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Unread 07-02-2013, 05:54 PM   #1
BenBarrBQue
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Default Help! Danger Zone question...

Possible idiot move here, but... I bought a bunch of ribs, each individually vacuum packed. I put them in a cooler with ice and then did a bunch of errands. When I got back, I realized that I hadn't put enough ice in there. The ribs on the top were at about 40-41 degrees, which I know is on the bottom of the "danger zone." I don't know how long they'd been at that temp.

I am assuming a few things. Let me know what you think, and any thoughts are appreciated.

1.) The ribs hadn't been at 40-41 for very long because I assume the temp in the cooler had been rising slowly while the ice melted.

2.) The vacuum packing helps to prevent bacteria growth in the meat??? Does that mean a vacuum packed piece of meat is more bacteria resistant than one that is not?

I also had a pork shoulder that was at 45 degrees. I figure that one may be a goner. What do you think?

Any help is appreciated! Thanks!
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Unread 07-02-2013, 06:02 PM   #2
caseydog
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How long were they in the danger zone?

Both of those cuts of pork are going to be cooked to WAY above 160 degrees for quite some time. Bacteria can't handle that kind of heat for that length of time.

The smell test is not going to be definitive, because pork from a cryovac package usually smells a bit foul when you pull it out of the bag. If you rinse it good in water, that smell should mostly go away. If you rinse it well, and it still smells foul, you should be wary. If it smells like meat after rinsing, you should be okay.

Again, you have a bit more wiggle room with pork ribs and pork butt, since you are going to cook them to 200 degrees IT, or more.

Those temps you posted wouldn't bother me, if they weren't at those temperatures all day. At some point, every piece of meat we cook is in the danger zone for a period of time.

CD
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Unread 07-02-2013, 06:05 PM   #3
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If it were me id be going with it...... 45 isnt all that bad IMO now had it got into the 50-60 range then id consider dumping it... I dont know about other cooks, but i have always been told to let the meat set out to warm up ( not room temp warm but not right out of the fridge cold ) so it gets a even cook? So way i see it thats all you did.
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Unread 07-02-2013, 06:06 PM   #4
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I am not sure why you believe you have a problem.
Firstly most home fridges run at around 40F.
Vacuum packing does help in preservation.
You are going to cook at temperatures that will pasteurise the meat.
My personal view is I would cook and eat them.
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Unread 07-02-2013, 06:07 PM   #5
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I would cook them and serve them to my family. Mother in law would not get any. I would take the first bite...
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Unread 07-02-2013, 06:28 PM   #6
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Cook everything, you'll be fine
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Unread 07-02-2013, 06:34 PM   #7
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+1 on everything said above. The definitive answer is: if you weren't out running errands for more then 4 hours? Your still your still well within time/temp recommended guidelines.
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Unread 07-02-2013, 06:36 PM   #8
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You're fine. Cook and enjoy.
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Unread 07-02-2013, 06:41 PM   #9
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Geez didn't mean for my post to sound so cocky. Sorry about that. Your fine cook and enjoy.
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Unread 07-02-2013, 06:56 PM   #10
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Give 'em to me, I'll cook 'em and eat 'em!
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Unread 07-02-2013, 07:01 PM   #11
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I concur, they are fine, most fridges do run about 40F.
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Unread 07-02-2013, 07:54 PM   #12
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I think they went bad, Better send'em this way, I'll dispose of them for you!
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Unread 07-02-2013, 07:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseydog View Post
How long were they in the danger zone?

Both of those cuts of pork are going to be cooked to WAY above 160 degrees for quite some time. Bacteria can't handle that kind of heat for that length of time.

The smell test is not going to be definitive, because pork from a cryovac package usually smells a bit foul when you pull it out of the bag. If you rinse it good in water, that smell should mostly go away. If you rinse it well, and it still smells foul, you should be wary. If it smells like meat after rinsing, you should be okay.

Again, you have a bit more wiggle room with pork ribs and pork butt, since you are going to cook them to 200 degrees IT, or more.

Those temps you posted wouldn't bother me, if they weren't at those temperatures all day. At some point, every piece of meat we cook is in the danger zone for a period of time.

CD
^ +1 I agree with CaseyDog
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Unread 07-02-2013, 08:06 PM   #14
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i forget the rules right now, but they'd have to have been above 40 for a few hours.

IMHO, you are ok'ed for launch.
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