Food Safety Issues/food spoilage in cooler


Food from fridge put in Coleman 6 in. X 11 in. (interior dimensions) hard plastic cooler at 8:15 am on mostly cloudy day (sun came out for about 1 hr.).  Cooler was left inside truck for about 1 hr and half.  The rest of the time we were traveling with air conditioner on.  Delivered soup (2 qt. containers) to sick person at 12:15 pm and put in her refrigerator.  Don't have appliance thermometer.  When food was taken out at sick person's house, the 3 ice packs were still frozen which had been placed on top of the soup and the soup in the containers felt cold.  Should I call her and say throw it out since I didn't check temperature and the food was in the cooler for 4 hours?

Hi Patricia,

No -- the soup should be safe to consume.  Since you started out cold from the refrigerator and put it in a cooler with ice packs which remained frozen the entire time, and the product probably stayed at refrigerator temperature the entire time.

You are a true friend who takes soup to the sick.  And you packed the soup properly, trying to keep it as cold as possible during the trip.


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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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