I took a piece of beef steak out of the freezer yesterday at 4pm. I left it on the windowsill until 11am this morning. It stayed pretty chilled because the temperature here is below freezing, but it probably got above fridge temperatures. I then put it in the fridge before I cooked it tonight at 6pm and ate it. Will I definitely get sick?
Of course there's no guaranty that you will get sick - there almost never is - this doesn't mean you should ignore food safety.
There are three large factors that influence how "safe" your meat is:
- How much harmfull microorganisms were in your meat to begin with?
- How much did these microorganisms multiply and more importantly metabolize?
- How "healthy" are you? / What amount of toxin/microorganisms can your body handle?
You only will get "food poisoning" when you have ingested a sufficient amount of microorganisms / poisons produced by microorganisms to overhelm your own immune system.
So why do we still clamour about food safety?
Because you can't controll the factors involved. In a normal kitchen environment you have no way of knowing how "contaminated" your food is, or how much your system can handle.
Stay on the safe side, assume the worst, and throw out food which might not be safe to eat.
You most likely won't get sick if the temperature was below freezing close to your windowsill. However, it's generally safer to thaw and consume your meat in a reasonable time frame, and not leave meat out for extended amounts of time. If you cooked your meat to temperature, you're also reducing the amount of bacteria that may have formed on the steak.