Is meatloaf that was put in a 350 degree oven. And then accidentally shut off and left for 1.5 hours still ok to cook?


  • Posted by: Kris
  • January 12, 2015


Nancy January 16, 2015
Back to the original question, after all this back & forth: Kris, what did you do with the meatloaf & if you ate it, all ok or adverse results?
Pegeen January 16, 2015
The experts would recommend NOT feeding uncooked meat to animals. (Just google "unsafe human foods for animals.") You'd be surprised at how many different "human" foods are not safe for animals to eat.

Public service announcement :-)
The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) also has an always-staffed Poison Control hotline at 1-888-426-4435. (They charge a nominal fee to your credit card for the immediate response and expert advice that could ultimately save your animal's life.)
nancy E. January 16, 2015
I was joking Pegeen :)
caninechef January 16, 2015
This is not the place to discuss this but I will only add there is a very wide arrray of "expert" opinions about what a proper and natural diet is for dogs. While my dogs are not fed totally raw they eat a good proportion of raw, whole meat and thrive. Dogs digestive systems did not evolve eating cooked cereals from bags. I agree, many human foods, many of which are in commercial dog food are not suitable for animals.
Susan W. January 16, 2015
I have to agree with Caninechef. My dogs have eaten 80% raw for many years and generations. It's always up for debate, but dogs are natural scavengers (as opposed to cats who are hunters). When they are fed a raw food diet, they redevelop the natural enzymes that allow them to safely eat raw foods. Cats as well, but their food needs to be pristine. If you do some research, you'll find a lot of vets are supporting this way of feeding our pets. I could go on and on, but I won't.
nancy E. January 15, 2015
feed it to the cat and wait a bit
Nancy January 16, 2015
LOL. And if the cat dues, hire another food taster.
caninechef January 16, 2015
Actually I did consider suggesting to use to add to dog food if a subject is available. Dog's have amazingly resiliant digestive systems by design and very acid stomachs. Be guided by the particular dogs history, mine are fine eating anything at anytime but some do require more consisancy in their diet.
C G. January 13, 2015
I'm sure a health inspector would say no, but truth be told, I would eat it. :)
Michele January 13, 2015
Why not break it up and fry it and treat it like a sort of chili? I hate to see food wasted.
Susan W. January 13, 2015
The concern is safety here. Breaking it up and frying it would not destroy the nasties that may or may not be present.
Nate D. January 12, 2015
Food Scientist here. Check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer to see what the current temp is. Ovens take time to cool and when you factor in the thickness and type of pan you are using (thick glass is more insulated than an aluminum pan), you might be okay. For E. Coli (your main worry here) the lethal strain (O 157 H7) produces a really nasty toxin that optimally grows at about 95ºF.

I would also recommend cutting through it to see how much has been cooked. Cooking it thoroughly to 160ºF is crucial if you decide to give it the green light. However, since discussion has started, assuming it is still in a holding pattern, your meatloaf has been sitting for about 2.5 hours. Best to throw it away at that point. Best practice is don't risk it. Ground beef is still cheaper than hospital bills and pepto!
Greenstuff January 12, 2015
Here's one USDA link specifying two hours--one hour if the temperature is more than 90 degrees F.

This situation seems different though--Kris's meatloaf started out at 350. It would be interesting to see some info on how long it would have taken for it to fall to 140 and how long it would have been between 40 and 140. Can one of you food service professionals weigh in with some more detail?
Pegeen January 12, 2015
Yes - it would be great for the current food service professionals to weigh in.
Susan W. January 12, 2015
You are so very right about that. I guess I wrongly assumed the oven was turned off very early (meat still cold) because it sat for 90 minutes. I just recently took my yearly food handlers card test and that scenario never came up. Calling them tomorrow.
Greenstuff January 12, 2015
Well, now that I think about it, of course the meatloaf itself would have been between 40 and 140 for that whole hour and a half, above 40 when as it went into the oven and probably never reaching an internal temp of 140, unless Kris has an extremely well-insulated oven. But, still an interesting math problem.

(Welcome to Food52, Kevin Ivey. We're hungry for your expertise.)
Pegeen January 12, 2015
"Search" works pretty much the same under any operating system on any computer. Start your browser, then use the Search box.
Susan W. January 12, 2015
Lol...I have no problems with search. It's copying and pasting links that W8 makes more difficult than W7 or even Vista did.
Susan W. January 12, 2015
According to USDA, the danger window is anything over 2 hours. They are kind of the parents of meat and chicken in this country (USA). You can google if you like.
Kris January 12, 2015
Thank you!
Pegeen January 12, 2015
Would you post the link you read that specifies anything over 2 hours? Thanks!
Susan W. January 12, 2015
If I knew Windows 8.1 better than I do, I would. New laptop. You can google it and choose the USFDA site that will pop up. I just recently looked in regards to another question someone posted. They say it over and over again. There is certainly nothing wrong with being uber cautious. I think USDA is VERY cautious. Lots of good info on their site.
Pegeen January 12, 2015
With all respect, I disagree with Mr. Ivey. Also a food professional (in a past life).

Voted the Best Reply!

Kevin I. January 12, 2015
Yes it is ok, according to all food safety standards you have 4 hours in the "danger zone" between 40 and 140 degrees before food needs to be discarded. So get off the computer and finish baking it.

A 20+ yr foodservice professional
Kris January 12, 2015
Yay!!! thank you!
Pegeen January 12, 2015
Sorry, no. Unless the temperature in that room was under 40 degrees while you were away.

Better to order a pizza than to suffer food sickness. Trust me! :-)
Kris January 12, 2015
Thank you
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