I cooked a pot of beef stew...I slow cook the roast and vegetables until 2am I fell a sleep and woke up around 9am is it safe to eat?

  • Welcome to Seasoned Advice. We get a lot of similar questions like this. You might find some useful information in Stephie's link as well as in this question. Basically, government food safety organizations generally say you should consume or refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours. Cooked food may or may not be safe beyond that time. – Athanasius Jan 17 '16 at 20:35
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    Basically you need to guestimate whether your food was in the danger zone below 140F / 60C for more than two hours. My estimation: yes. Does this mean your food is certainly spoiled? No. General food safety guidelines - and that's what we follow here - will tell you to discard the food. See more here and here. – Stephie Jan 17 '16 at 20:36

Seven hours is not much, starting with a sterilised stew. Use you senses. Are there bubbles? Does it smell strange? Have a mouthfull, does taste off? If not, I would eat it. In fact, I wouldnt even give it a second thought after seven hours starting from fresh.. but US regulations, yes, would say it cannot be served. Good you are not running a restaurant, but this is just home cooking, er?..

  • The tests you recommend won't catch everything that could have gone wrong with it... would maybe eat (if I ate beef), wouldn't serve to anyone else without an understood warning. And also, there is a term worth nitpicking about: You aren't starting with a sterile (but pasteurized) stew unless you pressure cooked it and kept the cooker shut until you started measuring. If the pot was covered all the time it might (speculating from physics) reduce the chance of problems, IF it was last covered (and kept so) when the contents were colder than they ever were after cooking finished. – rackandboneman Jan 18 '16 at 0:07
  • To be extra clear, the big reasons we tend to stick to strict government agency recommendations here are that outside that it's hard to say anything but "maybe, it's risky" and that potentially thousands of people could read any page here, so even if it's a one in a thousand chance of serious problems, it might well result in something pretty bad happening. – Cascabel Jan 18 '16 at 0:29
  • Yeah yeah, better safe than sorry, rules are there for a reason. The chances of getting even slightly sick are minute guys, and you know that. To throw away good food that you put care in for abstract remote safety possibilities is just another symptom of a society gone crazy about risk avoidance. Agian, using you senses is a great test. That is what they are for. I am certain if 100.000 people in this situation would do this, NONE of them would get poisened. A few hours at room temp, with no signs of spoiling? Really, use your common sense. Especially because neither of us know the stats.. – Marc Luxen Jan 18 '16 at 10:08
  • To be extra clear: I am fighting the mentality of blindly obeing rules here, that were put in place based on little data, and an over-the-top mentality of risk avoidance. I am not saying restaurants should ignore these rules, but in home cooking , well, that is a different situation. Anyone can blindly follow rules, make them into an answer, and feel right about it. I am sticking my neck out and trying to get some form of rational thinking, common sense into this. We should have that much more, and that runs deeper then advising about a stew..... – Marc Luxen Jan 18 '16 at 10:14
  • Yes, that's what I mean with "you still shouldn't serve it to others that are unaware of what happened to it", because such rules are there for others to rely on, too. – rackandboneman Jan 18 '16 at 12:51

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