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Old 04-28-2015, 10:34 AM   #1
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Question Good Chicken Stock - left out overnight!

Yesterday I spent hours simmering organic chicken bones to make a chicken stock. I further reduced the stock to make it more concentrated/gloopy and transferred it to a container - meaning to freeze it when chilled. However, I forgot to do this! It was still beside the sink when I discovered it this afternoon. My kitchen is cool and it is still spring here, i.e. the conditions are not warm/hot.

So, some 24 hours on, I have just placed it in the freezer. 2 questions:-

1. Will it be OK to use or gone bad? (I have lost my sense of smell so don't have that detecting facility)

2. Stock can be kept up to 3 months in the freezer...should I reduce that to 2 months because I have left it out?

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Old 04-28-2015, 10:51 AM   #2
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We've gone over and over this topic; you know you will get a variety of answers. I would throw it out, but others would not. The only way to know for sure if it has gone bad is to eat it and see what happens Bacteria grow fastest between 40F/4C and 140F/60C. If your kitchen is below 60C, it's probably all right.

The guideline regarding freezing for up to three months refers to preserving the quality of the food - i.e., the quality will not be as good after that time. It has no bearing on the safety of the food.
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:18 PM   #3
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Well you have been here a lot longer than myself and I have not seen that this topic has been discussed 'over and over', i.e. surely it matters what food item is being discussed? Chicken STOCK I would think would be safer left out than chicken!

The guideline re. freezing surely HAS to take into account the safety factor as well as the quality of the food else it is a nonsense.

My kitchen must be below 60oc....I am currently in my warm living room and it is still only registering 22oc so 60oc sounds excessively hot!

I welcome other opinions here and will gauge it once I have enough feedback.
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Old 04-28-2015, 01:32 PM   #4
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Just to clarify....

The danger zone is between 40F/4C and 140F/60C. No doubt your kitchen is between those temperatures. That's the ideal temp for bacteria to multiply and no doubt your stock is teeming with the little buggers. Kitchens already have a lot of bacteria in them, no matter how well cleaned and are at a perfect temp for bacteria growth.

"Once they’ve germinated, bacteria multiply quickly in nourishing stock. They can double their numbers every 90 minutes at room temperature, every 15 minutes at body temperature. A single germinated spore can become 1,000 bacteria in a matter of hours, a billion in a few days."

I'd throw it out. Food poisoning is nothing to take lightly.

But there are schools of thought about vigorously boiling it before its eaten. Although this may emulsify the fat in your stock making it cloudy, some food scientists claim its a way to sanitize it. Others do not.

I suggest reading this very good article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/24/di...od-safety.html

With regard to freezing. Guidelines ARE about food quality, not safety. There is nothing unsafe about freezing something and then eating it years later. Freezing inhibits bacterial growth.

this might interest you: 6 Common Myths About Freezing Foods (Page 3) | Eating Well
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Old 04-28-2015, 01:42 PM   #5
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Just to clarify....

The danger zone is between 40F/4C and 140F/60C. No doubt your kitchen is between those temperatures.
Why do you say that my kitchen would be between these temperatures? Did you read my post above (#3) where I said my warm living room registers only 22oC, i.e. my kitchen is not even close to that temp, i.e. cold by comparison.

Yes, yes, I know all about bacteria multiplying. My point is the temperature is UNDER when this would occur. I am familiar with textbook knowledge. However, my conditions do not meet this criteria.

Also, surely boiling the stock (once I intend to use it) would kill the bacteria? (We are talking about LIQUID not a piece of meat here). Indeed, in the freezer link you gave it says:-

"Cooking it to the recommended temperature is the only way to ensure that your food is safe".

I am beginning to detect a difference on this forum between those who abide to science religiously and those that use it more as a guideline but weigh this up in the light of their own circumstances and engage their own rationale too. I am with the latter lot!

So, can anyone else give me the 2 answers as in my original post here? I would appreciate it. Thanks.
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Old 04-28-2015, 02:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by creative View Post
Why do you say that my kitchen would be between these temperatures? Did you read my post above (#3) where I said my warm living room registers only 22oC, i.e. my kitchen is not even close to that temp, i.e. cold by comparison. .

Other than to point out that most kitchens are kept at a temperature above 40 degrees, I give up.
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Old 04-28-2015, 02:35 PM   #7
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Creative, are you saying your kitchen is basically refrigerator cold? If so I'd package it up and freeze it. If it's warmer than a fridge, I'd bring it back up to a boil at least before freezing but frankly I'd still use it as long as no one in your household is immune compromised or at risk, i.e. very young or very old.

And yes, there has been quite a debate over using food left out overnight. Don't remember exactly when but don't think it's been so long that you wouldn't have been a member, maybe you just missed it.
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Old 04-28-2015, 03:16 PM   #8
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You seem to do this often. We discussed this ad nauseam the last time you started a thread about leaving food out. You didn't like the answers you got then so you probably won't like the answers you get now.

I think the same answers still apply.

http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...ern-90913.html
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Old 04-28-2015, 03:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by creative View Post
Why do you say that my kitchen would be between these temperatures? Did you read my post above (#3) where I said my warm living room registers only 22oC, i.e. my kitchen is not even close to that temp, i.e. cold by comparison.


it was between 4 and 40 deg Celsius.


BTW, I'd keep it.
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Old 04-28-2015, 03:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Other than to point out that most kitchens are kept at a temperature above 40 degrees, I give up.
I did describe my kitchen as cool. This is where common sense is valuable i.e. not blindly abiding by the text book. Maybe most kitchens = with usual amounts of cooking, e.g. grilling and baking etc. I said COOL for a reason, notably, I had made the stock and hadn't used the cooker at all until the evening. Then, the only thing I made (i.e. using heat) was a simple chicken risotto i.e. not using either the grill or the oven.
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Old 04-28-2015, 04:03 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Silversage View Post
You seem to do this often. We discussed this ad nauseam the last time you started a thread about leaving food out. You didn't like the answers you got then so you probably won't like the answers you get now.

I think the same answers still apply.

http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...ern-90913.html
Huh? I do this often do I? I have covered a similar theme of this topic just ONCE before, so this hardly constitutes 'often'! Please do not exaggerate!

Also no-one has to discuss anything here "ad nauseam". Yes the thread you give the link to is the ONE other thread I made on food left out overnight - STEW to be specific, i.e. not just a LIQUID which is what this thread is about. Do you see no difference at all? One has meat in it!

You clearly did not read this thread of mine that you quoted since I was polite and thankful (see pages 2 and 3) and came to a decision that was helpful, i.e. based on info provided.

So I suggest you appraise me more accurately before criticising me...especially when you even go to the lengths of providing the link whereby others can verify that I was not ungrateful and that the info proved useful.

The thread went on exploring other people's interests, i.e. concerning cooked rice and immunity. I consider it to be a worthwhile thread therefore.
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Old 04-28-2015, 04:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by medtran49 View Post
Creative, are you saying your kitchen is basically refrigerator cold? If so I'd package it up and freeze it. If it's warmer than a fridge, I'd bring it back up to a boil at least before freezing but frankly I'd still use it as long as no one in your household is immune compromised or at risk, i.e. very young or very old.
See my post #10 page 1...fully answered there. "Most kitchens" is a rough guage and did not apply to my kitchen yesterday....explained in that post. Also if you read the posts before yours you will see that I have had the discussion re. temperatures. My kitchen was definitely nowhere near the required 60oC for bacteria to multiply.

Well it is too late now to bring it back to the boil since I mentioned I put it in the freezer. I fully intend to use it even though I am in my 60s - I shall just boil it. Boiling will kill any bacteria...assuming it was able to multiply in the first place in a cool kitchen.
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Old 04-28-2015, 04:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creative View Post
I did describe my kitchen as cool. This is where common sense is valuable i.e. not blindly abiding by the text book. Maybe most kitchens = with usual amounts of cooking, e.g. grilling and baking etc. I said COOL for a reason, notably, I had made the stock and hadn't used the cooker at all until the evening. Then, the only thing I made (i.e. using heat) was a simple chicken risotto i.e. not using either the grill or the oven.
Your COOL kitchen is not COLD enough to keep bacteria from multiplying. And though boiling it MAY kill the bacteria, it WILL NOT have any effect on the TOXINS that bacteria EXCRETE as a byproduct of reproduction.

Sorry for my error. As jennyema said, bacteria multiply rapidly between 40 and 140 Fahrenheit. You can do the conversion to Celsius. But if you prefer to ignore the guidelines, then I don't understand why you ask for advice.

Hope this helps
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Old 04-28-2015, 04:17 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by creative View Post
My kitchen was definitely nowhere near the required 60oC for bacteria to multiply.
Just to be super clear, for others who might read this thread, bacteria are killed at 140F/60C and above. They multiply rapidly between 40 and 140F.
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Old 04-28-2015, 04:29 PM   #15
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...My kitchen must be below 60oc....I am currently in my warm living room and it is still only registering 22oc so 60oc sounds excessively hot!...
The unsafe temperature range is between 4 Celsius and 60 Celsius. Unless your kitchen is colder than 4 Celsius, your stock was left in an unsafe temperature range all night.

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I did describe my kitchen as cool...
"cool" depends very much on one's own personal comfort level. During the winter, when it's in the teens (Fahrenheit) and the wind is blowing faster than 20 miles an hour, we still set our house thermostat for our furnace at 67 degrees (roughly 19.5 Celsius). We find that "warm enough". 22 Celsius? I am just two Celsius degrees away from eyeing the "air conditioner" switch!
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Old 04-28-2015, 04:29 PM   #16
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Your COOL kitchen is not COLD enough to keep bacteria from multiplying. And though boiling it MAY kill the bacteria, it WILL NOT have any effect on the TOXINS that bacteria EXCRETE as a byproduct of reproduction.

Sorry for my error. As jennyema said, bacteria multiply rapidly between 40 and 140 Fahrenheit. You can do the conversion to Celsius. But if you prefer to ignore the guidelines, then I don't understand why you ask for advice.

Hope this helps
Huh? What's going on? You are now confusing me now ....are you backtracking from your original reply whereby you said "If your kitchen is below 60C, it's probably all right."

That is what I have been basing my responses too.

The guidelines are just that ... GUIDELINES (not commandments!) i.e. allow room for assessment etc. I thought that was obvious.
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Old 04-28-2015, 04:40 PM   #17
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Huh? What's going on? You are now confusing me now ....are you backtracking from your original reply whereby you said "If your kitchen is below 60C, it's probably all right."

That is what I have been basing my responses too.

The guidelines are just that ... GUIDELINES (not commandments!) i.e. allow room for assessment etc. I thought that was obvious.
You call it backtracking - unnecessarily derogatory - and I call it apologizing for an error. Yes. I meant "below 4C."

If you said your kitchen was at 45F - in the danger zone, but barely - I'd say okay, eat it. But to me, that's cold, not cool. Cool is 50s or 60s Fahrenheit. Right in the middle of the danger zone. So you assess and you decide.
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Old 04-28-2015, 04:57 PM   #18
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To reiterate the context.....this is not about leaving meat out to cool but just a liquid i.e. freshly made chicken stock. Chicken stock that was not just simmered but then brought to a rapid boil for some time in order to further reduce it and render it concentrated/gloopy.

The only other detail I forgot to mention - which may be significant - is that I am not talking about a great vat of stock...this long process of making this precious, good quality stock all managed to transfer into an empty plastic carton - the size of a coffee jar!

This is why it strikes me as advantageous and sensible to appraise this alongside the guidelines.

Thanks for those that have helped me make a decision. I have decided it is worth risking (just boiling it when I use it), so no further replies here are necessary.

(Incidentally, I was taking a bigger risk with eating the stew that I left out overnight - my original thread on this topic...the ONLY one other thread I might add! I am still here to tell the tale!)
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Old 04-28-2015, 04:59 PM   #19
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My kitchen's near 90F today. It's been a hot day today and I'm too cheap to turn on the AC.
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Old 04-28-2015, 05:02 PM   #20
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It is time for everyone to calm down. The question has been answered. She put the stock in the freezer. When she goes to use it, bringing it to a gentle boil will destroy any bacteria that may have had the chance to grow.

Cool kitchen, warm kitchen hot kitchen. It no longer matters. The stock is now in the freezer. Question asked and answered.
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