Food Safety Issues/Cooked meat


I cooked pork shoulder in large pot for tamales - pot was still hot so left out over night - 8:00 am the top (looked like the top oil) bubbled - I removed and is ok can I still use or should I throw out

Hi Lisa,

I hate telling you this (as I love pork tamales) but leaving out a potentially hazardous food -- such as meat, poultry, fish, etc) at room temperature overnight is a recipe for food borne poisoning.  The trouble is you can't tell if the pork is still okay to consume.  You can't tell by taste, smell or sight since the bacteria that cause food borne illness give off no signals they are present.  Leaving a potentially hazardous food within the Danger Zone (41 to 135 degrees F) for more than 6 hours is considered the perfect environment for bacterial growth.

What are your chances that the pork is still okay to consume?  Who knows?  You could leave it out 100 times with no problem and then time it makes you ill.  Since you can't tell when that one time is going to be, the recommendation is to not take a chance and pitch the meat.

Sorry....but I do hope you have a Merry Christmas.


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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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