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Left roasted beets out

I roasted beets, wrapped in foil, and forgot to take them out of the over. They were in there for 24 hours after the oven was turned off. I'm assuming they should be tossed?

asked by ATG117 about 3 years ago
24 answers 16778 views
8425a5f0 773c 4ccd b24e 9e75b44477a8  monita photo
Monita

Monita is a Recipe Tester for Food52

added about 3 years ago

Remove them from the foil and remove the skin. If they don't smell bad, then taste a small piece. They will probably be fine

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added about 3 years ago


No, no, no! Wrapping potatoes in foil is a proven method of incubating botulism spores and I see no logical reason why beets would be any different. Literally one taste could kill you. Never taste suspect food! You can neither taste nor smell pathogenic bacteria, only the results of spoilage bacteria -- two different things, two different possible results. Two hours in the Danger Zone max.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 3 years ago

anyone want to break the tie?

68de587a 1415 4682 863f 6f7a5c5c1744  dsc 0013
Trena Heinrich

Trena is a trusted source on general cooking.

added about 3 years ago

According to the CDC the cases of botulism in the U.S. average 145 people per year, of those cases 15% are foodborne, and only 3-5% of those cases are fatal. http://www.cdc.gov/nczved...

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added about 3 years ago


So it's okay to consume food from bulging cans now because, heck, the odds are so low? That botulism is relatively rare these days is due to knowledge of the ways it's contracted being relatively common -- unsafe canning practices, flavoring oil with garlic, feeding infants honey and the aforementioned foil-wrapped potatoes being examples.

I apologize for leaving the impression -- apparently -- that botulism is the only danger here. 24 hours in the Danger Zone could result in any number of pathogens multiplying to lethal proportions. The rule is "2 hours".

So, Trina, here are some more stats from the CDC: 1 out of every 6 Americans will get sick this year from foodborne illness. Most will write off the experience as "stomach flu" (not understanding there is no such thing) but 128,000 will end up in the hospital and will 3,000 die.

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added about 3 years ago

I'm not an expert in food storage, but I think if the beets were roasted at 400 or so, most of the pathogens were killed. If loosely wrapped in foil, should be low risk for botulism-- bolinum is anaerobic. I would go with the try a tiny bit. There's a risk, but it's small. Could also reheat the beets to eliminate any pathogens that were growing while the beets were in the cooled oven.


bit. You could also reheat the beets to make them safer.

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added about 3 years ago


(1) Oven temperature does not equate to internal temperature. The generally accepted figure for destruction of botulism spores = 240F (this is why a pressure canner is required for low-acid foods). So, yes, you *might* eliminate the (a) toxin and (b) spores by heating to such a degree. Try it and let me know how that works out. (I've never done so myself and not because I'm not a fan of beets. My guess is they'd be severely dried out seeing as any moisture would be absent > 212F.)

If the suggested procedure were reliable, food safety would be a simple thing. Heck, we wouldn't even need refrigeration, canning, preservatives -- just heat and eat! The problem is some of the buggers can escape and in the case of botulism, all it takes is one. Under ideal conditions (which is what we're discussing), one becomes two in 20 minutes, two become four in another 20. Do the math for 24 hours.

(2) Cooking in aluminum foil creates an anaerobic environment proven to be conducive to botulism growth. Google "USDA foil potatoes" or reference this link: http://www.cdc.gov/nczved... While you're there, note the consequences of crossing paths with C. botulinum. It ain't pretty.

(3) Google "USDA tasting suspect food". So the food tastes fine then, what, you wait 10 days to see if paralysis sets in? Again, if food safety was that simple, nobody would ever get sick. Stick to the rules and nobody gets hurt…

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 3 years ago

I'm not really concerned about throwing out the beets, but was more interested in what the correct thing to do is. Chefono, you seem to always take a very strict, perhaps overly cautious stance. Do you think yours is mainstream and targeted to home cooks? It very well may be--I'm no food safety expert.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 3 years ago

I'm pretty sure Chefono's stance is much more strict than most home cooks: everyone I know would just eat the beets.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
JAC
added about 3 years ago

I am certified in food safety. Throw out the beets. Really.
Is the risk low? Perhaps. But crying out loud we're talking about BEETS! How much did they cost you? A few dollars? Is it really worth risking your health for beets?!!
The risk may be low but the risk is still real. Throw out the beets.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 3 years ago

As i mentioned above, its not at all about the cost...

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
JAC
added about 3 years ago

ATG117,
The correct thing to do is to ditch the beets.
I would consider myself to be reasonable about such things. I even believe the 5-second has its place in the world. But, twenty four hours is a long time. Too long.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
JAC
added about 3 years ago

ATG117,
The correct thing to do is to ditch the beets.
I would consider myself to be reasonable about such things. I even believe the 5-second has its place in the world. But, twenty four hours is a long time. Too long.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
ATL
added about 3 years ago

I am amused that people find Chef Ono overly "strict" when he is steering people away from the shoals of a myriad of food-related illnesses. I think what he says is common sense supported by an impressive compendium of evidence. I'd rather make an evidence-based decision vs. taking a chance. field, we make decisions based on evidence. It puzzles me that in our era where people comment endlessly on our broken food system, and every day brings a new and horrible report of food recalls, etc., people would even consider taking chances. Years ago when I first started canning, I was delighted by a sentence I in an old Fanny Farmer cookbook: "The home canner must operate with a clear conscience." In my kitchen, those beets would have been in the trash the minute I saw them.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
ATL
added about 3 years ago

Sorry for the half sentence and typos--we need an edit function!

8f5038ed 8aca 4d33 aef7 8a0ce63adc40  img00019 20100929 0432 1
sexyLAMBCHOPx

Chops is a trusted home cook.

added about 3 years ago

"It puzzles me that in our era where people comment endlessly on our broken food system, and every day brings a new and horrible report of food recalls, etc., people would even consider taking chances. Then why even ask the question if you knew what to do?

Bac35f8c 0352 46fe 95e3 57de4b652617  p1291120
added about 3 years ago

[SLC: did you confuse ATL and ATG 117? I sure did and see how it could happen!]

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
ATL
added about 3 years ago

When one hotline question can get such differing opinions, we wonder why we have war in the world? All joking aside, I was commenting on the fact that despite evidence to support an answer, there is resistance to the answer,mostly when the topic is food safety. Food safety is very interesting, perhaps because in part the stakes are so high: Eating something and not getting sick vs. eating something, getting sick and even risking death. I have an autonomic reflex to pitch things if there is any doubt whatsoever. This is my reflex but I don't have the knowledge Chef Ono and others do have. We are fortunate to have them as a part of the Food 52 community. Many people ask food safety questions in a way that suggests they know the "correct" answer, but would like some scientific permission that it's okay to go against what they already know. The original question ATG117 asked is: "I'm assuming they should be tossed?" Personally, I love these questions because each time I learn more about food safety. Bring on the questions, the evidence, and the debate!

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added about 3 years ago


These aren't my rules, I didn't make them up, they come from microbiologists and other food safety experts with practical knowledge of the hazards involved, specifically (but far from exclusively) the USDA. So, yes, they are very much targeted at the home cook (food service is governed by similar but stricter FDA regs).

Do I always take a strict stance? Hardly. I'm on record as being in favor of bending certain rules at appropriate times. BUT.. one must either know precisely what the risks are and how to overcome them, or be prepared to pay the price. (To be clear, this is not one of those times. What would be gained from taking *any* risk, let alone one that could kill you?)

I'm curious, what differentiates a "home cook" from a pro? Personally I'd rather sicken an entire dinner service than put my mother in the hospital.

549d9fb3 53ef 4170 b68e 8bae2e055be7  dsc 0048b
added about 3 years ago

just out of curiosity, how safe are the recipes for slow roasted tomatoes that have you blast oven at high temp then turn it off and leave the tomatoes overnight? Is it OK because they're not wrapped in aluminum foil?

549d9fb3 53ef 4170 b68e 8bae2e055be7  dsc 0048b
added about 3 years ago

just out of curiosity, how safe are the recipes for slow roasted tomatoes that have you blast oven at high temp then turn it off and leave the tomatoes overnight? Is it OK because they're not wrapped in aluminum foil?

549d9fb3 53ef 4170 b68e 8bae2e055be7  dsc 0048b
added about 3 years ago

just out of curiosity, how safe are the recipes for slow roasted tomatoes that have you blast oven at high temp then turn it off and leave the tomatoes overnight? Is it OK because they're not wrapped in aluminum foil?

84baef1b 1614 4c3d a895 e859c9d40bd1  chris in oslo
Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added about 3 years ago

I've never tried that method. But two factors--the no foil and the acidity of the tomatoes--make for a much lower risk.

84baef1b 1614 4c3d a895 e859c9d40bd1  chris in oslo
Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added about 3 years ago

I kind of like this simple list from the Health Agency of Canada.

The following foods have been associated with botulism:

improperly prepared home-canned, low-acid foods (for example, corn, green beans, peas, asparagus, beets, mushrooms, spaghetti sauce, salmon);
improperly stored low acid fruit juices (for example, carrot juice);
leftover baked potatoes stored in aluminium foil; and
honey, which has been linked to cases of infantile botulism and should not be fed to infants under one year of age.