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Old 04-14-2012, 09:31 AM   #1
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Left-out, sealed garlic in stew

My wife just made a whole beef stew, but I learned that she chopped up the garlic the night before and left it out (on the counter) in a sealed plastic bag. We'd hate to waste a whole stew, but there's quite a bit of garlic and she'll be serving it to a bunch of friends (some pregnant). It's going to be slow cooking for a few hours, and the leftover garlic looks and smells fine, but we want to be sure we're not endangering anyone.

Is this safe or should we throw it out and start over?

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Old 04-14-2012, 09:35 AM   #2
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Did you leave the garlic on the counter or the beef stew on the counter?

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Old 04-14-2012, 09:35 AM   #3
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Sorry, just the garlic. The meat and other vegetables were in the fridge.
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:40 AM   #4
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Should be okay.
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:41 AM   #5
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Garlic should be just fine to use.

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Old 04-14-2012, 09:42 AM   #6
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Even sealed in a plastic bag over night like that? It was only maybe 12 hours, but could that be enough time, and a good enough environment, for botulism to grow?
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:46 AM   #7
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I would think it would be fine. Garlic in its natural papery wrap isn't airtight, and it sits open at the stores and at home.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:56 AM   #8
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CyberSlag5k View Post
Even sealed in a plastic bag over night like that? It was only maybe 12 hours, but could that be enough time, and a good enough environment, for botulism to grow?
The only sauce my Croatian wife will use is chopped garlic and parsley mixed with olive oil the Croatians put it on fish, meat stews and septic boils to draw them, garlic is a natural germ killer.
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:32 PM   #10
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The hazard is the toxin. The toxin is produced under ANAEROBIC conditions. So it's a problem when the spores are left alive and cut off from oxygen, such as in a canned food preparation. The toxin, even if it were to form (which it will not in garlic left out in air), is killed in normal cooking. Botulism is a food concern mainly in improper canning and in the limited case of honey fed to infants. (Which is obviously a rare problem, considering the number of infants who survived their murderous mothers feeding them honey.) Raw garlic preserved in oil is a potential problem. But eat all the raw garlic you want, fresh peeled or left out in a bag. It won't hurt you. Not with botulism, anyway.
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