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Why is it dangerous to eat meat which has been left out and then cooked?

Around 3pm I took out steak to thaw, the steak was wrap in foil and plastic wrap and i stuck it in the oven! i found i forgot it this morning! we all know that when you buy pre pkg steak, it doen't carry the best looking shade of red we like but hey what can you do, i found it this morning, the steak has no smell but it has some grey color to it and it looks like it started to cook you know if you take a steak and rinse it under hot water it will start to cook, so would it still be good to use

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There is a litany of similar food safety questions on this site. Here is just one: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/12992/… TL;DR; version: no, it is not good to use. –  Sean Hart Dec 12 '12 at 14:37
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Over 12 hours? I sure wouldn't eat it. –  Carey Gregory Dec 12 '12 at 15:31
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marked as duplicate by derobert, KatieK, rumtscho Dec 12 '12 at 19:13

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Officially no, it is not "safe" to eat since the undetectable bacterial toxins could possibly have risen to dangerous levels. If the meat somehow got through the supply system with a load of dangerous bacteria, and you left it out long enough for them to multiply to dangerous levels, then you could cook it well, it could smell and taste great, and yet still get food poisoning. However, on the scale of daily activities like driving to work, this is unlikely to happen, and extremely unlikely to kill you. I wouldn't eat this steak rare, but after a well-done cooking, or better yet chopped and well-boiled in chili or stew, I would and have eaten meat like this.

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