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Old 02-20-2008, 08:28 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Cathinfo View Post
We bought some chicken thighs the other day -- the expiration date was "Feb 23" and today is the 19th.

We had them in the back of our car while I went to another grocery store (about 15 minutes) and it took another 10 minutes to get home. The car wasn't toasty warm, but it wasn't a cold day either. It was about 50 degrees that night (we're in Texas).

It was in the fridge for a total of 72 hours -- closest to the door on the top shelf.

When we went to make the dish this evening, it smelled like sulfur. My instincts say that it was spoiled, and that we should toss it.

It was the last ingredient, so we threw it in anyhow. We didn't rinse it first -- I just learned tonight that I should have.

Anyhow, what do you think? I'm wondering if cooking it will kill whatever bacteria have multiplied on this chicken. Am I risking my health, getting sick, etc.?

It's cooking right now in the crock pot, and it has another 10 hours to cook overnight.

What would you do?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

Matthew
I would have thrown it out. Sulfur smell is clearly a result of bacterial action. Whether the bacteria is pathogenic or not (disease causing) is another story.

Frankly, and this may not be popular here, properly cooking chicken eliminates the risk of getting Salmonella from the food itself. Salmonella organisms have to be ingested alive, have to move past the acid barrier in the stomach to the intestines in order to produce symptoms.

These bacteria will not survive cooking above 165 degrees F or so. Most Salmonella is transmitted through cross contamination, where the bird comes in contact with an inanimate object ( cutting board) or hands and then is transferred to something else that is put in your mouth ( a raw vegetable or again, your hands)

Slow cookers, if operating properly, will kill all the bacteria given enough time. Don't taste the stew half way through the cooking, however, as bacteria may have significantly increased in those first few hours.
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:33 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by mozart View Post
Slow cookers, if operating properly, will kill all the bacteria given enough time. Don't taste the stew half way through the cooking, however, as bacteria may have significantly increased in those first few hours.
Indeed, it will for a protracted length of time act as an ideal incubator for such bacteria.
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Old 02-20-2008, 09:11 AM   #13
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I do not rinse. I take the chicken right out of the package and use it as is. The one exception is if I see any solid matter that rinsing would remove.

Think about it this way. It you handled raw chicken and then just rinsed your hands under water would your hands be any cleaner than before you rinsed? They may not have sticky goo on them, but as far as being clean, would you then feel safe putting your hands in your mouth?

There is a lot of debate about rinsing/not rinsing. People who rinse say that if you ever saw the way chickens were processes then you would rinse. People who don't rinse say that rinsing will not get rid of those gross things anyway. It will just remove the visual appearance of them.
All good points. Thank you.
I guess I rinse just because the recipe calls for it. It always seemed like rinsing the blood out of the cavity was the right thing to do before sticking a beer can up its butt.... Although I suppose it's more visual than anything.
And... my old butcher used to say if I had a funny smelling piece of chicken (just a little off), that rinsing would remove surface bacteria.

It's always seemed to me that cooking would kill anything as long as you were starting with fresh parts. I guess I just got in the habit, but like I said, I always hated that part.

On to read what YT and Mozart have to say
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Old 02-20-2008, 09:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
It's always seemed to me that cooking would kill anything as long as you were starting with fresh parts.
that`s applicable to the Living organisms yes, Not so for any Toxins that may be produced as a result though
Or for certain proteins such as Prions.
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:51 AM   #15
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And just a note, when you do put raw meat in your refrigerator, it should always be in the main part of the fridge and on the lowest shelf. The door is the warmest part of the fridge because you are opening and closing the door. The top shelf in the main part of the fridge is second because any warmth in the fridge will rise.

Yes, I would have tossed it out too. Your health is worth far more than the price you paid for the chicken.
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:57 AM   #16
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We had a rule of thumb in a store where I worked. As soon as someone asked "should I throw this out" due to any sort of concern, the automatic answer was "yes." If there is enough concern that you have to ask the question, then that's enough concern not to risk your health. People die from stuff like this.

And I'm not encouraged by the fact that you still only have one post -- please log back on and tell us you are OK!
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:04 AM   #17
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Why am I the only one who thinks "take it back" rather than toss it. If you are 4-5 days short of your expiration date and it smells funny there's no way to know if you did it or it was bad in the first place. Less than a half hour in on a 50 degree day shouldn't have spoiled the chicken. Around here it takes a half hour for most people to get home from the grocery because of the traffic and just the whole "country" living thing. You don't know what could have happened but I sure wouldn't toss it, I'd take it back to the store because there's just very little chance that half hour it took you to transport it home made it go bad.

No, I wouldn't eat it, but I wouldn't just toss it. I'd definitely take it back for a refund or exchange. Our grocery doubles your money if their meat is bad.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:05 AM   #18
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And just a note, when you do put raw meat in your refrigerator, it should always be in the main part of the fridge and on the lowest shelf.
I'm not entirely sure about that. My refrigerator has a meat drawer that it right in the middle. I always figured it had a direct duct from the freezer, but really have no idea and never checked it with a thermometer.

That said, I keep cheese and lunchmeat in there, not that I buy much lunchmeat anymore , but when I do, it goes in that drawer. And I put the meat from the grocery store on a bottom shelf. Moreso because I buy family packs and it wouldn't fit in that drawer anyway.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:06 AM   #19
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And just a note, when you do put raw meat in your refrigerator, it should always be in the main part of the fridge and on the lowest shelf. The door is the warmest part of the fridge because you are opening and closing the door. The top shelf in the main part of the fridge is second because any warmth in the fridge will rise.

Yes, I would have tossed it out too. Your health is worth far more than the price you paid for the chicken.
This seems almost opposite to my fridge. I put all my meat on the top shelf because it's close to the freezer and is the coldest part. Believe me, I've frozen more than my share of cream cheese putting it on that shelf. I've never frozen anything on the bottom shelf.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:09 AM   #20
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simple principal, Heat Rises because it is less dense than cold air.

think Hot-Air balloon ;)
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