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Chicken stock left out all night--toss or keep?

I accidentally left a pot of homemade chicken stock on my kitchen counter for 24 hours. It had been in the fridge before that, so it started out cold, not hot, and was covered with a lid. The temp currently reads 64 degrees, and it was probably consistently that temp for the last 20 hours. It breaks my heart to think of throwing it away after 4 hours of simmering, skimming, etc...but I don't want to risk getting sick. Toss or keep?

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cookbookchick added over 1 year ago

Toss it! Meat stock is a perfect environment for bacterial growth. Better safe than sorry!

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a Whole Foods Market Customer added over 1 year ago

Temp between 40F and 140F for more than 4 hours - toss it.

Waffle3
ChefOno added over 1 year ago
Voted the Best Answer!


The USDA recommends no more than 2 hours above 40F:

http://www.fsis.usda.gov...

However...

http://www.nytimes.com...


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Ms. T added over 1 year ago

Thanks for sharing the NYT article--very interesting and informative. And it convinced me to play it safe... But it won't stop me from applying the "10 second rule" to yummy things dropped on the floor, and other laissez-faire practices in my kitchen that wouldn't pass USDA muster ;)

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AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 1 year ago

So sad, but live and learn. Whenever I put/leave something out on the counter that needs to go into the fridge eventually, I put the timer on. Also, when I make stock in the evenings (when I typically make it), I fill my large dish pan in the sink with cold water, strain the stock into quart mason jars, and cool them down in the cold water bath, changing it every five minutes or so, and putting a timer on when I leave the kitchen so the jars actually go into the fridge! I've tossed more than one quart of stock or cooling soup, so I know how disappointing this is. ;o)

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SeaJambon added over 1 year ago

AJ - Love the wisdom! I would never have thought of a timer for this kind of situation, but knowing how easily distracted I can get, that's a perfect and very practical idea.

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AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 1 year ago

Thanks, SeaJambon. I am easily distracted as well, plus, my office is downstairs from the kitchen (meaning I am not reminded by smells), so I have come to rely heavily on my timers for a lot of reasons!! Yes, timers, plural. Two on my oven, and sometimes the one on the microwave is drawn into service as well!!) ;o)

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Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 1 year ago

The question, Ms. T is, do you feel lucky? Clearly this is outside of the USDA guidelines, but well within Chef Ruhlman's (questionable IMHO practice) of leaving stock on the stove for days at a time. Having had self-induced food poisoning, I would toss it.

Junechamp

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 1 year ago

hate to concur with everyone, but "When in doubt, throw it out." Certainly it's not worth someone getting sick, is it?

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Ms. T added over 1 year ago

Thanks all for the wise advice, and for telling me what I probably already knew, but didn't want to admit! Y'all are right that it's not worth getting myself or others sick, so I shed a tear lastnight as I poured it down the drain. Learned my lesson!

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lloreen added over 1 year ago

Wouldn't boiling it again get rid of bacteria? I have often left out turkey stock overnight post-Thanksgiving, boiled it for a few minutes, and frozen it for later. No one got sick. Maybe I was lucky?

Waffle3
ChefOno added over 1 year ago

Harold McGee answers those questions (see link above).

ellenl added over 1 year ago

I often deliberately leave out for a variety of reasons, especially in cooler weather. Has never been a problem. Some people are more concerned than I am. For example, the thing about mayo being unrefrigerated---I do it all the time, figuring if it were a party the food would be out even longer with no problem! I often leave defatted stock on stovetop overnight and beyond if I will be adding to it, etc. or if I forget or just get lazy/fall asleep.

ellenl added over 1 year ago

I often deliberately leave out for a variety of reasons, especially in cooler weather. Has never been a problem. Some people are more concerned than I am. For example, the thing about mayo being unrefrigerated---I do it all the time, figuring if it were a party the food would be out even longer with no problem! I often leave defatted stock on stovetop overnight and beyond if I will be adding to it, etc. or if I forget or just get lazy/fall asleep.

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