Food Safety Issues/cooling cooked beans


I cooked 3lbs of garbanzo beans last night then set them on the kitchen counter to cool overnight which was approx. 8 hours.  after I woke up I put them into the refrigerator to cool.  I then made some hummus with some of the beans and noticed there was a sour taste so I started to research online.  Now I'm worried, I probably consumed about 1/2 cup of the beans - will I get sick?

Hi Yvonne,

An off taste is always an indication that food spoilage bacteria has occurred.  While food spoilage bacteria are not unsafe to consume, they may be hiding food borne illness organisms that can make you ill (and these give off no signs that they are present).

Cooked beans that are left at room temperature have a tendency to ferment which can give a sour taste. This is why it is very important to refrigerate cooked beans after preparation, making sure that they cool to 70 degrees F within 2 hours and then down to 41 degrees F within 4 hours.  In other words, the beans should go from the hot cooking temperature to the cold refrigerator temperature within 6 hours.

Chances are good that you will not have any lasting affects from consuming the beans but I would definitely pitch the remaining beans.


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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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