You are here:

Food Safety Issues/Ham/Potato Soup left overnight



Last night I made a slow cooked ham and Potato Soup (no dairy, just condensed chicken soup and spices). The slow cooking process finished about 830 (on high), and I separated it out into containers (unsealed). I forgot about them and woke up at 6 am to find the containers still there. Note, my household temperature goes down to 62 over night.

Safe or not?

Thank you!

Hi Katie,

The rule of thumb is that if a food that requires temperature control to remain safe, then it can only be out in the "Danger Zone" -- 41 to 135 degrees F - for no more than 4 hours.  

Since your soup which contained ham, potatoes and chicken stock -- all foods which require temperature control, were in the Danger Zone for over 4 hours, the recommendation is to not take a chance and pitch the soup.

Unfortunately you can not tell by taste, smell or looks if your soup is still safe to consume.  That's why the recommendation is to pitch foods that require temperature contol if they have been off of the heat or out of refrigeration over 4 hours.



Food Safety Issues

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]