Food Safety Issues/corned beef


I forgot and left my corned beef package out for a full day is ir still eatable

Hi Carol,

I wish there was a definitive answer to your question, but unfortunatley there isn't.  Foods that are known to carry and support the growth of harmful bacteria (including meats, fish, dairy, etc) when left in the Danger Zone - 41 to 135 degrees F - can become harmful and make you ill.  The problem is you can't tell by sight, smell or taste if harmful bacteria are present. So the only tool we can use is if the food has been in the Danger Zone for over 4 hours, the possibility for bacterial growth increases to a level that could make you ill.

Now I can just hear you saying..."but if I just cook the corned beef...won't that make it safe?"  Oh I wish it were that simple.  Some bacteria have the capability of producing a toxic waste product while it is growing the is not destroyed by cooking.  Thus cooking a food that has been temperature abused does not make it automatically safe to consume.

Does food become unsafe everytime?  Who knows!!!!  You could leave a corned beef at room temperature for a day 100 times, cook it and nothing happens.  Then the next time, it could have you running for the bathroom within 30 minutes after eating it.  Thus the recommendation is to not take a chance and pitch the meat.



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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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