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beef and refridgeration...help...

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
So here's the deal...yesterday I picked up my 1/4 of beef. I got home, put it in my chest freezer. This morning I realized with horror that I hadn't put one of the boxes away...My apartment is normal "room" temp and every thing was cut and vac sealed, so no air...In total it spent about 20 hours at room temp in vac seal plastic. Never frozen before...Salvagable...I'm getting some mixed opinions...the good news is, it wasn't one of the "good" boxes...it was mostly ground, outside round steaks, etc.
post #2 of 6
It's toast and not worth the risk especially being ground. Too much bacteria can enter the mix. Regardless of the meat being sealed or not rooo temp other than a dry aging cabinet and the proper procedures to handle that......we've never used meats that have been exposed to room temp for more than a couple hours. Sad to hear of the loss of product.
post #3 of 6
Just be glad it was the ground beef you lost.
Don't even think about it, toss it.
Simple rule for food safety.....if there's any question, there's no question.

At room tem, bacteria double every couple of hours. In ground beef, the bacteria on the outside naturally, is now inside, with lots of moisture to multiply.
Have you ever heard of the story about the guy who can have $100 right now, or a penny doubled every day for 30 days?
1-2-4-8-16-32-64 etc

Ground beef at room temp for 20 hours, aneroebic environment or not, is simply too dangerous to even consider eating.

Luc H might have something to throw in here too, but I believe even harmless microbes can produce toxins at a certain critical mass, which will not go away with cooking.

Cat Man
post #4 of 6
Most of the dangerous bacteria get on the surface of beef during the slaughtering and butcheing process.

In the case of ground beef, the bacteria is mixed into the center of the mass of ground beef, and becomes difficult to kill. It doesn't breed faster or easier -- it's just more difficult to kill with cooking. Because of the temperatures, there is a significant possiblity that harmful bacteria created large enough populations to be dangerous in an part of the mass that cannot be rendered safe by cooking. Consequently the ground beef should be thrown out.

On the other hand, the rest of the meat is probably okay -- within limits. Yes, it's outside of FDA protocols, but ...

Don't serve to any of the "verys." I.e., very old, very young, very sick, and very sensitive. Don't serve to paying customers. Rinse the meat before using. Inspect it carefully. Cook to well done. Test it on your in-laws. You'll be fine.

The meat was cold when you got it and took some time to reach temperatures at which bacteria breed. The "forties" ruile is well and good, but bacteria breed more quickly at higher temperatures. It took awhile for even the surface of your meat get warm enough to get breeding going at a significant rate.

The meat was "vacuum packed." Well maybe not an absolute vaccum -- but low atmosphere, anyway. This does two things. Aerobic bacteria can't breed. Anaerobic bacteria can, but they leave a tell tale sign. They produce gas as a byproduct of activity and will cause the package to swell. Three other signs of a dangerously high level of bacteria are color, texture, and smell. If you notice anything wrong -- toss it.

It may not be "right," but it's real.
post #5 of 6
Like everyone else said, i wouldnt take a risk. Its not worth you or anyone else getting sick. And like cat man said just be glad it was ground beef and nothing to $$$$.

But yeah id get rid of it, not worth your reputation or stress on your part for making someone ILL.

"Some of us Cook. Some of us Grow. All of us Eat."
"Some of us Cook. Some of us Grow. All of us Eat."
post #6 of 6
Which cost more? a law suit or the chopped meat
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