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Food safety question

Drat! Made meat sauce then left it on a (cold) stove for 7 hours. I have to throw it away don't i?

asked by Jestei over 3 years ago
4 answers 1063 views

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 3 years ago

Yep. I did something similar with beef stew a long time ago, and I promise you that the resultant food poisoning was not worth it. Toss it.

added over 3 years ago

I would. this type of questions has come up a few times recently. You are bound to hear stories of stomach pain, discomfort and food poisoning.

The growth of bacteria in its ideal environment is exponential, and I would personally toss it. Although boiling it for a few minutes will kill any bacteria that has multiplied, it won't get rid of the toxins they have produced and that, unfortunately, is what will make you sick.

added over 3 years ago

I'm afraid you have to toss your food. Food safety standards permit hot foods that are held at 135F to be removed and not kept warm for a maximum of 4 hours. After that, they must be tossed out. These standards can vary but I don't know of any that allow for 7 hours. I think 4 hours is a reasonable timeframe. Like Dr.babs said: Food poisoning was not worth it!


Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 3 years ago

For future reference, once food is removed from heat, you have a total of 6 hours to get it to 40 degrees or below. Within the first 2 hours, you must cool it to at least 70 degrees. Within the next 4 hours it must cool to 40 degrees or below. I keep empty water bottles in the freezer for rapid cooling. Fill them 3/4 full, freeze them, and Bob is your, so to speak, uncle.