) overnight. You'd get up in the morning and turn it on for a good boil or heat it thoroughly in the oven. I've only had food poisoning once....from store bought meatballs.

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  #25  
Old 10/21/08, 08:10 AM
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I would definitely have eaten it. as long as it is thoroughly cooked (as CF said), there is no danger. Once the meat hits a temp of 170, all the bug nasties are toast. I grew up with meat being thawed in the sink overnight and never once did any of us get sick. Then again, we cooked it well. The only time I eat any ground meat less than well done is if it's from our freezer beef and thawed in the fridge or under a trickle of cool water.

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  #26  
Old 10/21/08, 08:21 AM
 
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my first reaction was "cook it" too. I know it's not what the health dept. tells us to do, but I grew up on meat thawed on the counter overnight, and in the 17+ years since I left home, that's how I've done my meat (except poultry, which I thaw in the fridge for several days). Heck, I've got a ham on the counter right now that I took out of the freezer before I went to bed last night.

I acknowledge that warm meat or any other warm food can culture bacteria. But, like some others have said, if it is still cool (not room temp) and you cook it thoroughly, that should pretty much take care of any undesirable things that may have sprouted in it.

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  #27  
Old 10/21/08, 08:31 AM
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As long as you cook it you'll be fine. Cooking kills all the little critters that could hurt you in food which is not canned or otherwise in an oxygen free environment.

Not to gross you out but in survival school you are taught you can eat meat which has. . .well let's just say fly larva on it as long as you cook it well. I never had to but that's what I was taught.

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  #28  
Old 10/21/08, 08:36 AM
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it it smells good, it should taste good, for over 40 yrs we always thawed thanksgiving turkeys out on the counter for a couple days, now we do it the right way in the fridge, takes longer but we may live longer.

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  #29  
Old 10/21/08, 08:36 AM
 
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From our local health department:

If raw meat is left at room temperature over two hours, it may not be safe to eat even after proper cooking. Some bacteria, such as staphylococcus (staph), produce toxins not destroyed by high cooking temperatures.


****
Still - it is up to you. I've had food poisoning and the memory is enough to make me toss something I'm not sure about.
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Last edited by BaronsMom; 10/21/08 at 08:38 AM.
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  #30  
Old 10/21/08, 08:48 AM
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Oh, dear! We would have eaten that with no question at all.

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