Food Safety Issues/pulled pork


I had cooked the roast, pulled it and put it in a bag in the freezer.  I took it out to thaw, it was frozen solid.  I forgot it and didn't put it into the frig. I got up the next morning it was thawed and still cold.  I put it in the frig and I am not sure if it safe to eat?  I took it out of the freezer about 8:00p.m. and put it back in the frig about 7:00  a.m.


Hi Cheryl,

Unfortunately, there is no way to tell by sight, smell or taste if your cooked meat is still safe to consume.

What we do know is that the chances for foodborne illness increase when food that is capable of supporting the growth of harmful bacteria is left in the "Danger Zone" - 41 to 135 degrees F - for over 4 hours. While your meat was frozen, it slowly thawed overnight with your kitchen temperature probably in the 68-75 degree range --right smack in the middle of the "Danger Zone"  The outside of the meat thawed first and by all likelyhood was room temperature when you found it at 7 am, while the middle was still cold. If any harmful bacteria were present, this 11 hour time at room temperature would be enough time for them to wake up from their frozen sleep and start mulitplying.  

While reheating the meat would kill any live bacteria that may be present, some bacteria have the capability of producing a waste product during growth that is toxic and not destroyed by heat.  Thus heating a food that has been temperature abused is not a 100% guarantee that the food is now safe to consume.  The recommendation is to not reheat or consume meat that has been at room temperture 11 hours.



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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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