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Old 01-04-2009, 02:40 AM   #1
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Soup Fermentation

Hi,

I just made this awesome soup from the leftover prime rib from New Years Eve dinner. It has carrots, celery, leek, onion, potato, prime rib, and dried soup mix(containing lentils, barley, peas etc.)

I left it on the stove to cool before putting into containers to freeze and keep in the fridge, but while I was out my wife put the lid on the pot. When I got home to pack it up I took the lid off and it was bubbling, so I think it has fermented. I was out maybe 4 hours and it was far too hot to do anything with before I went out.

So the questions. Is it still safe to eat? Is it ruined?

Thanks.

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Old 01-04-2009, 02:53 AM   #2
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Fermented? In 4 hours? I really don't think that's the case. That amount of time is certainly beyond your ideal window, but ... and this will probably draw debate on both sides of the fence ... I don't think it's unsafe. If it was boiling hot, it took an hour at least to cool down, and more if your wife covered it. Technically, food should not be left at room temp more than two hours, so you have an hour at most to question. It's not poultry or seafood, and cooked beef offers a bit more margin ... then there's all that salt in the soup mix.

Way beyond ideal, but I personally wouldn't toss it. I'd use it up ASAP, and I might not serve it to company either! :)
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:01 AM   #3
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I am thinking maybe that is from the beans?? Aren't they releasing gases then? I can't see it boiling if the burner was off and it wasn't still cooking, and I can't see it 'fermenting' that quickly either. What do you mean by bubbling? Fast bubbles like boiling or slow bubbles or just that it had bubbles in it?
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:12 AM   #4
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The bubbles were slow little bubbles coming up from within and on the top.

The soup mix had not salt in it, it was a dried soup, there was some low salt beef stock added, 2 of those Campbells boxes, and some added salt by myself.

I just don't want to kill anyone.

It's all in the freezer now, save for 2 meals worth in the fridge.

Keep the thought coming please.
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:22 AM   #5
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I don't think it will kill anyone, but then I am known for taking chances, LOL! Another thought is that it is just water being released (separating out) from the rest of the soup?? This has happened to me before on thick soups and stews I have made. Also condensation on the lid drips back down and makes it seem like bubbles. The two combined could make it look like fermenting or boil etc.
Personally I would still eat it as well, just re-heat thoroughly before serving, as in back up to 165 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes then serve.
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:31 AM   #6
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Now it's late (early?) and I'm getting punchy so please don't take this wrong, but I don't think Campbells makes a box that is salt-free ... I'd consider yourself preserved!
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:42 AM   #7
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I don't see any danger at all. I'd certainly eat it.
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:04 AM   #8
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Hi,

Sorry, I don't think I said salt free, if I did I didn't mean to, I meant reduced salt.

The bubbles were from the bottom, it was a little fizzy, and there was a different note to the flavour.

Buddy, I am familiar with that stratification which you mentioned, happens whenever I make any heavy dish in the stock pot, this had the added element of the fizzy bubbles, which I have not experienced before, which is why I thought I should ask.

I guess since it won't kill us we will eat it. We will just keep an eye out for any other changes.

Thanks
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:53 PM   #9
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If you don't write back, we'll know what killed you. (just kidding there)

Little story: On another online forum, a guy had found in his freezer, liver labeled 7 years earlier. He announced that he thought it was safe and was going to eat it. I actually did check back on him, to see he did in fact live through eating it.

I would probably eat that soup, and I'd bet the density of the beans and potatoes held the temperature higher for longer than usual.
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:28 PM   #10
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If you don't write back, we'll know what killed you. (just kidding there)

Little story: On another online forum, a guy had found in his freezer, liver labeled 7 years earlier. He announced that he thought it was safe and was going to eat it. I actually did check back on him, to see he did in fact live through eating it.

I would probably eat that soup, and I'd bet the density of the beans and potatoes held the temperature higher for longer than usual.
I was just thinking the same thing, if we never hear from him again then we know not to try it ourselves....
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:11 PM   #11
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Are you people serious?

Soup that is room temperature is NOT supposed to bubble. I have never heard of cooked beans (lentils) releasing gas and bubbling.

What does cause bubbling is BACTERIA. Particularly gas producing bacteria like Clostridium perfringens, a close cousin to Botulism and Gas Gangrene. This bacteria is a spore former and is found commonly in dried rice and dried beans. It causes many food poisonings each year through food that is contaminated with the spores, which survive the cooking process and then vegetate after siting at below 140 degrees for more than 2 hours. This is my best guess what has happened here.

PLEASE DO NOT EAT THIS SOUP!!!
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:20 PM   #12
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We were dead serious...

So, you saying the beans were bad to begin with? Cause this doesn't happen every time I make soups or stews with beans in them. Only sometimes, and on those occasions where it has happened we have eaten it with no apparent ill side effects.

Maybe just lucky....
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:23 PM   #13
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There is no way soup should have gone bad in 4 hours. Did you smell it, did you taste it? Are you sure the stove was off? Something doesn't add up. Unless the meat you used was bad to begin with. But even then it is a strange reaction. Before you decide to eat or not to eat (no pan intended) the soup make sure to put it back in a pot and boil it. Then when it cools down to addible temps. Taste it, smell it, don't just eat or not eat. If it is bad you will taste it, and if it is good you will tasted. Unless of course there is a salmonella or Ebola virus. But I doubt that.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:33 PM   #14
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Charlie, you can not always taste when it is bad. I am with Mozart on this one. It should NOT have been bubbling. It is bad. Get rid of it!
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Maverick2272 View Post
We were dead serious...

So, you saying the beans were bad to begin with? Cause this doesn't happen every time I make soups or stews with beans in them. Only sometimes, and on those occasions where it has happened we have eaten it with no apparent ill side effects.

Maybe just lucky....
It is natural for rice and beans to have spores of clostridium on them as they grow in dirt, which is their natural home. Not all, of course, just not unusual.

It could be fermentation in this case, but then I would think that the 4 hours is off by quite a bit.

The only other option is bacteria, which I know can grow very fast in these conditions. Of course, canned beans are not an issue.

Tasting is not going to help. If it tastes bad (sour) it is fermentation...toss it.

If it tastes OK, then it is probably bacteria..toss it and then your cookies

Unless you are saying that normally beans bubble after cooking. I looked for a reference for this and have not found one, and as I said, have never seen or heard of that before.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:52 PM   #16
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No, I was trying to verify that you were saying if it bubbles then it is bad and there is no other reason for it to bubble. IE if it bubbles it MUST be either fermentation (as verified by sour taste) or bacteria.
Does that make better sense?
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:00 PM   #17
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No, I was trying to verify that you were saying if it bubbles then it is bad and there is no other reason for it to bubble. IE if it bubbles it MUST be either fermentation (as verified by sour taste) or bacteria.
Does that make better sense?
Well that is what I believe, but if someone has a reference that says "beans bubble after cooking because they release gas and it is perfectly harmless," then I would have learned something new. Which is always good
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:16 AM   #18
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Hey I am back! Still ticking.

Well, the soup was bad, something went on it, I don't know if it actually fermented, but something happened. We left it in a container in the fridge for 1 day, and then today went to eat it. We went to microwave it, and as it was going along it started to smell just awful, quite like vomit. Needless to say we tossed it all, including all the frozen stuff, and thankfully kept our cookies. My gut instinct was right on this and am glad I posted.

Now the funny thing is, as soon as I finished making the soup and we had some it was fantastic, and I took at tub of it to my parents, and theirs was still fine today, they were still eating it. They actually got more of it than us! So something happened in that time on the stove as it was cooling, when I was out delivering the hot soup, and doing a few other errands.

I think it was more than fermentation, I think it went off, rancid, or something like a bacteria bloomed in it, which would explain the smell when microwaved.

I did learn a new technique for cooling large stock pots using the frozen bottles of water method, so all was not lost, and no one got sick, just lost about $20 in raw ingredients.

Thanks everyone for your help.
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:21 AM   #19
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Well that is what I believe, but if someone has a reference that says "beans bubble after cooking because they release gas and it is perfectly harmless," then I would have learned something new. Which is always good
I can't find any reference like that either, thought I had heard it before but don't see it anywhere so I am going with what you said, especially since the OP said it turned out to have gone bad already...

I am all for sending my stomach to boldly go where my nose sometimes won't, but I draw the line at that kind of smell coming from the micro!
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:52 PM   #20
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The thread may be old but it did help me understand why my new pot of turkey neck soup went bad I've made this soup many times and did not have an issue until now. It seems that using pearl barley as an ingredient is the cause of the fermentation. I wouldn't eat it and the magpies weren't interested in the soup either. Go figure
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