Food Safety Issues/Beef suppli


After a dinner party last Saturday all 6 of us that ate went down with 'flu' on the Monday. I need to know if I have poisoned everyone or if we just all picked up the bug of one of the men who were coughing all night? I cooked a rump steak ragu on the Friday night and kept it in the fridge all night, on the Saturday lunch time I mixed it with couscous and put it back in the fridge. In the evening I turned them into balls and coated in breadcrumbs and put back in fridge ready to fry. After frying I kept them warm in the oven until I served them up ( probably an hour on low heat). Would this have made us ill?

Hi Jane,

How unfortunate that everyone at your dinner party became ill with the same symptoms 2 days later.  

When you say "flu" do you mean respiratory symptoms (coughing, sneezing, body aches, headache, etc) or do you mean vomiting and diarrhea?  If it's the later then it is probably something everyone ate, but if it is the former it is probably from your coughing guest.

With the only thing that is common among the 6 of you is that you were all together at your house for a party, then it is likely that that source of the illness did originate at your house. From the way you describe the handling of of the rump steak ragu it is unlikely that it is the cause of the illness.  Without laboratory analyses of both food and stool samples from you and your guest, there is no way of knowing where you all picked up the source of your illness.

As long as the steak was cooked to at least 155 degrees F (68 C) and then refrigerated so that it came to 41 degrees F (5 C) within 6 hours, and then (as you describe) refrigerated until they were fried to an internal temperature of 165 F (74 C) and then kept warm in the oven at 135 degrees F (57 C) until serving -- then your meat was not the source of the illness.

Were there other foods that all of you consumed?  If so, the source may have been from them as opposed to your meat dish.  Again, without laboratory analysis of the food served it is impossible to say what is the source.

Hope everyone is now on the mend.


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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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