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Food Safety Issues/Safe to eat pork shoulder roast


I cooked a pork shoulder roadt in a crock pot. I put it in a container but forgot to put it in the refrigerator over night. So it sat on the counter overnight in an air conditioned home. Is it still safe to eat? I want to shred it and then add BBQ sauce and cook it again with the sauce.

Hi Gayle,

Unfortunately, the recommendation is to not take a chance with meats that have been at room temperature over 4 hours.

While the pork shoulder roast may be perfectly fine to eat, it is possible that bacteria could have been present and some have the ability to produce a spore that is not deactivated by future cooking.  You can't tell by taste, smell or looks if a food that has been temperature abused is still safe to consume.  In fact, a food can look great, smell fantastic and taste marvelous and still make you run for the bathroom as soon as 30 minutes after consuming the contaminated food.

I wish that it was as simple as reheating a food that has been temperature abused to make it safe to eat.  But it's not...thus the reommendation to not take a chance and pitch the roast.



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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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