This thread has been a fun, and educational, read. Food safety has really interested me recently and I've tried to learn as much as I can about proper food handling. I'm doing this mainly for my families survival, you see my in-laws live with us. They are from China and their ways are very different from my ways
It is very typical for them to make a stew, eat a bit and leave the rest in the pot on the stove (no heat) for a couple of days. When they want more, they turn on the flame and bring it to a boil thinking it's safe to eat. The fight starts when they want to feed the stew to my kids (5 and 7 yrs). Just this weekend, they had a bunch of raw chicken legs sitting loosely covered, in their own juice, on a tray in the basement for four days. The basement is about 65 deg. They said since they put salt on them, they are good. I'm not an expert on salt curing but it didn't look like they were following proper procedures
They were shocked when I told them that under no circumstances were the kids to eat them.
My general rule with them is they can eat anything they want, but anything the kids eat has to be handled in what I consider to be a safe manner. Needless to say there are quite a few disagreements in my home. Tradition runs deep. My wife, who has a Masters in Molecular Biology and is a Research Scientist at a major Pharma company, will often side with her parents because it's the food she was raised on. I try to remind her of the many times she told me about when she was a kid she had to go to the hospital because of bad diarrhea, but she can't see the connection.
I guess we all live on the edge a bit. I love my steaks rare and hamburger medium rare, and I eat a lot of raw veggies. My in-laws harass me about that because all their meat is very cooked and they never eat raw veggies. When the E coli spinach thing hit the news, they really let me have it
BTW, I would not have eaten the turkey in the OP. What wasn't mentioned is that not only was it at room temp for 6 hrs, but it would have taken several additional hours in the fridge to get below 40 deg. My father-in-law would have eaten it though. And he'd eat all the leftovers no matter how old they were, he can't throw anything away. And he would wake up the next morning feeling great. I swear that guy's got a cast iron stomach