I left the fridge door ajar at about 11:00 p.m. last night. When I awoke this morning at 6:00 a.m., the temperature inside was 60 degrees. Should I throw away all contents or is it safe?
Most food held above 4ºC /40ºF for more than 2 hours should be discarded. This includes meat, poultry, seafood, hot dogs, luncheon meats, pizza, soft cheese, shredded cheease, low fat cheese, milk, yogourt, eggs, cut-up fresh fruit, fish sauces, hoisin sauce, opened creamy based dressings and spaghetti sauce, cooked pasta, fresh pasta, cream filled pastry, pre-cut, pre-washed packaged greens, cooked vegetables, opened vegetable juices. Opened mayonnaise, tartar sauce and horseradish should be discarded if held above 10ºC /50ºF for more than 8 hours. It's safe to keep hard cheeses, processed cheeses, can or jar of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, butter, margarine, opened fruit juice, opened canned fruits, fresh and dried fruit, open bottles of vinegar-based dressings, bread and rolls, fruit pies, raw vegetables.
I cooked salmon patties last night for supper with eggs in them. I left them on the counter all night (approx. 6 hours). It was approx. 70ºF in the house from the air conditioning. I wanted to bring them to work in my lunch and my wife said no. What do you think?
Your wife values you – do not eat the salmon patties! Perishable foods need to be refrigerated within 1 to 2 hours. Pathogens and microorganisms that cause foodborne illness and food spoilage can multiply rapidly within a temperature zone of 4C (40F) to 60C (140F). Reheating of the food will not make it safe, and you may not be able to tell if the food is safe by smelling or looking at it. If in doubt, throw it out!
I just finished baking a cherry pie, using canned cherries. I'm not sure how long to leave it out before putting it in the refrigerator. It's been out of the oven about 40 minutes, but still feels pretty hot. I was worried if I put it in the refrigerator too soon the crust would become soggy.
Because of the sugar and acid content, a cherry pie can actually be stored, covered, at room temperature one to two days or in the fridge for seven days. So it can be cooled completely before putting in the fridge.
I am going on a camping trip and would like to take some fresh vegetables along. I was wondering if I vacuum packaged clean green beans and carrots would they last longer than non-vacuumed? I have no means of refrigeration.
No, vacuum packed unrefrigerated fresh vegeatbles will not last longer. Vacuum packaging is not a food preservation method like canning. Fresh foods, like vegetables, still need to be refrigerated when vacuum packed. But they'll last longer in the fridge. Once vacuum-packed packages are opened, the product's storage life is now the same as if it were a fresh product. Canadian Food Inspection Agency has an excellent brochure on picknicing, hiking and camping – food safety tips: 'Picknicing, Hiking, and Camping - Food Safety"
I made salsa from a fresh salsa recipe, which did not require cooking or vinegar. My friend suggested I can the salsa, although I had never canned anything before. I canned the salsa just as I had prepared it, except that I cooked it. Is it possible that the bacteria may have already started growing? Does freezing make it safe? Should I throw this batch out just for safe measure?
I recommend that you throw out this batch of salsa. If the mixture is low acid and you have sealed the jars and not properly heat processed - using a pressure canner - the product will not be safe. For a recipe for salsa that can be safely canned, and safe canning methods, check out the following web sites: www.homecanning.ca; you may also wish to read CFIA Fact sheet on Botulism.
- i took a package of chicken legs out of the freezer and it was rock hard frozen. I placed it on the counter to thaw and forgot it over night. it sat for about 13 hours. when i got to it it was completely thawed to room temp. should i throw it out or is it okay to cook?
- The chicken legs should be thrown out. perishable foods should not be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours (One hour during summer). In your case, 13 hours is enough time for harmful bacteria to grow in large number and have potential to cause food poisoning. Thawing foods should always be done in the refrigerator and forget about it overnight, using cold water in the sink and changing it every 45 minutes or using a microwave where once thawed, the food would need to be cooked immediately.
- How long can cooked chicken be kept out? We had cooked chicken in the fridge, then my daughter left it out overnight. How about butter, can it be left on the counter, or should it be in the fridge between use? Thanks.
- If cooked chicken is left on the counter at room temperature longer than one hour ( two hours in the winter) it should be discarded. There is an increased risk it will be contaminated with harmful bacteria. To preserve quality, butter should be kept in the refrigerator between uses.
- I left some cooked black beans and tomatoes in a room temperature crock pot all night. How long will beans and tomatoes last at room temperature?
- Cooked legumes should not be left at room temperature longer than one hour (two hours in the winter). Once they are cooked they provide an ideal environment for harmful bacteria to multiply. After cooking they must be refrigerated.
- I cooked for a party and stored my food in the refridgerator. Over night the temp went up to 60 degrees the containers were cool so now I'm worried. what should i do? The food consisted of sausage and peppers and eggplant parmesan.
- I hope you didn't serve that food! Because it was stored above 4 C/40 F for more than one hour, there was a good chance it would contain enough harmful bacteria to cause food borne illness.
- My husband bought eggs at 4:30 p.m. yesterday, and forgot them in the car until 10:30 a.m. The temperature ranged from 25 celsius to 15 celsius. Are they safe to eat? Thank you.
- When eggs are left at temperatures above 4 celsius for longer than one hour (two hours in the winter), they should be discarded.
- Cheese fell out of grocery bag into truck and I didn't notice until 24 hours. Car was in sun. Cheese is 1 lb, medium cheddar, 9g-Fat,180mg-Sodium,7g protein per serving. My husband thinks it's okay to use. It got very hot and is very slightly out of shape in the tightly sealed wrapper. There was no oil on outside of wrapper when I found it. Is it safe ?
- Throw your cheese away! Cheese should be refrigerated as soon as possible after purchase to prevent loss of quality and the possible growth of mould and bacteria.
- I cooked green beans last night with salty bacon in it.They finished about 9:00 pm and I accidently left them out until 8:00 am this morning.I wanted to know if they are safe to eat. Thank you, Tim
- Throw those green beans away! Once vegetables are cooked they become the ideal environment for the development of harmful bacteria. So, they should be stored in the fridge within one hour.
- I left a bag of frozen, vacuum packed halibut on the counter over night. There is about 10 packages in total. Is it safe to eat?
- No, it is not safe to eat as it may be contaminated with harmful bacteria. Fish should never be left or thawed at room temperature as it promotes the growth of harmful bacteria on the fish.
- I forgot my chicken broth on the counter all night long (approximately 7 hours). It was boiling hot when I went to bed and still tempered when I woke up. Can I recuperate it for my soup or is it definitely good for the garbage? Thanks!
- Sorry, I recommend discarding the soup. It had been left in the danger zone temperature for more than 2 hours.
- Cooking spaghetti sauce which contains ground beef in it, can it sit on the element after turned off, to marinate the flavors for few hours?
- No, once the spaghetti sauce is cooked it should be served immediately or divided into smaller containers so it cools quickly in the refrigerator. Flavours are developed as the sauce simmers on the stove.
- My friend leaves yogurt on the bench overnight to give to her young son the next day, as she insists that cold yogurt will give him a sore throat. I think this is dangerous, who's right?
- It is unsafe to leave the yogurt out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours. If your friend insists that it has to be a room temperature for her son to eat, then she only need to take it out of the fridge, 15 to 20 minutes before it is eaten.
- have you ever taken a college level course in microbiology? some of the things you have mentioned regarding food storage (e.g. leaving a food out for no more than 2 hours) don't seem to make much sense from the viewpoint of the needed time to grow a culture of bacteria that would be of enough size to be harmful to an adult. do you have any real scientists that make these assessments or are they just the recommendations of various food associations, or something else?
- Despite her appearance, the information provided by Mrs. Cookwell is science based. The questions are actually answered by food microbiologists with Health Canada and by home economists who have taken college level food microbiology recently.
In Canada, it is estimated that between 11 and 13 million Canadians suffer from foodborne illnesses every year and most of those foodborne illnesses take place at home where food is improperly handled. Thawing frozen foods at room temperature for hours, cross-contamination between raw food and cooked food or raw food and ready-to-eat food, lack or proper hand washing and lack of sanitation in the kitchen as well as cooking food at improper temperatures without using a food thermometer are all daily practices taking places at home thus increasing the risk of food poisoning. The governments and the industry play an important role in Food Safety but ultimately, the consumer has their responsibilities too when it comes to Food Safety. This is where Mrs. Cookwell comes to the rescue with her four key messages: Clean, Separate, Chill and Cook. It is all part of her consumer education program and Health Canada is well in favour of that program.
The two hours maximum time where perishable foods needs to be refrigerated is the time needed for a bacteria to get comfortable to that ambient temperature. It is usually called the recovery time. After that two hours, if the food is not refrigerated, the bacterial growth takes place rapidly and in an exponential way. At that time, a single cell of microorganism can double itself every 20 minutes. So if you have 200 bacteria in a given food at 2 hours, an hour later you will have 1600 bacteria and two hours later you will have 12,800 bacteria. During that exponential growth, some bacteria have the capacity to produce toxins that are not destroyed by cooking or heating and can make you very sick. And if you are a young child, and elderly, a pregnant woman or a immunocompromised individual, it doesn't take that much to make you very sick or to kill you.
Contrary to other microorganisms, it is well established that Listeria monocytogenes keeps on growing in foods stored at a refrigerated temperature of 4 degrees C / 40 degrees F. To a pregnant woman, Listeria could lead to stillbirth of the foetus, spontaneous abortion or cause health problems to the newborn child. Other microorganisms such as some species of Salmonella are known to be extremely virulent and E. coli O157:H7 could lead to death in young children, the elderly and the immunocompromised.
- I made chicken soup stock last evening. At 9pm I put it outside to cool before refrigerating it. It was about 11 degrees celcius outside. Then I forgot to bring it in overnight. The overnight temperatures ranged from 7-10 degrees celcius. First thing in the morning around 7:45am I put it in the fridge. I will keep it there until I find out what to do with it. Can I reheat it and then cool it again or just use it as is? Please help. Thanks.
- Do not consume the stock. It has been left in the danger zone for more than two hours. Even though the outside temperature was cooler it was still above refrigeration temperatue of 4ºC. In the future, as soon as the stock has finished cooking, put into smaller containers and put in the fridge or freezer right away.
- Is it ok, to drink a pop after it has been sitting outside of the refrigerator unopened for a few days? I am 40. Is it ok for me? Now how about for my 5 year old son? Thank you. Bob Dornbusch
- Soda pop is sold unrefrigerated in your grocery store and refrigeration is only recommended once the product has been opened. Check the best before or use by dates on the bottle/can to ensure its quality. Refrigeration slows mold growth that may occur in pop once it has been opened. Sodas are generally consumed cold because of consumer's personal choice. There is no food safety issue here. Go ahead and enjoy your pop, both of you!