Originally Posted by Claire
Oh, dear; many aren't saying what their room temperature is. In the winter, my kitchen tends to be very cold if I'm not cooking in it at the moment. Cool enough that olive, peanut, and meat fats will actually solidify. So I'm comfortable letting my soups and stews cool over night. I wouldn't dream of doing it in the summer or at any other place I've lived. The hesitation of putting hot pots in the fridge is that it really does heat the fridge up if it is a large amount. Yes, you can ice the pot down in a sink full of cold water and ice. But sometimes just pouring your soup/stew/chili into another container will cool it enough.
Often, what I do is to serve myself from the pot a few hours before serving it to my guests. I've never had food poisoning from anything I've cooked, neither have any of my guests, and trust me, I've fed masses of people since I learned to cook in my teens. I taste long-cooking foods early, and if I wind up in the hospital, the dinner party's over anyway. It's never happened.
Couldn't agree more. I worked in the field (I'm a Land Surveyor) for about 11 years, outside in 90-100+ degree days and would keep my food in a cold lunchbox while some people I worked with would leave theirs sit on the dashboard, slowly getting warm ... and never out of the danger zone. Something people don't realize about food poisoning doesn't have to be fatal or violent retching. It can be as simple as a stomach ache, diarrhea, or headaches. So every time you eat something that is in the danger zone and have to hit the toilet a few more times than normal ... it's quite likely you had a mild case of one of the many food poisonings.