Food Safety Issues/Cooked terrine


Hi there. I cooked a pork and game terrine, until the centre was about 80℃, then removed it from the oven and left it to cool. Intending to cool it for 1.5hrs before refrigerating. I fell asleep, and it spent 5.5 hrs at 11℃ before being refrigerated. Do I need to worry about poisoning anybody?!

Hi Wil,

Unfortunately, a pork and game terrine left at 11 degrees C for 5.5.hours is a recipe for problems with potential food borne illness.  While you cooked the terrine to a high enough temperature to kill any bacteria, leaving it at room temperature for 5.5 hours gave it plenty of time for any pathogens to land on your terrine and multiply.  Some of these have the capability of producing a toxin that is not deactivated by reheating.

You can't tell by sight, smell or taste if a food has been contaminated.  All we know is that if you leave food out that is capable of supporting the growth of harmful bacteria over 4 hours, your chances for problems goes up exponentially.

Now does it happen every time you leave food too long at room temperature?  No....but as I said you can't tell so the best advice is to not take a chance.

Sorry...wish I had better news for you.


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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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