food left out

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by thegroove, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. thegroove

    thegroove Guest

    The other day I left out some deer sausage overnight, it was frozen when i left it on the counter and wrapped in plastic / butcher paper. If I cook it thoroughly can I still eat it? My roommates claim it has gone "bad" now. :mad: This would be useful knowledge in case power goes out and food starts going bad.
  2. live2offroad

    live2offroad Member

    My .02

    There are a number of variables but I'd say smell it. It's been covered and started out frozen, so unless it smells off, I'd say rinse it off, cook it and enjoy. We are a nation way to afraid of "bad Food". Folks ate, and well, for a looong time before the refrigeration age. Just use a little common sense, if it smells bad (and it's not supposed to) don't eat it..


  3. billythekid

    billythekid Guest

    I have left out sausage and ate them the next day (after pan-frying to a rediculous blackish color)
  4. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    Sausage was originally made to PRESERVE the meat/food for later consumpsion.

    Modern versions of 'Sausage' doesn't have the cooked or smoked, or salted preservation that earlier sausage did, but it takes quite a while to go 'Bad'...

    If it was frozen when you laid it out, you should be safe.
    'Deer' or 'Beef' sausage won't have the problems 'Pork', 'Bear', or any kind of Pickerel animal would have uncooked, so again, you should be safe.

    I have Deer made into 'Summer Sausage' and I don't refrigerate it at all, just seal it up in vacuum bags and hang it in the Cellar, but I DO use the old time recipes where the meat is salted and smoked before it's tubed.
  5. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    Standard "survival" instinct should take over when it comes to food. Meat will take on a scent that is normally repulsive to our senses. If the meat is still good, your stomach will tell you on the first sniff. If something feels wrong when you sniff, it is borderline good - cook very well.

    If you feel like you are going to puke when you sniff-test the meat - toss it into the fire-pit and char it. Once the fire cools down, throw the char'd meat out with the ashes.
  6. Ebin

    Ebin Guest

    Great advice Naekid! I couldn't have put it better myself, actually.
  7. Lucy

    Lucy Well-Known Member

    I know this thread is old, but no food left out at room temps. for more than 2 hours is safe to eat. Bacteria multiplies so fast. It will multiply in the food every 15 min. or so. If you take something with a bacteria count of 100, for example, in 15 min. there will be ten times that much !
    You can't see the bacteria or smell it for it to give you salmonella, listeria, any of those fun things. You can wind up in the bathroom for days or in the hospital. It can take even several weeks until you get sick from a food. It can lay in your system that long.
    By the time you see any signs of spoilage it is WAY bad.
  8. jebrown

    jebrown jebrown

    If the meat was frozen, it would have to thaw and come to room temperature for two hours before bacteria can start to grow.
    Two hours is a guideline determined by ambient temperatures. The warmer the room the quicker it will spoil. Lower room temperaturews will allow it to take longer for bacteria to grow.
    Smell it. If it wreaks throw it out. If it has an odor but not too strong in realtionship to it if it is refrigerator cold, cook it done, then smell it again. If it doesn't have strong odor, taste it but do not swallow. If it tastes ok, then it is safe to eat.
    I have been advised and edcuated in this area time and again for mass Care and Sheter Operations with the Red Cross as well as a professional cook.
    This is an area of great concern in a feeding operation during a disaster. You can receive a lot of donated meat in various conditions of refrigeration and freezing.
    If you are ever in doubt, take no chances on your health and that of others and throw it out.
  9. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

    If it was frozen solid it probably took most of the night for the sausage to thaw out so I'd say it was safe to eat that morning for breakfast.

    Sausage and other types of ground meat are the most likely to cause illness. The reason why is that if you have a normal piece of meat the only part of it that is exposed to air and bacteria is the surface. You can carve off the exterior and the meat underneath will not have been exposed to the air.

    In fact some of the best tasting meat is dry or wet aged for a month or more. The most common method is dry aging. I've had thirty day dry aged organic strip loin and it's the best thing on the planet. I get mine here:


    Of course the aging has to be done in the proper fashion. Not just letting things sit on the counter.

    Ground meats are dangerous because you are adding small pockets of air and bacteria into the meat and then letting it sit. That's why undercooked ground beef kills so many people each year. Pockets of air and bacteria mixed into a pile of meat and left to sit.

    Get a thermometer and test the temperature if you're worried. Ecoli bacteria dies at 70 degrees C so I cook all meats in my home to 71 degrees C to make my wife happy. She won't eat meat otherwise.

    I have this thermometer: (Mine is metric because I'm Canadian)


    I wouldn't cook without one.

    If you're really scared just boil the sausage until it reaches 100 degrees C.

    If anything smells bad or looks bad don't eat it.

  10. Lucy

    Lucy Well-Known Member

    The surface of the meat would thaw and start to grow bacteria. Any ground meat will grow bacteria faster due to the many surface areas, as opposed to a solid piece of meat.
    I also use the Thermopen. Love it ! Worth the money, I feel.
  11. dukman

    dukman Greenhorn

    The problem with society today is that so many people are germophobes.. Millions of dollars are made each year, and Millions of pounds of foodstuffs are thrown out each year over this fear. Not all germs are bad. A lot of germs are killed off when cooked thoroughly. The only way our bodies, and those of our children and their children, is through some exposure. Our bodies are amazing things that when healthy can overcome most infections.

    My dad has forgot about food he had thawing out, and come the next morning realized what he had done. He had no problem frying it up and serving it to us as kids. We never got sick from it. There is a reason that health professionals warn against UNDER cooked meat. It is the same reason when you watch Survivorman, he makes sure the squirrel or whatever is cooked thoroughly. It is the same reason are ancestors invented fire. As long as you cook it hot enough, the food is still good to eat.
  12. MaryV

    MaryV Well-Known Member

    i agree dukman,
    my mother grew up in a log cabin and they never had a fridge. the leftover stew was put in the pantry and eaten the next day. no one ever got sick.
    while I am careful with meat, I dont worry a whole lot. I leave hamburger on the counter to thaw for hours, then I cook it and eat it.
  13. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

    Depending on how old you are the meats of you parents generation we're probably far different from what you get today. We now have factory farms and massive processing plants making the meat. It passes through many machines and shipping areas before it gets to your local store. Then it is unpacked and handled some more before sitting around waiting for you to buy it.

    In Canada Maple Leaf foods did a massive recall after one of their plants produced a bunch of lunch meat that killed about a dozen or more people. If I was eating meat from a farm or a small butcher that has a local source I'd be more casual.

    Commercial meat is pretty scary stuff.
  14. Lucy

    Lucy Well-Known Member

    We know for sure meats are not the same. When you get pork or chicken, it will say it has added salts and water, etc. Plus, who would have ever thought we would get mad cow disease ? They kill off sick cows and then sell it to us. They feed them things that cows were never meant to eat. Sheesh, when did beef become carnivores ?
    Then, the meats are irradiated to help kill of bacteria. If meats were done properly, you shouldn't have to irradite the meats. They should be wholesome to begin with.
    So, I do feel that since we live in a different environment than years gone by, that just cooking the foods isn't always enough.
    I can agree to a certain degree about being germaphobic, but we just are not dealing with the same conditions anymore. I don't take chances with my family, not willingly if I suspect something is unsafe. I don't purposely tempt fate.
    The hospital and doctor bills, plus being sick is not worth it to me. I would rather toss a bit of food instead.
  15. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    For the survivalist, building a tolerance to bad bacteria might be the better route to take. One of my friends has been "poisoned" by e.coli for the majority of his growing-up years. He tells me that it was in the water that he drank from the well in his backyard. He was never "sick" from it - he built up a tolerance to it.

    His parents never realized that there was e.coli in the water till some cousins came to visit - and - got very sick. It was then that they tested the waters and found what was described as "massive amounts of e.coli" in the well.

    He was telling me this weekend about how he went to a restaurant with another friend and they both ordered the same dish on Friday (two weeks ago). After eating they parted ways and my friend showed up at work Monday morning - just fine. His friend didn't show up at work - he was in the hospital for food poisoning.

    In this case, my friend had a small stomach ache - nothing to complain about - his friend was dying.

    I would personally take a few small hits with e.coli and feel sick from time to time and build up tolerance than be stuck in the hospital.
  16. jebrown

    jebrown jebrown

    You are right about building up immunity to bacteria. That is why they inject us with dead flu bugs and call it a vaccine.
    Kids who are allowed to play outside and get dirty build up natural immunities. Kids who are overly protected by thier mothers are the ones with no immunities and get sick all of the time. This point was proven by several studies done back in the late 60's and early 70's.
    It is true people are overly scared aboout food poisoning.
    I have seen people reluctant to eat food or flat refuse to eat food in a disaster shelter because the food had set out for a longer time than they though safe. Even had food safety peolpe advise that is was not safe to eat. No one ever got food poisoning in any shelter that I am aware of.
  17. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

    Since I have the choice to be well prepared I'm going to stay away from any contaminated or bad food and water. However, I do agree that immunity is a good thing. I've been meaning to get my Hep A & B vaccinations for a while now and have not had the time to go to the doctor to get it done.
  18. Expeditioner

    Expeditioner Well-Known Member

    Why risk eating the bad food? A lot has to do with the amount of bacteria (colonies) that is present on the food. Throw it away.
  19. Lucy

    Lucy Well-Known Member

    I really don't understand taking a risk with food poisoning. Why do it and wind up sick and possibly in the hospital over a little food ? The cost in the long run, not to mention the awfulness of being sick is more than the food.
    I got my flu shot, a pnuemonia shot, and a shingles vaccine, and am current on my tetnus shot. I sure don't want to get shingles after seeing and hearing from those inflicted. I hear it a terribly painful disease. The death rate from pnuemonia is higher than I thought, so decided to get that vaccine, too. Lasts for 10 years.
  20. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    Eating cheese that is just starting to spot (mold) is still good to eat - cut off the spores and chow-down. It won't kill you - it can make your system stronger.

    Who cares if bread is just starting to go because you left it out on the counter - flip it into the toaster and spread some homemade jam over it.

    How about sandwich meats - again - eat till its all gone. Don't worry if its been in the fridge for a week - it won't kill you. If you find that you are starting to feel sick from eating it, then think about tossing it out. The more natural resistance to sickness that you can build up, the better it is for you.

    I don't believe in having shots for "this-that-and-that-other-thing" .. hang out at the local school - you will catch everything going around. As long as you are healthy at the start and not stressed out - the sickness won't take full-hold of you and your body will create the natural immunity to it.

    Go ahead - let yourself get sick from time to time. It might be annoying. Don't worry about it - fight it as naturally as possible.