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Old 09-29-2008, 09:38 PM   #1
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Do Potatoes Need To Be Refrigerated After Being Baked?

I have a bad habit of forgetting to take leftover potatoes out of the oven. Are they still good the next day?

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Old 09-29-2008, 10:28 PM   #2
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Technically - if you're talking about just a baked potato the answer is that they should be refrigerated - if you're talking about a baked potato dish with other ingredients then absolutely.

To solve the "out of sight - out of mind" problem next time ... remove all of your spuds from the oven at the same time. Then, when you're cleaning up after the meal they will be there on the counter to remind you to store them away properly.
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:41 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by sydfan View Post
I have a bad habit of forgetting to take leftover potatoes out of the oven. Are they still good the next day?
NO.

Baked potatoes that have not been refirgerated are a potential source of botulism poisoning. This has, unfortunately, been documented.

Don't eat them if they have been sitting out for a long period of time.
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:03 AM   #4
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NO.

Baked potatoes that have not been refirgerated are a potential source of botulism poisoning. This has, unfortunately, been documented.

Don't eat them if they have been sitting out for a long period of time.
Not only that but they also say to cut open leftover whole baked/boiled potatoes so they can cool off faster
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:25 AM   #5
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Not only that but they also say to cut open leftover whole baked/boiled potatoes so they can cool off faster
Okay, now I'm curious. I always refrigerate baked potatoes but since the question came up, a thought occured to me. Why, if the potato isn't refrigerated when you buy them and store them, do they have to be refrigerated after baking if nothing has been added to this same potato? Anyone?
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:31 AM   #6
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Okay, now I'm curious. I always refrigerate baked potatoes but since the question came up, a thought occured to me. Why, if the potato isn't refrigerated when you buy them and store them, do they have to be refrigerated after baking if nothing has been added to this same potato? Anyone?
It's the same thing as why we need to cool pots of soup etc. If the temp stays at a certain level long enough it will breed bacteria.
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:36 AM   #7
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It's the same thing as why we need to cool pots of soup etc. If the temp stays at a certain level long enough it will breed bacteria.
Pots of soup have many different ingredients, many times meat and/or meat broth, so they have to be refrigerated. Not the same thing. A raw potato and a baked potato is still a potato. My question is: why does baking it make it bacteria prone? I'm not sure about the botulism thing. It seems that botulism takes more than that to form.
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:40 AM   #8
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OK, my bad. It's when they are wrapped in foil that they can grow botulism.

Botulism Linked To Baked Potatoes

Here's what the Idaho Potato Commission has to say about refrigerating baked potatoes:

After baking potatoes how many hours can you leave them out at room temperature before you eat them? Is overnight okay at room temperature?
Do not, repeat, do not leave baked potatoes out at room temperature overnight and consume them the next day. This is a food safety issue. The baked potato has a neutral PH factor and can grow microorganisms quite easily. This is especially important if you have wrapped the potatoes in foil (sort of like canning fruits and vegetables and not sealing the jar lid). Potatoes are inexpensive, so toss them or even better, refrigerate and microwave the next day. One of my favorite ways to use up leftover baked potatoes is to make twice stuffed potatoes. Cut the baked potato in half, hollow out the insides and combine the mashed mixture with sour cream, chives, grated cheese and any other favorite herbs. Then add back in to the skin, refrigerate and bake off later. Yummy!
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:53 AM   #9
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I don't think a baked potato is the same as a raw potato anymore than I think a cooked egg is the same as an uncooked egg. There are definite changes that take place by cooking it, which is why it doesn't revert back to its uncooked state.
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Old 09-30-2008, 04:55 PM   #10
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Cooking foods changes the chemical make up of them, often making them digestible or even making nutrients available that wouldn't otherwise be gained if eating them raw.

In the case of the potato we buy from the store, the potato is alive though arguably slowly dying. It acts to preserve itself largely. Once baked the potato is dead, many of its cells ruptured through the steam and the nutrients available to whatever ingests it, including bacteria.

You don't refrigerate a raw potato because the temperature triggers the cells in the potato to convert starch to sugar; it's getting ready to sprout in the spring. This changes the taste and texture of the potato.
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