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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I made chili for the game yesterday and DH let it sit out overnight. It was in my crock pot, turned off. I put it in the fridge immediately when I got up at 6:30. I have conflicting responses. Should I toss it or is it safe to keep?

These are my angles:

How does bacteria just "get" into prepared foods? It was sitting, covered on my table. Bacteria should have been killed when I cooked it the first time, right? So, how does it just reappear?

With the amount of tomatoes, any bacteria should be killed anyway (it's like botulism being killed by tomatoes you can from your garden).

If there "would" be any bacteria, wouldn't heating it properly kill it off?

I've already eaten a small bowl of it and feel like I shouldn't have. I feel horrible throwing out all of it.
 

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I would not eat it (especially being pregnant). I always heard at room temp for more then two hours is not good. I don't think the bacteria "get into" the food so much as the conditions are right for them to start growing. My outdoorsy DH would probably eat it. Heck, I have seen that man eat *around* mold on cheese and bread.
 

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Bacteria doesn't just "reappear." Bacteria are living, MOVING organisms, and they're on everything. When you dip your serving spoon into the chili, you're likely to introduce bacteria into the food. The crockpot is not a sealed container, so bacteria can enter it from the outside, through the cracks.

All it takes is one. When food is at a certain temperature for too long...BAM...the bacteria start to multiply.

Personally, I wouldn't eat it. And my first reaction was that if it had been a purely vegetable chili, it would be less dangerous than a meat chili. My husband, who works as a cook, said that I am wrong about that....that vegetables and grains can host scary bacteria at a quicker rate than meats. Especially potatoes and rice.

And no, heating contaminated food doesn't make it safe to eat. The bacteria themselves are not what make you sick....it's the toxins they produce. The toxins are not destroyed by heating.

Anyway, I hope you don't become ill.
 

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DDC crashing from April...

I wouldn't eat it!! Throw it away! It's not worth the risk. I had food poisoning once and it was horrific, I can't imagine having it while pregnant. Even though you cooked it, it wasn't sterile...bacteria is just in the air and the crock pot wasn't totally sealed...

I would still eat it after 3 hours, considering stuff sitting in a crock pot takes awhile to cool. Any longer than that and it's headed to the trash. Two hours is my rule on other perishable food just sitting out on plates, aside from plain noodles or plain rice maybe.
 

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I'd eat it, I'd probably boil it first to kill any bacteria.

In the last two weeks I have eaten the following left out overnight.

Deer steak
Asparagus
New potatoes
Baby Back ribs
spanish rice
half banana
spaghetti with sausage
half apple
split pea soup

But of course my stomach and body are probably used to dealing with most of the bacteria found around my house.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
Bacteria doesn't just "reappear." Bacteria are living, MOVING organisms, and they're on everything. When you dip your serving spoon into the chili, you're likely to introduce bacteria into the food. The crockpot is not a sealed container, so bacteria can enter it from the outside, through the cracks.

All it takes is one. When food is at a certain temperature for too long...BAM...the bacteria start to multiply.

Personally, I wouldn't eat it. And my first reaction was that if it had been a purely vegetable chili, it would be less dangerous than a meat chili. My husband, who works as a cook, said that I am wrong about that....that vegetables and grains can host scary bacteria at a quicker rate than meats. Especially potatoes and rice.

And no, heating contaminated food doesn't make it safe to eat. The bacteria themselves are not what make you sick....it's the toxins they produce. The toxins are not destroyed by heating.

Anyway, I hope you don't become ill.
As far as bacteria "moving", they don't "jump" or "swim". That is what we use in midwifery to explain why infection isn't likely, since bacteria has to be introduced, it doesn't "swim" up your vagina. Since it sat out overnight, I didn't put a spoon back in it, therefore, how could bacteria have been introduced? Bacteria doesn't climb up the sides of the crockpot. That is what I'm getting at.

If something is cooked "properly", it should kill all bacteria (although someone just told me even 160 degrees doesn't kill everything). Even so, from what some folks are saying, including this response, bacteria can be introduced when you stir. Therefore, the food would be "contaminated". Bacteria can also grow in the refrigerator. How would anything be safe to eat, kwim? Fruits and veg can certainly carry bacteria. And lettuce - remember all the recalls for bagged spinach?

I'm not trying to be saucy... And I understand what you are saying. But, what I don't get is how any food can be considered safe, it it can be contaminated from stirring. I ate a small amount and feel guilty. Food poisoning won't hurt the baby, it will just make me sick. I will freeze the majority for my husband and that will be that.

Thanks for all the responses!!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tcooper View Post
As far as bacteria "moving", they don't "jump" or "swim". That is what we use in midwifery to explain why infection isn't likely, since bacteria has to be introduced, it doesn't "swim" up your vagina. Since it sat out overnight, I didn't put a spoon back in it, therefore, how could bacteria have been introduced? Bacteria doesn't climb up the sides of the crockpot. That is what I'm getting at.

If something is cooked "properly", it should kill all bacteria (although someone just told me even 160 degrees doesn't kill everything). Even so, from what some folks are saying, including this response, bacteria can be introduced when you stir. Therefore, the food would be "contaminated". Bacteria can also grow in the refrigerator. How would anything be safe to eat, kwim? Fruits and veg can certainly carry bacteria. And lettuce - remember all the recalls for bagged spinach?

I'm not trying to be saucy... And I understand what you are saying. But, what I don't get is how any food can be considered safe, it it can be contaminated from stirring. I ate a small amount and feel guilty. Food poisoning won't hurt the baby, it will just make me sick. I will freeze the majority for my husband and that will be that.

Thanks for all the responses!!
Food is safe to eat when the majority of the bacteria within the food are killed or removed (via washing). Cooking kills all or the majority of the bacteria, but letting the food sit again at room temperature for a long time allows the possible minority remaining (or the bacteria introduced late in the process and thus not killed during cooking, say via a serving spoon) to start multiplying up to critical mass again.

Most bacteria grow in temperatures between 40F and 140F--many most quickly at/around room temperature. Even a very small number of bacteria can grow up to the numbers needed to cause food poisoning in a few hours at room temperature.

That is why refrigeration is safe for a while: a refrigerator should be set at 40F or below, and the temperature severely retards bacteria growth.
 

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LMAO at the image of bacteria crawling up the sides of your crockpot!! I don't think that they jumped in there either... I think that if it was left out then the conditions are right for them to grow, kwim? Like the small amount that was already in there that our bodies would be able to handle becomes overload and you end up puking for a couple of days.
 

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Don't eat that. (ddcc)

Have you ever seen pictures of how quickly bacteria multiply at room temperature. The double at an alarming rate. Google it. It's gross.

And yes, you can reheat it and kill the bacteria, but you can't kill the toxins, and they definately can make you sick.

Refrigeration, as well as leaving food out for a short time, keeps things in the acceptable level, so it's okay to eat. Longer than that and....google the pictures. You'll see what I mean.
 

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My response was not worded well and was obviously taken wrong. I should have said "movable" rather than "moving." I know that (most) bacteria cannot move on their own. But they can move from one place to another in the wind or other currents, and can of course be transported from place to place via other objects.

Sort of off-topic, but some bacteria CAN swim. Certain strains of E. Coli are able to propel themselves.

OP, I don't know why you would freeze it and save it for someone else to eat if you feel guilty eating it, yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by 2xy View Post

OP, I don't know why you would freeze it and save it for someone else to eat if you feel guilty eating it, yourself.

My husband is a grown man and if he wants to eat it, I'm not going to tell him not to. He said it's fine and has been eating it without incident. There is a LOT of it, so I will freeze it for him to enjoy later. The only reason I feel guilty is because I'm pregnant. If I weren't pregnant, I would be eating it, too.
 

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Not here. I'd throw it out. Lots of stuff grows well at room temp, and you don't want it in your system. Restaurants get major fines or even closed for violations like that.

And the bacteria get in every time you use a serving spoon, or open the lid. They don't have to crawl up the sides (though I LOVE that image!
)
 
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